Maybe you worship the sun, and you already know the benefits of getting your vitamin D. Provided naturally for many by absorbing it through their skin from the rays of our nearest star vitamin D has been heavily researched in the last decade, with much of the research revealing its numerous now-known benefits. But did you know that almost every cancer patient shows insufficient levels of vitamin D?
- “Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is obtained primarily through exposure of the skin to sunlight, but it can also be obtained from some foods and dietary supplements.
- Many studies in humans, but not all, suggest that higher intakes of vitamin D or higher levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
- Whether vitamin D is associated with reduced risks of other cancers, including breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, remains unclear.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) does not recommend for or against the use of vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of colorectal or any other type of cancer.”
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble prohormone (a term used to describe a Vitamin that doesn’t work as a hormone by itself, but that the body can turn into a hormone) which works with your body’s natural ability to fight disease and stay healthy.
While plants can make their own Vitamin D, humans can only absorb it via their skin when exposed to sunlight. Dietary versions of vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, fish liver oils, and eggs. Many of our foods are fortified with Vitamin D (like cereals and dairy), but it is best to get D in its natural form (as vitamin D3).
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends the following dosages of Vitamin D, and calcium, since it helps in the absorption of the vitamin, daily:
- For those between 12 months and 70 years of age (infant to elderly) you should get at least 15 micrograms a day (600 IU daily).
- For those older than 70, 800 IU are recommended daily.
- Infants should receive a minimum of 400 IU daily.
But these numbers are quite low for truly boosting health. Taking 1000 IU per 25 (some say 35) pounds of body weight is a recommended dosage. More on that here. Currently, most knowledgeable medical professionals consider 50 ng/ml to 65 ng/ml an acceptable normal zone using a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.
Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, and our cancer rates are high compared to many other countries around the globe. We currently have the 7th highest cancer rate in the world! Taking this simple vitamin may help to reduce the chances of getting cancer, along with a host of other preventative herbs and dietary changes that help to keep cells healthy and cancer-free.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.