A growing body of research links the prevalence of cancer with vitamin D deficiency. We’ve seen it connected to breast and colon cancer, as well as melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer), but a new study out of Spain says people who are deficient in what’s known as the “sunshine vitamin” are also at a higher risk of bladder cancer.
According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, people with the lowest levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 were 1.83 times more likely to have bladder cancer.
In the United States, bladder accounts for 15,000 deaths annually, with over 73,000 new cases each and every year. In Spain, where the study was conducted, bladder cancer rates are some of the highest in the world.
The researchers looked at blood samples from 1,125 patients with bladder cancer from 18 different Spanish hospitals. After accounting for those with the most aggressive forms of the cancer, they found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D to be 5.94 times more likely to have the disease.
“These results indicate that high levels of the vitamin are associated with protection from the illness or, similarly, that low levels are associated with a higher risk of suffering from it,” said lead researcher Dr. Nuria Malats.
So, what’s the best way to increase vitamin D production in your body? By getting plenty of sunshine. This doesn’t mean cooking your flesh as you bathe in a bikini (though that may not be as risky as we are being led to believe). Instead, getting as many as 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D can happen with only 20-30 minutes of summer sun. While the sunshine isn’t as good at producing vitamin D in the winter, it’s better than not getting any at all.
Also, when it comes to vitamin D in food, steer clear of those that are “vitamin d fortified”. These foods, usually including cereals and milk, use a form of the vitamin known as vitamin D2. It is inferior to D3 and is even potentially harmful. Foods that contain vitamin D naturally include eggs, cod liver oil, salmon, oysters, sardines, and shrimp.
Be sure to click the next link for more information on cancer and the Vitamin D connection.