Vitamin D - A Closer Look At Cancer Prevention by:Harry Monell
Vitamin D is the nutrient long known for it's critical role in the body's processing of calcium and subsequent maintenance of the bones and teeth. However, studies are revealing more and more evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in protecting the body by significantly cutting the risk for most forms of cancer. In fact, new research published most recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that vitamin D supplements may lower the risk factor by as much as 77 percent.
The following reveal exciting evidence of the exceptionally strong cancer-protective effects of vitamin D.
Breast Cancer - most recently the results of a study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggesting that pre-menopausal women who maintain high levels of vitamin D and calcium in their diets have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. More importantly, high levels of calcium and vitamin D among this group seemed to reduce the most aggressive breast tumors, including those that are likely to spread to the lymph nodes, which contain the most dangerous types of cancer cells. The two nutrients function together to block or interfere with the effects of the IGF (insulin-like growth factor) hormone, which is known to stimulate breast and other cancer cells.
Colon/Rectal Cancer - More than fifty years ago, while realizing the correlation between sunlight and vitamin D blood concentrations, curious scientists began studying weather data around the country, along with health statistics anticipating a relationship between areas with the highest amount of sunshine and lower rates of colon cancer death. New research conducted at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska has revealed that supplementing with vitamin D and calcium can reduce your risk of colon cancer by nearly 80 percent.
Pancreatic Cancer - known for having one of the highest mortality rates, pancreatic cancer is frequently called the "silent killer" typically because its presence is seldom diagnosed prior to reaching the advanced stages generally considered incurable. Results of two studies that began over thirty years ago, with a combined 170,000 male and female participants revealed evidence that at higher intake levels of vitamin D (at least 600 IU per day) there was a significant reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Prostate Cancer - Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States. However, an abundance of clinical research is providing evidence that vitamin D may be a key factor in reducing or eliminating the risk of contracting the disease. Most recent results include a new study indicating that vitamin D generated from about 15 minutes of sunshine per day may help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Other epidemiological studies also show correlations between the risk factors for prostate cancer and conditions that can result in decreased vitamin D levels. And, additional clinical research has shown that the presence of vitamin D inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cells.
Lung Cancer - is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in America, so it is with great promise that a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention revealed that Vitamin D from a combination of dietary sources and sun exposure appears to improve the survival of patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for 75% to 80% of all lung cancers. It's interesting to note that group participants who had surgery during the summer months gained a 13% survival advantage over those receiving surgery during the winter.
Recent research indicates that anyone totally avoiding the sun will need an intake of about 4,000 IUs of vitamin D a day! Now, if you do the math this means that it will be impossible from a practical means, to get enough vitamin D from either natural foods or nutritional supplements. Consider the requirement of 40 glasses of milk or 10 multi-vitamin tablets a day. Such an alternative would be an unrealistic and physically dangerous undertaking, to say the least.
Most of us make about 20,000 units of vitamin D after about 20 minutes of summer sun, but if for some reason you're not getting vitamin D from sunshine, you need to take supplemental vitamin D3 cholecalciferol. Since most of us do in fact receive much more vitamin D from the sun than we actually realize, it's reasonable to assume then that the majority of us need to supplement our intake with an additional 2,000 IUs per day, to ensure the risk reduction benefits against all cancer related illness.
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Copyright 2007 Harry Monell. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share the entire contents of this article with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, including this notice.
About the author
Harry Monell is writing articles and maintaining New Day Nutrients.com, a website dedicated to promoting better health and vitality by providing useful information, advice and the latest news covering a wide range of health and nutritional topics. For additional information and resources, please copy into your web browser http://www.newdaynutrients.com