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Vitamin D and Your Health Cancer

Vitamin D and Cancer

This web site is dedicated to vitamin D and cancer. This is because exciting new research indicates that vitamin D—whether produced in the skin as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (from sunlight or sun lamps) or obtained from supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)—may help cancer patients. However, the research is far from complete. News headlines about vitamin D are appearing everywhere. For years, most of us wrongly assumed we'd be fine if we drank a little milk and took a multivitamin pill. Now, studies are reporting most of us are vitamin D deficient and those deficiencies may well be causing numerous illnesses, especially cancer.

Recent medical research indicates human daily requirements for vitamin D may be up to 10 times more than what is currently recommended. Proper vitamin D supplementation gives one a much better chance of preventing many major illnesses such as, but not limited to: Heart Disease, Hypertension, Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Depression, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obesity, Premenstrual Syndrome, Muscular Weakness, Fibromyalgia, Crohns Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Illness, and Cancer.

How Much Vitamin D?

How much vitamin D one should take daily to prevent cancer is still unknown. It is a question more complicated than it at first appears, for we get most of our vitamin D from the sun. Even a little sun will make some vitamin D, if it is the right time of day, the right latitude, and the right season of the year.

We get a little in our diet, almost all of it from milk or fish, but none of us get enough from our diet. We also get some in multivitamins, but multivitamins only contain 400 units, which is about 10% of the body's daily need. It appears to us that the best thing to do is be conservative and maintain natural vitamin D blood levels year-round by receiving sunlight in the summer and supplementation in the winter. In this case, "natural" means blood calcidiol levels similar to humans living in a natural relationship with the sun, such as farmers in Puerto Rico or lifeguards in the United States. Both groups have calcidiol levels above 50 ng/mL.

So the amount an individual would need to prevent cancer really depends on how much sunlight exposure they receive in terms of duration, the time of year and time of day, and the amount of skin exposed. Any vitamin D already being received through diet and supplementation should be considered as well.

How much vitamin D should one take if they have cancer? We don't know, as the research is far from complete. Remember, although current research indicates vitamin D to be an effective tool in the fight against cancer, it should be used in addition to regular chemotherapy or surgery. Oncologists and surgeons work miracles every day.

John Jacob Cannell MD Executive Director 2006.06.04

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.