The benefits of vitamin D have been connected with an ability to help prevent cancer for years now. Now, new research is substantiating that high vitamin D levels greatly improve breast cancer survival rate.
Note: Vitamin D blood levels of at least 40 ng/mL or higher have been linked to cancer prevention and lower mortality risk.
In fact, a study published on November 10th, 2016 in JAMA Oncology by Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Kaiser Permanente concluded that breast cancer patients with the highest serum vitamin D levels were the most likely to survive the disease.
Optimal vitamin D levels prevent cancer, raise breast cancer survival rate
The study of well over 1.500 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer were measured regularly for their serum vitamin D blood levels over several years. The readings were measured against health results (secondary cancer, recurrence of breast cancer, and death.) The data was adjusted for possible contributing factors like race, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, weight, and tumor characteristics.
The results were clear: study participants with the highest blood levels of vitamin D showed a 30 percent higher breast cancer survival rate than those with the lowest. This effect was magnified in premenopausal women.
The evidence of the role of vitamin D in cancer outcomes and prevention keeps mounting. Other studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk for bladder cancer. A review presented on November 8, 2016 at the annual conference for the Society for Endocrinology in Brighton, England showed vitamin D deficiency to be directly connected with cancer development.
Vitamin D protects against numerous cancer types, contributes to longevity
In particular, bladder cancer recovery and survival rates are markedly improved in persons with higher blood serum vitamin D levels. It is believed that the presence of vitamin D helps to stimulate and support immune system response to abnormal cells that can lead to cancer.
Vitamin D is also associated with the activation of longevity genes.
A UC San Diego study combined data from Grassroots Health and Lappe to assess data related to around 1.300 women. Those with a vitamin D level of 40 ng/mL or higher showed a two-thirds lowered risk of cancer compared with women showing 20 ng/mL or less blood serum vitamin D levels.
This raises concerns, since the current recommended vitamin D level by the Institute of Medicine is 20 ng/mL. Clearly, this should be adjusted to at least double to reap the health-supporting benefits of vitamin D.
Sun exposure, supplementation and vitamin-D rich foods key to health
Vitamin D is best acquired through sun exposure, and in fact regular doses of the sun have been linked with a 70 percent lowered risk for breast cancer. In addition, vitamin D can be taken in supplemental form, and 5.000 to 10.000 IUs per day is often required for optimal blood serum levels. But, of course, the first step in all of this is to get tested – don’t guess. And, it’s always best to work with a qualified, healthcare provider – who understands the value of good nutrition.
Speaking about nutrition, the top vitamin D-rich foods are mushrooms, soy, tofu, eggs and other dairy foods. Naturally, when choosing any food – be careful of your food source to avoid unwanted exposure to pesticides, synthetic hormones or any other chemicals.
In addition to fighting and preventing cancer, healthy vitamin D levels can help you reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, hypertension and stroke by about 50 percent. It also boosts the immune system and supports calcium uptake for bone health.
So, the question for you today is: “are you getting enough vitamin D – daily?”
July 5, 2017