Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention
As of late there has been a lot of talk about vitamin D and cancer prevention, but is the research really there to support all of the hype? The answer is yes. Research shows that appropriate levels of vitamin D can help prevent breast, ovarian, prostate and colorectal cancer. Low vitamin D levels have also been connected to increased incidence of multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, bone fractures, osteoporosis, mood disorders and influenza.
A four-year clinical trial that involved 1,200 women, discovered that those taking vitamin D had an astounding 60% reduction of an incidence of cancer compared with those who did not take the supplement.
If you are deficient in vitamin D, the best way to increase your levels is to supplement with vitamin D3. At first, you may need to take up to 5,000 IU daily to bring your level to an optimum range. Once your levels are stable, supplementing with 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day depending on the time of year, your health, size and lifestyle is a good idea. A standard multivitamin only has 400 IU of vitamin D.
It is difficult to get all that you need through foods, but certain fish can provide 300-700 IU per serving, and milk provides 100 IU per glass. Given this information, health authorities may move towards implementing a substantial increase in food fortification to affect the research study results.
Sun is a great source of vitamin D when sunscreen is not used, as the UVB rays enable our bodies to manufacture vitamin D under the skin. A little sun exposure to the skin is healthy, as long as it is not at peak times of the day and the skin does not burn. The limited sun exposure to the skin may explain why the incidence of cancer is higher in northern latitudes than at the equator.
I recommend that everyone keep their vitamin D levels at an optimal range with supplements and regular, safe sun exposure to help decrease the risks of certain serious diseases such as cancer, to increase their immune system and to maintain bone health.