Vitamin D Deficiency & Cancer – Is There a Link?
In the last couple of decades, an impressive amount of research has showcased the importance of vitamin D.
You may have heard that vitamin D is essential for your bones and teeth, gives your immune system a jumpstart, and even helps regulate insulin levels – but did you know that it is also linked to being cancer free?
Before I go into what science tells us, let’s quickly recap why you absolutely need this fat-soluble nutrient.
Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked to Chronic Disease
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Research states that growing evidence suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and chronic disease. This includes heart disease and cancer – the leading causes of death in the U.S!
In this study, vitamin D deficiency was considered to be less than or equal to 20 nanograms per milliliter. A blood test determines this measurement of density and it’s read as 20 ng/ml. One of the results of this study found the overall rate of vitamin D deficiency to be 41.6 %.
This means that almost half of the U.S. adult population has a vitamin D level that is cause for concern. Given this statistic, it’s very likely YOU have a vitamin D deficiency!
Too little vitamin D can create big health problems and take years off your life.
Some deficiency effects include:
- Decreased immunity
- Hormonal imbalances
- Poor absorption of nutrients
- Dysfunctional metabolism
- Increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
- Low energy
- Brittle bones
- Cognitive / mood changes
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
Despite how common vitamin D deficiency is, and how easily it can be solved, most traditional doctors do not screen their patients. Unless you are seeing a doctor who emphasizes nutrition (one that practices “functional medicine”), your deficiency could go undetected and untreated.
Every Part of Your Health is at Risk
The function of vitamin D in the body goes deep. I say this because vitamin D is a precursor to hormones. This means that it’s a building block that all bodily functions rely on.
Vitamin D is vital for:
- Calcium & phosphate balance – crucial for overall health
- Bone structure
- Physical and chemical bodily functions – This involves your entire body!
Cancer Patients Share a Common Denominator
When you consider all of the biological processes that vitamin D regulates, it really isn’t surprising that a cancer link has surfaced.
More recent research on this topic was published in Current Problems in Cancer, a journal dedicated to reporting respected cancer research.
This large-scale study on cancer patients found that 72% of them had a vitamin D deficiency! Now, remember the earlier study I reviewed found that about 40% of the general population was deficient? Well, this more recent study focusing on cancer patients has determined that the rate of deficiency is almost double in those with cancer.
But that’s not all these scientists discovered…
They found that vitamin D deficiency is highest among:
- Cancer patients
- Those with low sun exposure (or with high sunscreen use)
- Patients receiving post-cancer treatments
- People who have had gastrointestinal surgery
Doctors should most definitely be screening people that fall within these parameters!
What this all Means for YOUR Health
The research I noted used a pretty low measurement (20 ng/ml or less) to define a vitamin D deficiency. You should know that a healthy level of vitamin D should really be above 60 ng/ml and even closer to 85 for optimal health.
Given this knowledge, it may be more accurate to say about 80% of U.S. adults need more vitamin D!
There’s clearly a lot of reasons to make sure you get enough vitamin D. Chances are, if you’re not taking a daily D supplement, there’s room for improvement.
Tip: Always take vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 to ensure calcium goes where you need it most (bones/teeth), and stays away from where it’s harmful (your arteries).
My Vitamin D3 + K2 formula delivers the ideal ratio of these two vitamins for excellent health.
Interested in hearing more research? Check out my video that examines the link between vitamin D and chronic lung disease here.
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