In recent years, scientific and medical communities around the world have found important connections between Vitamin D and cancer. Specifically, it has been found that there is a direct correlation between the presence of cancer and low Vitamin D levels in the blood.
It has long been known that Vitamin D is a beneficial – and essential – component of a healthy body. It is necessary for digestion and for proper absorption of vital nutrients. It also affects the immune system, working as a trigger to activate disease-fighting T-cells. T-cells are antibodies that serve to combat invading forces in the body.
When these are not working as they should, a person can quickly become vulnerable to a whole slew of illnesses. Furthermore, Vitamin D is absolutely crucial in maintaining bone health.
Without enough Vitamin D present in the blood, calcium cannot be properly assimilated. This can result in rickets, osteoporosis, and other bone density problems. Vitamin D deficiency is often seen in people who are depressed, as well.
Vitamin D, technically, is not really a vitamin at all, but rather a hormone created by the body as a result of exposure to ultraviolet rays. In order to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, at least 40 percent of the body must be exposed.
The amount of time needed for proper uptake varies depending on the time of day (which affects the sun’s intensity) as well as skin color. Of course, the fairer the skin, the less time it takes.
There is no risk of getting too much Vitamin D from the sun because the body naturally quits making it once the bloodstream has developed significant levels. But, staying out in the sun without protection long enough to get a sunburn can increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, so moderation is key.
Doctors say that about 30 minutes of sun, twice per week is recommended to increase Vitamin D levels without ramping up the risk for skin cancer.
The link between cancer and sun-derived Vitamin D was discovered when researchers noticed a direct relationship between the types of cancers people were contracting and their geographical location.
Populations in sunny climates tend to have a lower rate of certain types of cancer than those who live in colder places where less sun exposure occurs.
Without adequate levels of Vitamin D present in the bloodstream, proper immune function is impossible and this may be part of the reason it has such a profound effect on cancer patients. Once the immune system is bolstered by administering Vitamin D, the body is better equipped to fight off all types of disease.
The Vitamin D and cancer connection seems to go beyond just incidental immune boosting qualities. At least one study has shown that cancer patients who start their treatment with higher blood-serum levels of Vitamin D have a much higher survival rate than patients who were even borderline-deficient.
Perhaps even more fascinating and exciting than its preventative qualities is that Vitamin D has been shown to actually disrupt and even eliminate cancerous cells. When Vitamin D compounds were applied directly to cancer cells, the cancer cells displayed immediate and significant slowing of growth – sometimes even dying – in response to the vitamin D exposure.
Some experts have even claimed that Vitamin D application is just as effective as some chemical-derived cancer treatment drugs, without the harsh side-effects.
Besides soaking up the sun, forms of Vitamin D can be obtained through dietary means (though most people can’t get all the D they need from food alone). Vitamin D-rich foods include eggs, liver, and certain types of fish like sardines and mackerel.
Most dietary Vitamin D in the modern age comes from enriched foods. A wide variety of staple foods – like milk and cereal – are fortified with Vitamin D not naturally found in the food itself.
Most people need to take a supplement in order to meet the body’s Vitamin D requirements, and this is especially true of cancer patients. Most experts recommend around 1,000 IU per day as a good dosage to keep the body within the safe range of Vitamin D blood serum levels.
As with any supplement or vitamin, it is not a good idea to exceed recommended dosages as adverse effects can occur.
Vitamin D and cancer prevention and treatment go hand-in-hand. Absolutely vital to the health of our bodies, Vitamin D therapy can provide a powerful measure of healing and reassurance to individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Those who are cancer-free would do well to adopt a Vitamin D regimen as a preventative measure.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is presented as information only. It is not intended to supplement or replace professional medical advice. If you suspect that you are suffering from cancer or any other illness, then you should see a qualified doctor as soon as possible. In case of medical emergency, contact your emergency services immediately.
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