Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cancer Prevention...As Easy as Vitamin D?

What are you doing to effectively prevent cancer? A new study has emerged from Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska delivering proof that a clear link exists between Vitamin D supplementation and reducing different types of cancer such as colon, breast, and skin (as well as others). Supplementing your diet with Vitamin D alone can reduce the risk of developing cancer by as much as 77 percent. With all the research and funding spent on cancer research over the last 50 years, this should be very exciting news to anyone who has been touched by cancer. The findings of this research reveal how the benefits of this essential nutrient exceed the effectiveness of cancer drugs used by modern medicine.

In their study, scientists conducted testing on 1,179 post-menopausal women aged 55 and older. The first group were administered 1400-1500 mg daily of calcium and 1100 IU of Vitamin D. The second group was given a placebo. After four years had passed, those who had consistently taken calcium and vitamin D supplements showed a 60 percent decrease in cancers. This amount is nearly three times the recommended daily allowance by the USDA.

“Vitamin D is a critical tool in fighting cancer as well as many other diseases,” stated principal investigator Joan Lappe, Ph.D., R.N., Creighton professor of medicine and holder of the Criss/Beirne Endowed Chair in the School of Nursing.

During sunlight exposure, humans manufacture Vitamin D3. You only need about 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure (for instance, on a hot summer day) to create Vitamin D3. Because overexposure can also cause skin cancer, using caution about being in the sun too long is recommended. Sunscreens block the absorption of Vitamin D, so you should use only safe sunscreens and only after you have been in the sun longer than necessary to absorb the needed Vitamin D. Over the last 30 years, the public has been told by health experts to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen. But in light of studies such as the one above, experts are now beginning to connect the avoidance of sun and use of sunscreen as having a negative effective on people's ability to avoid development of diseases like cancer.

Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, wrote in a medical editorial: “Research on vitamin D should be continued to clearly elucidate the specific benefits and optimal intakes and levels of Vitamin D,” Dr. Giovannucci wrote further: “Nonetheless, based on the total body of evidence of health conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency, abetted with the results from this meta-analysis, a more proactive attitude to identify, prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency should be part of standard medical care." He also asserts,“from a broader public health perspective, the roles of moderate sun exposure, food fortification, with vitamin D and higher-dose vitamin D supplements for adults need to be debated.”

Here are the current recommendations for daily intake of Vitamin D:
  • 200 IU/d, birth-age 50
  • 400 IU/d, 50-70 years
  • 600 IU/d, 70 years and older
Based on these findings, intake of Vitamin D could safely exceed these amounts and be beneficial to health in warding off the development of chronic and fatal illness.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, before deciding to take pharmaceutical drugs such as chemotherapy and radiation, consider consulting with a health care practitioner who will support your interest in treating health problems naturally. Many practitioners overlook the nutritional component of health and its effects on our health.

If you have not been diagnosed with cancer, now is the time to make lifestyle changes that will prevent such illnesses from developing such as the following:
  • eliminate all processed foods
  • increase intake of raw foods and organic produce (5 -7 servings daily)
  • proper whole-foods based, organic nutrient supplementation (consult with a knowledgeable practitioner for guidance)
  • obtain daily sun exposure
  • obtain regular, moderate exercise (3- 4 times per week for a half an hour or more)
  • obtain adequate rest and stress relief
  • eat healthy fats such as grass-fed organic meats, raw dairy, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut, and grapeseed oil
  • cut back on grains, which contribute to inflammation and disease
  • eliminate refined sugars and alcoholic beverages
  • drink plenty of filtered water
  • take probiotics (daily intake should be at least 10 billion or more)
  • take fiber - find a good, natural, organic brand and avoid grocery store brands such as metamucil
  • make certain your calcium supplements are from calcium malate, aspartate, gluconate, or citrate (not calcium carbonate which is derived from limestone and is not absorbed by the body adequately)
  • take essential fatty acid supplementation such as Nordic Naturals, Sonnes, or SIBU

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