June 1, 2012
Everyone is deathly afraid of coming down with cancer, yet the very lifestyle that promotes cancer is the most popular. Cancer has been one of the leading causes of death in the United States, UK, and many other nations for years. Something is terribly wrong, as the war on cancer is failing miserably. The use of pharmaceutical drugs is not the answer, and the idea of prevention is seldom voiced. Luckily, making some dietary changes can reduce your cancer risk significantly. One example is showcased with research showing that a relationship between vitamin D and cancer exists; raising vitamin D levels can be more effective and much safer than dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and treatments. It costs a whole lot less as well.
Vitamin D and Cancer
Angus Dalgleish, a consultant medical oncologist residing in a city known as Tooting in south-west London, tests all of his patients for vitamin D levels and prescribes supplements for when the levels are low. Dalgleish noticed that patients at his clinic at St Georges suffering from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, almost all were vitamin D deficient. Not only does the medical oncologist prescribe vitamin D for his melanoma patients, but he also prescribes the vitamin for other patients who are stricken with other types of cancer.
“If we supplement people who are low they may do better than expected. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if vitamin D turns out to be more useful in improving outcomes in cases of early relapse than drugs costing £10,000 a year,” said Professor Dalgleish. “I spent a decade studying interferon for which the NHS paid £10,000 annually per patient for years for very little benefit. Vitamin D is much more likely to give a benefit in my view.”
Other research from the University of Leeds showed similar connections between vitamin D and cancer, specifically melanoma. Patients with the lowest vitamin D levels had the gloomiest outlook and were also 30 percent more likely to suffer from the disease in the future than those with higher vitamin D levels.
At Creighton University in Nebraska, Joan Lappe, a professor of medicine, also noticed a strong link between vitamin D and cancer. He took note of the vitamin d and cancer relationship when cancer patients who received vitamin d and calcium supplementation increased their survival rates significantly. Although the trial was originally meant to evaluate the effects of supplements on osteoporosis, this accidental finding led Lappe to examine the effects of supplements on cancer.
You May Not Be Getting the Vitamin D You Think You Are
Of course, none of this matters if you aren’t giving your body the necessary amount of vitamin D to work with. Foods fortified with vitamin d contain a synthetic, potentially harmful type of vitamin D called vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is both inferior and could be harmful, so you may not want to search for fortified foods like milk and cereal just yet. Instead of chomping down on fortified foods, consume foods that naturally possess vitamin D such as cod liver oil, eggs, and seafood such as salmon, oysters, catfish, sardines, or shrimp. However, be careful when consuming fish, as most fish is toxic due to contaminates and chemicals residing in the water.
The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but the amount of vitamin D produced from sun exposure can vary greatly. Getting sun exposure in the summer when the rays are very strong can produce a lot of vitamin D – as much as 10,000 IU’s in just 20-30 minutes (a bit longer for dark skin). But soaking up the rays in winter months will not produce the same amount as the sun is less powerful.
One last thing to remember is to avoid using sunscreen if possible. Not only does research show that sunscreen causes cancer, but lathering on sunscreen also compromises your body’s ability to produce vitamin D from UV rays.
This article first appeared on Natural Society.com.