Important New Vitamin D Research
Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to certain cancers have
been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies,
and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than
2,500 laboratory studies, according to epidemiologist Cedric Garland,
DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San
Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Garlands findings only lend further credence to the
mountain of growing evidence that optimal levels of vitamin D
are essential for your health. Here are just a few highlights
into some of the most noteworthy findings:
* Some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could
be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide
were increased, according to previous research by Dr. Garland
and colleagues. And thats just counting the death toll for
two types of cancer.
* Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent
at least 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung,
ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.
* A large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled study on vitamin
D and cancer showed that vitamin D can cut overall cancer risk
by as much as 60 percent! This was such groundbreaking news that
the Canadian Cancer Society has actually begun endorsing the vitamin
as a cancer-prevention therapy.
* Light-skinned women who had high amounts of long-term sun
exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer
(cancer that spreads beyond your breast) as women with lower amounts
of regular sun exposure, according to a study in the American
Journal of Epidemiology.
* A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized
research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent
of cancer deaths -- which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000
in the United States -- could be prevented each year with higher
levels of vitamin D.
Now were starting to see more evidence that the type of
cancer in question may not be all that important, because vitamin
D appears to play a key role in the development-- and prevention
-- of ALL types of cancer!
Beyond cancer, researchers have pointed out that increasing levels
of vitamin D could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million
lives throughout the world each year!
Important Vitamin D Conference in Canada
If you didn't get a chance to attend the high level Canadian vitamin
D conference earlier this year, the important new papers shared
there are now posted online. By clicking the link below, you can
look at PDFs of crucial research by leading experts in the field,
D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective, by Cedric F.
Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr and Frank C. Garland
Studies Of Ultraviolet B, Vitamin D And Cancer Since 2000,
by William B. Grant and Sharif B. Mohr
D and Breast Cancer, by Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson
Vitamin D Drastically Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Low levels of vitamin D in your blood have long been correlated
with higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and a previous
study found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk
of death from heart disease by one-third.
Further, low levels of vitamin D are known to nearly double
the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.
Its also been suggested that the more sunlight you get,
the better your cardiovascular health will be, as there are a
number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production
through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart disease, such
* An increase in your body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
* The suppression of vascular calcificatio
* The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth
Vitamin D Can Boost Your Health All Around
Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, but rather the
only known substrate for a potent, pleiotropic (meaning it produces
multiple effects), repair and maintenance seco-steroid hormone
that serves multiple gene-regulatory functions in your body.
There are only 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been
shown to influence about 3,000 of them. Receptors that respond
to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell,
from your brain to your bones. And researchers keep finding health
benefits from vitamin D in virtually every area they look.
Can vitamin D fight colds and the flu? Yes!
Help prevent obesity? It sure can.
Tackle depression, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis? Yes, yes
It is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of any health care budget
could be saved with adequate vitamin D serum levels.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
The best way to optimize your vitamin D is through safe sun
exposure, or alternatively using a safe tanning bed. It is frequently
possible to generate about 20,000 units of vitamin D by exposing
your skin to the sun.
However, if you do not have access to regular sun exposure on
a large portion of your bare skin, a vitamin D3 supplement may
Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation
for dosage is 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight.
So for a child weighing 40 pounds, the recommended average dose
would be 1,400 IUs daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the
dose would be nearly 6,000 IUs.
However, its important to realize that vitamin D requirements
are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on
numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location,
and how much sunshine youre exposed to on a regular basis.
So, although these recommendations may put you closer to the
ballpark of what most people likely need, it is simply impossible
to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyones
The only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood
tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin
I recommend using Lab Corp in the U.S. If you get it done by
Quest, youll need to divide your result by 1.3 to get the
Getting the correct test is the first step in this process,
as there are TWO vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D,
The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also
called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall
D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated
with overall health.
Next, the normal 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is
between 20-56 ng/ml. As you can see in the chart below, this conventional
range is really a sign of deficiency, and is too broad to be ideal.
In fact, your vitamin D level should never be below 32 ng/ml,
and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency
states, increasing your risk of as many as 16 different cancers
and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid
arthritis, just to name a few.
The OPTIMAL value that youre looking for is 50-65 ng/ml.
This range applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults
These ranges are based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical
parts of the world, where they are receiving healthy sun exposures.
It seems more than reasonable to assume that these values are
in fact reflective of an optimal human requirement.
Keeping your level in this range, and even erring toward the higher
numbers in this range, is going to give you the most protective
benefit. And the way you maintain your levels within this range
is by getting tested regularly -- say two to four times a year
in the beginning, and adjusting your vitamin D intake accordingly.
Reference Sources 116
December 3, 2009