Recent studies have identified a superstar of breast cancer prevention – vitamin D

Women with higher levels of vitamin D have a reduced cancer risk of 50% or more for most cancers including breast. Vitamin D protects against cancer by helping the body regain control over genes that regulate cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (death of defective cells). These three types of processes: proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are key factors in the development of cancer. Without a sufficient level of vitamin D the expression of the genes that regulate these processes become defective and cancer can develop.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of vitamin D

Many studies demonstrate that women with higher levels of vitamin D have significantly lower rates of breast cancer.  In 2007, a large, double blind, placebo-controlled study showed after four years of vitamin D supplementation with calcium, a 60% decrease in all cancers was attained, compared to the placebo group.  On further analysis of the data, eliminating those diagnosed in the first year of the study (since they already had the cancer before taking vitamin D), the reductions were 77%.  These are absolutely astounding numbers!

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because our skin converts sunlight to vitamin D.  If you regularly sunbathe or use a tanning bed you may have enough vitamin D.  If not the only way to get an adequate amount is to take vitamin D supplements.  And the only way to know if you’re taking enough vitamin D is to be tested.  The blood test for vitamin D is 25, hydroxyl vitamin D.  An optimal level is 60 to 80.  Getting to those levels is likely to take 5,000 to 10,000 IU’s a day.  Some of us, me included, don’t absorb vitamin D well and need a special form called sublingual vitaminD3.  My favorite comes from Superior Source and can be found in nearly any health food store.  Bottom line, supplement with vitamin D and get your levels checked at least once a year.

Stay tuned for the next prevention tip!