Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Wonder Vitamin: Vitamin D

Alex Comments:  Vitamin D is a key anticancer nutrient and whole lot more. Most of us know we need vitamin D for strong bones. Now it appears that this nutrient, or rather a lack of it, may play a role in asthma, cancer, depression, heart disease, diabetes, even weight gain.It is a rising star of nutritional supplements along with Omega 3 fats.
Every cancer patient should absolutely have their Vitamin D levels checked.  The studies on the use of Vitamin D3 to prevent cancer and prevent metastasis are impressive.  
Low vitamin D may worsen the prognosis for women with breast cancer. In one study, women deficient in vitamin D when they were diagnosed had a 94% greater chance of the cancer spreading. They also had a 73% greater chance of dying over the next 10 years. Other studies suggest that vitamin D may even offer protection against developing breast cancer.  Other cancers may benefit from Vitamin D as well. 
Serial testing of vitamin D levels is important. It takes a long time to raise levels and one can find themselves with vitamin D toxicity if supplementing at high levels over a long period of time.  Ideal levels of Vitamin D3 should be for a cancer patient between 70-100.  My issues with the slide show are that the recommended dosages are too low.  And they do not give recommendations about limited sun exposure without sunscreen which is important for Vitamin D production. 

Another reason to test is that Vitamin D absorption rates are tremendously variable from person to person not only based on skin color, sun exposure and latitude but also by genetic polymorphism.  In other words there is genetic variability in how well a person absorbs Vitamin D.  

If you are taking Vitamin D in dosages 2,000 IU's a day or higher it is important to take a supplement that combines Vitamin D with Vitamin K.  I sell a product in 2,00 and 5,000 IU dosages in my office that contains a balance of vitmin K.  
Increasing the amount of vitamin D, via supplementation, in the presence of inadequate levels of vitamin K, can increase the risk of calcium deposition in arteries and soft tissue and have a very negative effect on artery elasticity.
I personally take 5,000 IU's/ day.  Two years before my cancer diagnosis I had my D3 levels checked in September.  One would think that my D.  levels would be the highest they would be all year at that time.  Mine were in the low 20's at that time.  I am still working on getting it up to the 70's

To watch the slideshow click here.