Sunshine promotes overall health, prevents cancer, and provides a feeling of happiness.
A recent study has shown that vitamin D, which is created in the body after exposure to the sun, protects us from colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer. Nowadays, cancer is one of the leading health issues which cause death around the world.
The link between vitamin D and cancer has been found by Dr. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California’s San Diego Moores Cancer Center.
Multiple studies have confirmed the power of vitamin D to prevent cancer, by disabling cancer cells growth, stimulating cellular differentiation, preventing blood vessel production into the tumors, and inducing apoptosis.
The Journal of Cancer reported the conclusion which stated that 4000 IU/d of vitamin D3 may inhibit cancer development, measured by the main biomarker 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [(OH)D].
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine conducted a study which showed that there is a link between this vitamin and aggressive prostate cancer.
Researchers discovered that vitamin D lower the risk of prostate cancer development, as it inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of cancer cells.
The study was conducted within the period from 2009 to 2014, and involved a big epidemiologic research of 1760 cancer screenings, in comparison to healthy controls.
Adam Murphy, lead author and assistant professor of Urology, Northwestern University claimed:
“If you add prostate cancer cells into a dish with vitamin D, their development decelerates and they become less invasive, which greatly lowers the possibility of their apoptosis.
Our late research has proven that people who aren’t impacted by prostate cancer have higher vitamin D levels than prostate cancer patients.”
This vitamin prevents rheumatoid arthritis, various cancer types, and strengthens the bones. Studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements prevent the growth of cancer.
It has also been found that the proper amounts of vitamin D significantly lower reduce the breast cancer fatality by 44%. On the other hand, women with reduced vitamin D levels have a 94% increased risk of developing metastases, and even 73% higher death risk than the ones with adequate levels of this vitamin.
The first author Sharif B, Mohr, MD, from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, says:
“Doctors need to understand how important proper serum vitamin D levels (40-60 ng/mL) are for cancer prevention. They should encourage their patients to control their vitamin D levels regularly, particularly in winter, which will allow them to keep their vitamin D levels in normal.”
He also added that in the case of breast cancer, vitamin D levels may be elevated up to 80 ng/mL.
The risk of breast cancer is highly increased in the case of low vitamin D levels, and it may also lead to aggressive tumors and fatal consequences.
According to Brian Feldman, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, “Although further research must be done, our research indicates that women at risk of breast cancer should check their vitamin D levels and try to normalize them.”
Other cancer types
The combination of vitamin D and calcium lowers the risk of all types of cancer in postmenopausal women by incredible 77%.
Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, explains this as follows:
“These vitamins produce E-cadherin, a substance that structures cells and holds them together. This disables the penetration of cancer cells into organs and tissues in the human body.
When the vitamin D level is reduced, the cells of the breast epithelium don’t stick to each other, and the cell that isn’t stuck to the surrounding cells has its stem cells undergone rapid mitosis.
The cells that multiply quickest can create a cancerous clone, which can infiltrate through the basal lining. If the organism lacks vitamin D for longer, the cells will get out into lymphatics, metastasize to the brain, bone and lungs and eventually cause death.”
There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the first one produced by plants, while the latter is produced in the body, in the kidneys and liver, due to sun exposure.
D3 is vital for the absorption of calcium in the gut and promotes bone and teeth health. It is also needed for the immune function, cell growth, to soothe inflammation, for proper neuromuscular and immune function, to treat diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.
Since our body produce vitamin D due to sun exposure, the optimal amount of it is not definitely determined. Therefore, the needed dosage of supplements is determined by age, sex, ethnicity and area of living.
The Institute of Medicine determined the recommended amount of vitamin D to be 600IU for healthy adults and 800IU for people older than 70.
According to experts, in the case of cancer treatments, increased dosages, up to 4000-10.000IU on a daily basis can severely affect health, especially the kidneys and the heart.
Therefore, you should consult with an experienced doctor, naturopath, or oncologist about the proper dosage of vitamin D for treating serious health issues.