As I often report, strong clinical evidence shows achieving higher vitamin D blood levels protects against a growing list of chronic diseases — including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and major mental illness. And now, a soon-to-be-published study links higher vitamin D blood levels to a lower risk of colon cancer.
Dr. David Johnson, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia (my birthplace 65 years ago), talked about this upcoming study on Medscape, an online journal for physicians. And he expressed dismay that more physicians don’t talk to their patients about supplementing with vitamin D.
Perhaps the physicians’ decision stems from the editorials that always seem to accompany the original research on vitamin D in scientific journals. These editorials always seem to warn that it’s still “too early” to recommend dietary supplementation with D.
But what are they waiting for? The science couldn’t be any clearer…
And furthermore, without supplementation, how are these patients supposed to achieve adequate vitamin D blood levels in the winter? After all, it’s the time of year when the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough in most parts of the U.S. to activate its natural production in the skin…
Vitamin D and colon cancer
I must admit, I really liked what Dr. Johnson had to say about vitamin D on Medscape.
Specifically, I liked that he urged his fellow physicians to think of vitamin D beyond its role in supporting bone health. In fact, he cited evidence that vitamin D profoundly helps:
- Balance the immune system
- Inhibit the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a substance in the body that causes inflammation
- Reduce inflammation in the microbiome — the environment in your GI tract where billions of healthy probiotic bacteria thrive
- Support GI function
These actions clearly must work together to lower colon cancer risk, as shown in the new clinical study that will be published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute later on this year.
Significant protection from higher D levels
For the new study, researchers pooled data from almost 6,000 colon cancer patients and over 7,000 controls without cancer. They defined “deficiency” as blood levels lower than 30 nanomoles per Liter (nmol/L) in the blood and “sufficiency” as blood levels in the range 50 to 63 nmol/L.
It turns out, participants with vitamin D levels in the sufficient range had a 19 percent reduction of colon cancer risk. And participants in the higher range of 88 to 100 nmol/L had a 27 percent risk reduction. The results essentially showed that when it comes to reducing colon cancer risk, the more vitamin D, the better.
Dr. Johnson also recommends that people with diverticulitis supplement with vitamin D, as this condition frequently occurs in people with low levels. (In my view, this connection relates to D’s balancing effect on the immune system and inflammation.)
So, what’s it all mean for you?
Well, for one, it’s a good reminder to pay attention to your vitamin D levels. Especially, at this time of year.
Just to recap, to boost your health and help prevent various forms of cancer, simply follow my top vitamin D recommendations:
1.) Ask your doctor for a 25(OH)D blood test. This blood test will tell you your vitamin D levels. I recommend keeping your levels between 50 nmol/L and 70 nmol/L.
2.) Get some healthy sun exposure for at least 15 minutes on your uncovered skin (without sunblock) from April to October. (Of course, now at this time of year, the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough to activate your skin’s natural production of vitamin D. Nevertheless, I still recommend spending some time outside daily for other benefits of sunlight, fresh air and Nature.)
3.) Supplement daily (and year-round) with 10,000 IU vitamin D3. This is perhaps the most important step of them all in building — or maintaining — your vitamin D levels.
So, as you begin new routines in 2019, consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your regimen. You can find it in easy-to-take liquid form, together with the potent marine carotenoid astaxanthin. For more information, simply type “astaxanthin” into the top right search bar of my website, (www.DrMicozzi.com.)
For more no-nonsense, all-natural secrets for a lifetime of cancer prevention and survival, check out my Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. Click here to learn more about this online learning tool or to sign up today.
“Vitamin D deficiency elevates colorectal cancer risk, Commentary,” Medscape (medscape.com) 11/15/2018