Vitamin D may benefit men with advanced cancer

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Fatigue, or severe tiredness and exhaustion, is a distressing condition for many patients with advanced cancer.

Unfortunately, good pharmacological treatment options are limited, and the ones available come with a risk of side effects and/or habituation.

In a new study, researchers found that correction of vitamin D deficiency reduced both pain and fatigue in patients with advanced and metastatic cancer.

The effects were moderate, but the treatment was surprisingly well-tolerated without any severe side effects.

The study showed that correction of vitamin D deficiency caused strongly reduced fatigue in men, but not in women.

Even after adjusting the results for factors, the effects of vitamin D treatment in men remained.

After only four or eight weeks of treatment, no strong effects of vitamin D were noticed, and the effect was evident first after 12 weeks of treatment.

The study is the first study to show that vitamin D treatment could have positive effects on cancer-related fatigue and that there are sex differences in the effects of vitamin D.

To summarize, this study shows that correction of vitamin D deficiency in cancer patients in palliative care seems to reduce fatigue in men, but not in women.

Although the effects are moderate, vitamin D is a gentle treatment, and even a moderate effect may make an important difference in the combined symptom burden of a single patient.

However, in patients with an expected survival time of fewer than 12 weeks, treatment would probably not be relevant.

If you care about supplements, please read studies about a common vitamin that may protect against blinding eye disease, and findings of how vitamins, steroids and antiviral drugs can fight against COVID-19.

For more information about supplements, please see recent studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to higher COVID-19 risk, and results showing these 2 vitamins may reduce your risk for Parkinson’s disease.

The study is published in Cancers and was conducted by Caritha Klasson et al.

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