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Vitamin D seems to be the discovery of the 21st century. When first discovered, it became the magic bullet for conquering Ricketts and other bone-based dysfunctions.

Current research is finding this life-saving vitamin to be the missing link in health issues once considered genetic, or occurring as a consequence of fate.

What is vitamin D and how do we get it?
Vitamin D is produced in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight; we can also get it through diet. Vitamin D is actually a hormone which plays a role in many functions in the body. Once active in the body, vitamin D (or calcitriol) attaches to a protein on every cell called the vitamin-D receptor.

Once vitamin D attaches to cells, it regulates bone health, cell growth, nerve and muscle function, immune function, and the reduction of inflammation. Calcitriol also regulates genes that control cell proliferation, differentiation, and the programmed cell death that affects all cells, including cancer cells. This is called apoptosis.

Facts found in the journal Nature Reviews and Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry found that calcitriol—the active form of vitamin D—had multiple effects on cancer. Calcitriol was shown to inhibit abnormal cellular growth and decrease the spread of cancer.

It also turned on a program in the cancer cells that causes them to commit suicide (apoptosis). Last, in order for cancer cells and tumors to survive, they must create their own blood supply to provide nutrients and sugar.

This process is known as angiogenesis. Calcitriol was shown to inhibit angiogenesis, thus starving cancer of its lifeline of nutrients.

Calcitriol was found to regulate the estrogen receptor on breast cancer cells, reducing the effects of estrogen on those cells. Vitamin D was also found to shut down the genes responsible for creating the enzyme aromatase.

Aromatase converts hormones like testosterone into estrogen, thereby increasing unwanted estrogen levels.

Most of these studies have reported that higher blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower rates of breast, colon, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers.

Evidence found in the journal Annals of Epidemiology was alarming.

It was projected that raising the year-round levels of vitamin D from 30 ng/ml to 40 to 60 ng/ml in the blood would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, in addition to preventing three-fourths of the deaths from those cancers.

This is unheard of. By raising the levels of vitamin D beyond the “standards of care,” thousands of people would be spared the emotional and physical devastation of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and their lives could be saved.

Why don’t we hear this during the month of October?

Z note: The therapeutic range to be in is 50-80ng/ml in the blood.

References:

Deeb K, Trump D, Johnson C. Vitamin D Signaling Pathways in Cancer: Potential for Anticancer Therapeutics. Nature Reviews, September 2007, 7:684.

Garland C, Gorham E, Mohr S, et al., Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective. Annals of Epidemiology, July 2009; 19; 7:468–483.

Chiang KC, Chen TC. The anti-cancer actions of vitamin D. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2013, 13, 126-139

Steroids. 2012;77(11):1107-1112