Vitamin D Prevents Cancer
Many epidemiologic studies show an association between higher intake of Vitamin D and reduced risk of cancer of the colon. Vitamin D has been shown to possess preventative benefits for many other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; however, it has been found to be cancer’s worst enemy. Numerous experts in women’s health believe that optimum levels of Vitamin D are critically important in reducing the risk of cancer and that most breast cancers are related to a Vitamin D deficiency. In fact, ordinary breast cancer is described as “Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome”.
The Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Cancer
Theories that link Vitamin D deficiency to cancer are numerous and have been tested and endorsed in more than 200 epidemiological studies. Understanding of the physiological basis of the link between Vitamin D deficiency and cancer stems from over 2,500 laboratory studies.
Vitamin D Status by Race and Latitude
It has been found that Vitamin D status differs by race and latitude with individuals with higher skin pigmentation and for example residents from northeast United States, having a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Certain observational studies of Vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk assessed an association between Vitamin D receptor genotype and cancer risk.
The majority of these studies found that there is a protective relationship between a sufficient Vitamin D status and a lower risk of cancer. Evidence proved that efforts to improve Vitamin D status by increased exposure to sunlight or by supplementation could lower cancer incidence and morality.
Vitamin D Prevents Cancer In Women
It has been estimated that almost 80% of pregnant women are Vitamin D deficient.
In breast cancer, Vitamin D has been shown to stop cancer cells from spreading by replenishing one of the glue-like components that give structure to breast cells, called E-cadherin.
As a strong preventative of cancer, Vitamin D is crucial in pregnancy for both the mother and the baby as it lowers the risk of premature birth and prevents low birth weight and the need for C-Section delivery.
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of pro-hormones that are fat-soluble. These substances by themselves have little hormonal activity but the body is capable of turning them into hormones. Vitamin D assists the body in using calcium and phosphorus to build strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to the sun as well as certain foods, or taking supplements. Most individuals obtain some Vitamin D from sunlight exposure as well as from dietary sources such as eggs, fish liver oil and fatty fish. Dietary Vitamin D can be obtained from Vitamin D fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, juice and milk.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Deficient Vitamin D levels may cause weakened bones called rickets (in children) or osteomalacia (in adults).
It is very important to have your Vitamin D serum levels tested at least twice a year as individuals vary greatly in their response to exposure to ultraviolet light and oral supplementation. For optimal health it is recommended that Vitamin D serum levels should be maintained at 50 – 70 ng/ml depending on individual factors.
Although most people are unlikely to have high Vitamin D levels, it important to note that excessive intake of Vitamin D can be toxic. An excess of Vitamin D is harmful to the body as it can increase calcium levels leading to calcinosis, which is the deposit of salts in soft tissues such as kidneys, lungs or heart. It can also cause hypercalcemia, high levels of calcium in the blood. Vitamin D toxicity is more likely to occur due to a high intake of dietary supplements than high intakes of Vitamin D rich foods or sun exposure.