Sunday, February 22, 2015
Another Biggie in Cancer Prevention
I’m writing this blog because no one else is (that I know of). The information is just too important to be hidden away in obscure internet files. Hidden is not the right word, but it takes a lot of time and focus to find it all. So I’m trying to get the cheap, or free, health promoting things out there to get some publicity. If you get breast cancer, I promise it’s not from a lack of tamoxifen or chemotherapy drugs. It’s from nutritional things that are under your control. (Ok, there may be a few exceptions—but go with the numbers).
This blog is not commercial. But I’m stealing from my time needed to make a living to bring it to you. So today, you’re getting less writing and more just cut and paste. There is so much information! The last blog I wrote about the three minerals involved in cancer protection took me two days to write. Can’t do that today, so bear with the choppy nature of the following.
Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin. It behaves more like a hormone. Nevertheless, it’s named Vitamin D. We convert sunlight to vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight. The sun exposure paranoia of the last few decades has certainly contributed to increased cancer rates. A recent review article estimated that 50,000-70,000 Americans die prematurely from cancer each year due to insufficient vitamin D.
And here’s some evidence.
On the PubMed database, there are 63 observational studies about vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk. They include 30 of colon, 13 of breast, 26 of prostate, and 7 of ovarian cancer. The majority of these studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D and lower risk of cancer. The evidence suggests that efforts to improve vitamin D status, for example by vitamin D supplementation, could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.
Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.
One particularly noteworthy study was completed by Joan Lappe and Robert Heaney in 2007. A group of menopausal women were given enough vitamin D to raise their serum levels to 40 ng/ml. These women experienced a 77 percent reduction in the incidence of all cancers, across the board, after just four years. The remarkable thing is, 40 ng/ml is a relatively modest level. The latest information suggests the serum level “sweet spot” for vitamin D is 50 to 70 ng/ml. To have such stunning findings at just 40 ng/ml underscores just how powerful and important vitamin D is to your body’s optimal functioning.
Vitamin D plays a huge role in many other conditions. Levels below 30 ng/ml show evidence of issues associated with mood disorder, autism, bone health, cancer and heart disease as well as several autoimmune diseases.
Emerging research suggests that vitamin D also has applications in promoting bone strength, as well as in mitigating autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders, autism and heart disease. Other potential benefits include promoting dental and skin health, and helping to prevent stroke, metabolic syndrome, and musculoskeletal pain. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia.
In another study Vitamin D supplementation of just 1200 units (very low) reduced flu by 42%. That’s better than a flu shot. It’s also been linked to better lung function, a stronger immune system, and an enhanced ability to fight off certain infections, such as tuberculosis.
Statistically, you are probably low in Vitamin D since reports are that between October and May, almost no one can get enough sun. Also if your skin is dark, it takes more sun to get the same amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is virtually absent from food with the exception of sea food and egg yolks. If you are overweight, you need more sun or more supplementation to get levels up. If you’ve not been tested, get it done. Shoot for a score of 50-70. I’m trying to reach at least 50 and am currently taking 10,000 units daily. When I first started testing my level was 31—almost dangerously low--and that was after a summer of outdoor work and sun worshipping. But in Oregon, so far into the north.
Since this is already plenty long, I am going to save the last nutrient involved in cancer protection for next time. Start now on how to improve your minerals and Vitamin D level. There’s more. But you need to start somewhere. I can promise you’re not getting enough from your grocery store of any of them.