Research has shown time and again the importance of active prevention when it comes to reducing the risk of cancer. Prevention can come in the form of exercise, eating a balanced diet full of whole foods, abstaining from substance abuse, and making sure the body is getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. According to Carole Baggerly, founder of GrassrootsHealth, up to 90% of normal breast cancer can be linked to vitamin D deficiency, and there are several recent studies to back up her claim.
The link between breast cancer and vitamin D
A meta-analysis published in the March issue of Anticancer Research found that patients diagnosed with breast cancer who had high levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive, compared to women with low levels of vitamin D.
More than 4,500 breast cancer patients were part of the analysis. The researchers studied the patients over a period of nine years. Study co-author Professor Cedric F. Garland explained: “As long as vitamin D receptors are present, tumor growth is prevented and the blood supply is prevented from increasing. Receptors for vitamin D are not lost until a tumor is very advanced. This is the reason for better survival in patients whose blood levels of vitamin D are high”.
The researchers urged clinicians to make vitamin D monitoring and optimization an important part of standard breast cancer care. They recommend that breast cancer patients should restore their vitamin D levels to a normal range of 30-80 ng / ml.
Vitamin D level of 50 ng / ml is associated with a 50% lower risk of breast cancer. The minimum level of protection is 40 ng / ml of vitamin D. This equates to between 1,000 IU and 8,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. This amount is much higher than the recommended daily allowance of 600 IU of vitamin D for adults.
Vitamin D from the sun vs. oral supplements
The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is to spend time outside every day. When you expose your skin to the sun, it synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate, a form of vitamin D that is soluble in water. Oral vitamin D3 supplements are not soluble in water. The water-soluble vitamin D3 from the sun can travel freely through the bloodstream, unlike the non-sulfated form that needs LDL cholesterol as a form of transport.
You can monitor your vitamin D levels by using a home kit or by visiting a healthcare professional. If you can't get enough sunlight and choose an oral vitamin D supplement, many experts agree that 35 IU of vitamin D per pound can be used to estimate your ideal dose.
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