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A study from Northwestern Medical School strengthens the hypothesis that lack of vitamin D, and not higher testosterone levels, increases risk for prostate cancer in African Americans. Blood testosterone levels drop in all men after age 30. The authors show that the apparently higher blood levels of testosterone in African American males is not due to racial differences. After adjustment for age and fatness, total testosterone was three percent higher in African Americans, but after further adjustment for obesity at the waist, there was no difference based on race.

The results show that storing fat in the belly is associated with decreasing testosterone levels. The authors conclude that "the previously observed difference in total testosterone between black and white men could be attributed to racial differences in abdominal obesity." This strengthens the association shown in other studies between prostate cancer and having dark skin, which prevents sunlight from manufacturing vitamin D in the body.

Serum androgen concentrations in young men: A longitudinal analysis of associations with age, obesity, and race. The CARDIA Male Hormone Study (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.) Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2002, Vol 11, Iss 10, Part 1, pp 1041-1047. SM Gapstur, PH Gann, P Kopp, L Colangelo, C Longcope, K Liu. Gapstur SM, Northwestern Univ, Sch Med, Dept Prevent Med, 680 N Lake Shore Dr, Suite 1102, Chicago,IL 60611 USA

Reported 1/5/03; checked 8/9/05

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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