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Warning: ADT for prostate cancer linked to bone decay

by , 16 August 2013

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a common treatment for prostate cancer. The treatment aims to reduce levels of male hormones (androgens) in the body to prevent them from reaching prostate cancer cells. There's now evidence that suggests this form of therapy could cause bone decay. Read on to discover the link between ADT and bone loss.

It’s estimated that over 600,000 men are being treated with ADT.

And those 600,000 men may be at risk for structural bone decay. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Revealed: The link between ADT and bone decay

In the study, researchers found that ADT is associated with structural decay of two kinds of bone tissue, both the hard outer shell and the spongy mesh that makes up the inner part of your bone, explains Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition & Healing.

The loss was pretty serious. Researchers found a loss of 4% to 5% of bone density.

When it comes to bone health, the thickness of your bone (otherwise known as bone density) plays an important role. The denser the content of your bone mineral is, the stronger your bones are, says FSPHealth.

Researchers found that losses in bone mineral density with ADT use were greatest at the lumbar spine and in the first year compared with years 2 and 3 and independent of age.

They also found that men who were taking vitamin D in the first year had significantly better bone density in the lumbar spine than other men.

They concluded that taking vitamin D helped prevent bone loss in the first year of ADT use.

They remarked, “This is good news because it suggests that you can reduce the losses with a simple intervention that is cheap and minimally toxic.”

Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones, says MedicalNewsToday. Vitamin D also helps regulate your immune system

If you’re on ADT, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D to prevent bone loss.

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