Sunday, 23 February 2014

Prostate cancer in Vitamin B12's Points of View

Kyle J. Norton

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, a water-soluble vitamin, found abundantly in a variety of foods, such as fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, dairy products, etc. plays an important role in regulating the functions of nervous system and formation of blood.

Prostate cancer is defined as a condition in which the cells of prostate has become cancerous, causing abnormal cell growth with possibility of spreading to the distant parts of the body. Most prostate cancers are slow growing and enlarged prostate and prostate cancer may be detected during physical (rectum) exams.

Epidemiological studies linking levels of plasma of vitamin B12 in reduced risk of prostate cancer have produced inconclusive results, it may be due to single nucleotide polymorphisms in B(12)-related genes (MTR, MTRR, FUT2, TCN2, TCN1, CUBN, and MUT), tTC(involved in many processes in the body, such as protein production, protein transport, and the cycle of cell division), holo-transcobalamin(markers of vitamin B12 deficiency), holo-haptocorrin, folate, and homocysteine(a non-protein α-amino acid and can be recycled into methionine or converted into cysteine with the aid of B-vitamins)(1). Study from the University of Bristol, showed that the increased B12 and holo-haptocorrin concentrations associated to positive correlation with prostate cancer risk(2)(3). But the University of Bergen, in a prospective cohort in Norway (n = 317 000) study,  showed no association between vitamin B12 status and prostate cancer risk(4).
In a clinical trial of dietary supplements and prostate cancer, found that a combination of antioxidants, isoflavones, lycopenes, minerals, plant oestrogens and vitamins, including vitamin B12 significantly decreased PSA levels compared with placebo(5).

Taking altogether, without going into reviews, combination of treatment included vitamin B12 may be associated to reduced risk of prostate cancer. Over doses of the vitamin may induce symptoms of toxicity, including headache, giddiness and abnormal heart functioning, etc., please make sure to follow the guideline of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

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(1) The causal roles of vitamin B(12) and transcobalamin in prostate cancer: can Mendelian randomization analysis provide definitive answers by Collin SM, Metcalfe C, Palmer TM, Refsum H, Lewis SJ, Smith GD, Cox A, Davis M, Marsden G, Johnston C, Lane JA, Donovan JL, Neal DE, Hamdy FC, Smith AD, Martin RM.(PubMed)
(2) Circulating folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, vitamin B12 transport proteins, and risk of prostate cancer: a case-control study, systematic review, and meta-analysis by Collin SM, Metcalfe C, Refsum H, Lewis SJ, Zuccolo L, Smith GD, Chen L, Harris R, Davis M, Marsden G, Johnston C, Lane JA, Ebbing M, Bønaa KH, Nygård O, Ueland PM, Grau MV, Baron JA, Donovan JL, Neal DE, Hamdy FC, Smith AD, Martin RM(PubMed)
(3) Plasma folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study by Hultdin J, Van Guelpen B, Bergh A, Hallmans G, Stattin P.(PubMed)

(4) Serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations in relation to prostate cancer risk--a Norwegian population-based nested case-control study of 3000 cases and 3000 controls within the JANUS cohort by de Vogel S, Meyer K, Fredriksen Å, Ulvik A, Ueland PM, Nygård O, Vollset SE, Tell GS, Tretli S, Bjørge T.(PubMed)
(5) Dietary supplements and prostate cancer: a systematic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised clinical trials by Posadzki P, Lee MS, Onakpoya I, Lee HW, Ko BS, Ernst E.(PubMed)

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