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Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição

On-line version ISSN 2183-5985


SILVA, Joana; PEREIRA, Paula; COUTO, Nuno  and  RAMALHO, Renata. Vitamin D and Cancer: from biological mechanisms to therapeutic utility. Acta Port Nutr [online]. 2018, n.12, pp.32-37. ISSN 2183-5985.

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide concern. The relationship between this deficiency and bone diseases is well established. However, recent studies have also linked this deficiency to increase risk of different types of cancer. Recently, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)D) is able to produce anticancer effects through its binding to a specific intercellular receptor, the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is active in both malignant and benignant cells in different organs and tissues, promoting gene transcription and protein synthesis. This discovery led to an increased clinical interest for the potential usage of vitamin D as a major help for the prevention and treatment against cancer. The authors present a review of the literature regarding the biological and biochemical mechanisms responsible for the anticancer effects of vitamin D; and explore in detail these effects towards the current evidence.

Keywords : 1,25(OH)D; Apoptosis; Cancer; Carcinogenesis; Vitamin D.

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