How To Slash Your Prostate Cancer Risk - With Sunlight!
According to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer 2009; 100: 450-454, men with prostate cancer are as much as seven times less likely to die if they have high levels of vitamin D - the "sunshine vitamin".
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men. Each year close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer annually and around 20,000 new cases are diagnosed in Australia each year. So, for all you male readers, if you want to prevent prostate cancer, and protect your health, getting regular sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D levels is an absolute must.
Prostate cancer is typically slow growing, and the five-year survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer combined is 99%. So it is very much a disease that can be managed...if you make the appropriate lifestyle changes.
Why Sunlight Is An Important Cancer-Fighting Tool
A previous study found men with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood were half as likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer as those with lower amounts. Numerous other studies also confirm the link between vitamin D deficiency and multiple types of cancer. The "sunshine vitamin" has a protective effect against cancer in many ways including:
-Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (they can lead to cancer if allowed to replicate)
-Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
-Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often cannot be differentiated by the body)
-Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones (which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous)
What Is The Optimal Vitamin D Level For You?
Vitamin D3 is produced by our bodies when UV radiation from sunlight hits our skin and reacts with a compound called 7-dehydrocholesterol. Ever since I was a child growing up in Australia we have been told to protect against UV radiation. But UV levels vary according to season, geographic latitude, smog, cloud cover and time of day. A UV level of 3 or higher, which usually occurs between 10am to 3pm daily in the tropics and during spring and summer in temperate regions, requires most people to apply sun protection. Either side of those times up to 10-15 minutes of sunlight at least twice a week is adequate for Vitamin D synthesis. During winter take advantage of sunny periods but usually 2-3 hours of sun exposure spread over a week is adequate.
Your doctor can measure your serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to determine your vitamin D status. Your vitamin D level should always be above 32 ng/ml (nanograms per millilitre), and anything below 20 ng/ml is considered a serious deficiency state, which would increase your risk of prostate cancer.
The optimal level is 45-52 ng/ml but previous research has suggested that maintaining a slightly higher level of 55 ng/ml is optimal for cancer prevention. Optimizing your vitamin D levels is an important part of prostate cancer prevention, but it is far from the only method. Another sensible strategy is eating a healthy diet including natural lycopene foods such as tomatoes, raspberries, watermelon and broccoli.
In addition, supplementation with important micro-nutrients is also essential in preventing and fighting cancer. Research has shown that a group of saccarides called glyconutrients are essential for a healthy immune system. Recent studies in numerous scientific journals have shown that glyconutrients not only retarded human prostate cancer cell growth, but also encouraged their destruction.
If you would like to know more about glyconutrients and their importance in maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting cancer then click on the link below.
by: Richard Webster