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Vitamin A May Slow Growth of Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Pancreatic cancer is virtually undetectable in the early stages and extremely difficult to treat once it spreads outside of the pancreas. As a result it is one of the most lethal forms of cancer.

Scientists at Barts, the University of Cambridge, and the Hubrecht Institute in Holland have found a link between vitamin A and pancreatic cancer prevention.

The study was published in the journal Gastroentrology on June 24, 2011.

The scientists used “the seed and soil theory,” which posits that targeting the tissue around a cancerous cell is just as important to fighting cancer as targeting the cancerous cell itself. The mechanism behind the theory is that by changing the cells around a cancerous cell, they will hinder the growth of cancer cells.

The scientists found that treating the non-cancerous cells taken from pancreatic cancer patients with vitamin A resulted in slowed growth of the cancerous cells. People with pancreatic cancer usually have vitamin deficiencies. The researchers noted that other vitamins may also have the potential to slow the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.

Vitamin A has been shown to improve diarrhea and the symptoms of respiratory disease, and to reduce the risk of measles. People who are deficient in vitamin A are also at risk for vision problems and many chronic diseases.

This essential vitamin can be found in beef liver, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, and fortified milk. If you think you’re not getting enough of these foods in your daily diet, try a high quality supplement.

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