Higher blood levels of vitamin D may double survival rates of colorectal cancer patients, according to a new study.
People with the highest average levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had a cancer-specific mortality half that of people with the lowest average levels. What’s more, high levels of the vitamin were associated with an overall mortality level 40 percent lower than people with the lowest average levels.
Knowledge of the link between vitamin D intake and protection from cancer dates from the 1940’s, when Frank Apperly demonstrated a link between latitude and deaths from cancer, and suggested that sunlight gave “a relative cancer immunity”.
|Vitamin D Dose Recommendations|
|Below 5||35 units per pound per day|
|Age 5 - 10||2500 units|
|Pregnant Women||5000 units|
|WARNING: There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need 4-5 times the amount recommended above. Ideally your blood level of 25 OH D should be 60ng/ml.|
Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death in the United States. According to the latest data from the CDC, more than 141,400 Americans were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, and more than 53,000 died from the disease that same year.
Fortunately, it is also one of the few cancers that can be successfully treated if precancerous growths are found and removed early enough. Better yet, I believe colon cancer is completely preventable with certain lifestyle changes, of which vitamin D is a vital part.
More Evidence Showing the Cancer-Busting Power of Vitamin D
In this latest study, people with colon cancer who had the highest average levels of vitamin D had half the mortality rate of those with the lowest average levels, indicating that optimizing your vitamin D levels can improve your survival rate even if you already have the disease.
These findings add to a veritable mountain of studies that have found vitamin D to generate astounding powers of protection against a wide variety of cancers. In fact, there are well over 800 studies showing vitamin D’s effectiveness for cancer prevention and treatment!
One 2003 study in JAMA found that men who consumed higher amounts of vitamin D significantly reduced their risk of developing colon cancer.
Another study dating back to 1989 studied more than 25,000 people for eight years and discovered that people with vitamin D levels of 33-41 ng/ml, which is not even close to a great vitamin D level, reduced their risk of colon cancer by a whopping 80 percent!
Considering the fact that anything below 50 ng/ml is now believed to be sub-optimal, just imagine the worldwide impact on colon cancer (and other types of cancer) might be if everyone raised their vitamin D levels to the recommended 50-65 ng/ml.
For cancer treatment, the recommended level is now as high as 65-90 ng/ml.
I can’t stress enough how important I believe it is to optimize your vitamin D levels. It’s such a simple, inexpensive strategy, yet it can help prevent countless chronic ailments and deadly diseases.
For dosing guidelines, please read through last week’s article which addressed this in detail: “Vitamin D Experts Reveal the Truth About Vitamin D Dosing for Children and Adults.” I also recommend you review “Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency,” if you have not done so already.
How to Prevent Colon Cancer
Cancer can be a terrible disease, but please understand that you can easily avoid cancers of nearly every type by implementing some basic healthy lifestyle changes.
There are several dietary factors that appear to play a protective role, and as discussed above, one of the most important and simplest ones is to optimize your vitamin D levels. The best way to do that is by getting plenty of appropriate sunshine exposure on a regular basis, or by using a safe tanning bed.
If you’re still holding onto the myth that sun exposure equals deadly skin cancer, my book, Dark Deception, reveals why listening to that advice can literally kill you in more ways than one.
Other proven preventive measures for colon cancer include:
- Eat plenty of fresh raw vegetables, ideally based on your body's unique nutritional type
- Rebalance the ratio of omega-3 fats you consume by taking a high-quality fish oil or krill oil
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid processed meats
- Maintain normal iron levels
- Have your inflammation levels checked by having your C-reactive protein levels tested, and reduce them, if necessary
- Be wary of water soluble fiber as it may actually increase your risk of colon cancer. This was quite surprising to me, who was known as Dr. Fiber in medical school.
- Maintain ideal body weight