Vitamin DI don’t usually write about nutrition, but the value of taking Vitamin D seems so important to our health and well-being, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it again. You may read more about it in my January 2009 original Vitamin D post and my second entry May 18.

In this article I’ll focus on Vitamin D and its ability to lower the risk of cancer.

More than 60 epidemiology studies conducted over the last 30 years have indicated that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of more than 16 different types of cancer.

According to research from the newly published study by Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., FACE, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and Moores Cancer Center of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), “It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three quarters of deaths from these diseases, in the US and Canada.”

Most experts recommend getting blood tests to evaluate Vitamin D levels, and taking up to 2000-5000 IU of Vitamin D each day to help increase your levels. As I first mentioned in my January ’09 post, I checked my Vitamin D level when I had lab work done for my annual cholesterol test. However, I had to ask my doctor to specifically request the test from the lab (they don’t automatically check your Vitamin D levels). If you’d like to test yourself and send to a lab, check out Track Your Plaque. Click on the menu in the left sidebar.

My Vitamin D level was 24ng/ml (the healthy therapeutic range is 50-65 ng/ml). After one week of taking 5000 IU per day, I felt clearer and happier, even though I wasn’t expecting to feel anything dramatic, and especially that soon, so it was not a placebo effect. My follow up appointment is scheduled at the end of summer.

There is now overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that many of the 560,000 cancer deaths expected to occur this year could have been safely prevented with one simple lifestyle change – sun exposure.

If health officials would simply recommend that you get some sensible sun exposure, or supplement with oral vitamin D3 if you can’t get out into the sun, there could be major advances made in the fight against cancer.

One recent study also points out vitamin D’s potential in treating breast cancer; not just in preventing it. They found that calcitrol (the active form of vitamin D) can induce a tumor-suppressing protein that inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells specifically.

Calcification of blood vessels and other tissues is much more common with low intakes of vitamin D-3 than high intakes.

According to an article by Dr. Mercola, “it’s important to realize that even if you live in a perpetually sunny environment but work the entire week indoors and don’t make a conscious effort to go outside during the weekends you can, and probably will, become vitamin D deficient. It is simply not enough to walk from your car to work and home and expect to get enough sunshine to alter your levels.

In order to reap any and all the benefits that vitamin D has to offer you need to make sure your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-65 ng/ml.”

Dr. Mercola again stated in an article, “According to Dr. Heaney — whom I interviewed for my Inner Circle expert segment on the topic of sun exposure and melanoma, earlier this year — your body requires 4,000 IU’s daily just to maintain its current vitamin D level.” So in order to actually raise your levels, you’d have to increase either your exposure to sunshine, or supplement with oral vitamin D3.

Remember, if you chose to take an oral supplement it’s essential that you get your levels tested regularly by a proficient lab to make sure you’re within the therapeutic range. In the U.S. Dr. Mercola recommends using LabCorp.”

One of my blog readers recommended this Vitamin D site that is free and chockfull of information about it.

Have you experienced greater health and well-being using Vitamin D?

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You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.