Numerous researches have shown the importance of prevention especially when it comes to cancer. By implementing certain behaviors and lifestyle modifications you can lower your risk of this malevolent disease.
Carole Baggerly, who is a founder of GrassrootsHealth says that incredible 90% of the ordinary breast cancer is caused by vitamin D deficiency. Her claim is supported by number of recent studies.
Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble prohormones. It helps the body to use phosphorus and calcium which are important for the bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency may result in weak bones, a condition known as osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
Only two forms of vitamin D are important for the human body: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), found in plants and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), naturally produced by our bodies when we are exposed to direct sunlight.
What is the correlation between vitamin D and breast cancer?
According to a meta-analysis which was published in 2014, patients who had breast cancer and high levels of vitamin D had higher chances of survival in comparison to those with low vitamin D levels.
More than 4.5000 patients diagnosed with breast cancer were part of this analysis. Researchers studied the patients over a period of 9 years.
Professor Cedric F. Garland, who is the co-author of the study, explained that the presence of vitamin D receptors prevents the further growth of the tumor. That is why patients with high levels of vitamin D have greater chances of surviving.
The researchers also urged doctors to make vitamin D optimization and monitoring as an essential part of the conventional breast cancer care. They also recommend that patients who suffer from breast cancer optimize their levels of vitamin D to a normal range (30-80ng/ml).
A study done in 2011 revealed that 50ng/ml of vitamin D level is associated with a 50 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
It was also concluded that 40ng/ml is considered as a protective level of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 1.000-8.000 IUs per day. This number is even higher than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for adults (600 IUs).
Oral supplements or vitamin D from the sun
The best way to increase the levels of vitamin D is to spend more time outdoors. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it starts synthesizing vitamin D3 sulfate- a water-soluble form of vitamin D which travels freely throughout your bloodstream.
Short periods of direct exposure to the sun, for example 15 minutes three times weekly are more than enough.
However, this can have negative effects too since the direct sun exposure may increase the risk of skin cancer. Therefore make sure you use sun protection, especially if you are exposed to moderate or high ultraviolet radiation.
The oral supplements, on the other hand are not water-soluble and they need LDL cholesterol for transport. But if you take them, make sure you first check your vitamin D serum levels.
If your levels are not very low and you take supplements, it may cause toxicity. Therefore it is a must to consult your doctor first.
You can also consume foods rich in vitamin D such as herring, oysters, salmon, sardines, catfish and milk.