Vitamin D fans have been cheering about the recent news that elevated vitamin D levels have been correlated to increased survival rates among breast cancer patients, but there’s more happening with vitamin D and various cancers that deserves greater attention. Here’s D’story:
Breast Cancer. The latest meta-analysis from the journal Anticancer Research reported the exciting news that “Over an average of 10 years, breast cancer mortality was 44% lower in patients in the quintile with the highest levels of serum 25(OH)D than in the quintile with the lowest levels.” That’s a huge difference! So the levels women should be shooting for to fight cancer would be in the range of 40-60 ng/ml. And if you already have cancer, you might shoot for as high as 80 ng/ml. Obviously, you have to know where your levels are at to be able to reach any kind of goal. The testing is not inexpensive, and it’s unfortunately often not covered by health insurance. That’s something we all need to work on to change.
Breast Tumor Growth. Perhaps an even more exciting development is the role that vitamin D plays in helping breast cells stick together in a way that helps prevent cancerous growth, and when a tumor does develop it will be much more well-defined, which makes getting rid of it a lot easier through surgery. Vitamin D in high doses can actually stop a tumor in its tracks from growing any more. To get levels up to the cancer-fighting range of 40-60, some doctors are recommending intakes of 40,000IU/day, since you have to take in a lot to substantially increase your levels. And any vitamin D supplementation should be combined with 1,500mg of calcium as well, because the two work hand-in-hand in the body for optimal health.
Prostate Cancer. Another lab has discovered that vitamin D deficiency appears to correlate with “…aggressive features on prostate cancer biopsy.” This one clearly needs more research, as do the others, to make sure of the direction of causation – that vitamin D levels are causing the effects seen rather than the reverse, that the disease causes the vitamin D levels, which has been suggested by at least one recent study.
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