Is it possible for Vitamin D to effectively reduce the risk of cancer development?
Previously only linked to promoting healthy bones and teeth, recent scientific studies have discovered that Vitamin D has the potential to reduce the likelihood of developing prevalent cancers by up to 50%.
Says Sara Hiom, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, "There is evidence to suggest that the vitamin (Vitamin D) plays a role in keeping cells healthy."
A study conducted in the United States has discovered that the natural version of Vitamin D, known as D3 or cholecalciferol, has the potential to signifantly reduce the risk of developing breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers by as much as 50%.
As a matter of fact, researchers are telling us that they have known about the link between Vitamin D and a decreased cancer risk for years.
I have a question for them: why did it take them so much time to inform us?
Until recently, it was not known what levels of Vitamin D were required to decrease this risk.
What current research is now finding is that the optimum amount of Vitamin D necessary to reduce your risk of developing these cancers is 1000 IU. This is two and a half times the Recommended Daily Allowance of 400 IU set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine here in the U.S.
Many experts now believe that the current RDA of 400 IU for an adult is too low and does nothing more than help ward off chronic bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis.
ACcording to a recent publication in the American Journal of Public Health, after examining 63 separate studies, it was determined that the consumption of Vitamin D supplements could potentially save numerous lives annually and also reduce the incidence of thousands of cancer cases.
Professor Cedric Garland of the University of California in San Diego who led a major study on the relationship between Vitamin D and cancer risk said this, "A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed."
He supports the public health initiative of informing the public about Vitamin D.
What form of Vitamin D is Best?
Keep in mind that your body can produce its own Vitamin D by being directly exposed to sunlight. This parituclar type of Vitamin D is referred to as Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, which is considerd the most beneficial form of the vitamin.
Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is the synthetic varient utilized for fortifying milk, among other purposes. It is believed that twice the amount of D2 is required to achieve the same advantages as Vitamin D3.
Oily fish like salmon (3 ounces = 530 IU), sardines (3 ounces = 231 IU), and Mackerel (3 ounces = 214 IU) are additional sources of Vitamin D3.
Unfortunately not all of us can get the recquired amount of sunlight necessary to produce enough Vitamin D3.
Certain individuals have light complexion and must apply sunscreen when they go outside. Conversely, there are people with a darker complexion who have a lower production of Vitamin D3 because of their skin pigment.
Naturally, during the colder months, many of us tend to stay inside or wear warm clothing when venturing outdoors.
Furthermore, if you do not consume a significant amount of oily fish, you will not obtain 1000 IU from that source either.
Professor Garland warned about the dangers of overexposure to the sun, "Dark-skinned people, however, may need more exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, and some fair-skinned people shouldn't try to get any vitamin D from the sun. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount (of Vitamin D) is from food and a daily supplement."
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