Vitamin D Decreases Risk of Developing Cancer
A new study revealed that vitamin D is a critical tool in fighting cancer. This new discovery brings light to the benefit of sunlight, vitamin D and calcium supplementation in human health and specifically in preventing cancer.
In a study conducted by the Creighton University with cooperation from the University of California San Diego, the research found out that majority of women who were given vitamin D3 and calcium supplements had 30% lower risk of cancer.
In addition, blood levels of vitamin D, specifically 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), were significantly lower in women who developed cancer during the study than in those who remained healthy.
The results of the study were released in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Study and The Respondents
The four-year study is randomized clinical trial of effects of Vitamin D supplementation on all types of cancer combined. The study invited 2,303 healthy postmenopausal women 55 years and older from 31 counties in Nebraska as respondents of the research. Funded by the National Institutes of health, the study was open to all ethnic groups, but most of the participants were Caucasian.
The respondents were randomly assigned to take either 2000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 and 1500 mg. of calcium or identical placebos daily for 4 years. The vitamin D3 dose was about three times the US government’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 600 IU for adults through age 70, and 800 IU for those 71 and older.
Meet The Super Vitamin 25(OH)D
The study used vitamin D, specifically 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), as supplements of the respondents for four years.
The results were astonishing, scientists said. The researchers discovered that there was an increase of average 25(OH)D level in the women’s blood after the supplementation. It surpassed the usual target levels that range from 20-32 ng/ml. This suggests that higher vitamin D levels than are currently recommended are needed for substantially decreasing risk of cancer.
Joan Lappe, PhD, RN, lead author of the study and from Creighton University Criss/Beirne Professor of Nursing and Professor of Medicine, confirmed the good benefits of vitamin D supplementation in beating the odds of cancer.
Lappe said, “This study suggests that higher levels of 25(OH)D in the blood are associated with lower cancer risk.”
Lapped also pointed out that the higher concentrations of 25(OH)D in the blood, in the context of vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation, decrease risk of cancer.
Why The Human Body Needs Vitamin D
According to Lappe, most cells in the body need vitamin D to work properly. Without adequate vitamin D, normally functioning cells can convert to malignant cells.
Aside from that, getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases and inflammation.
Vitamin D is abundant in natural foods including fish oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is also naturally made by the human body when one exposes one’s skin to the sun and it is called the sunshine vitamin.