Mainstream medical researchers keep doing a land-office business in new studies on the health benefits of vitamin D. But for some reason, they continue to act surprised when D shows dramatic effects beyond the old, well-known requirement for bone health.
If these researchers really understood how vitamin D essentially functions as a hormone in every cell in the body, they would not be so surprised at finding its many other health benefits. In fact, a large new study shows that D can address the single biggest shortcoming of mainstream medical approaches and treatments.
I’m talking about solving the problem of lung cancer—the No. 1 cancer killer in America.
Real answers—beyond tobacco
I’ve reported before how real research on biology, prevention, screening, and treatment for lung cancer was stalled for decades in favor of pursuing the government’s politically correct campaign against tobacco. Government bureaucrats touted smoking cessation as the (only) solution for stopping all lung cancers. The result of this misguided government initiative? Today, 60% of lung cancer victims are former smokers. And another 18% have never smoked at all.
That’s 78% who already did the only thing the government has to offer— and got lung cancer anyway.
So what are these victims supposed to do?
Well, fortunately after decades of neglect, lung cancer screening and early detection is a reality again. As I wrote in the December 2014 issue of Insiders’ Cures, there is a safe and effective new MRI lung-cancer screening test that the government has finally approved. I recommend it for anyone—especially former smokers— who might be concerned they’re still at risk for this deadly disease.
And even better, there’s a simple way you can substantially reduce your chances of ever getting lung cancer.
All you have to do is take my recommended dose of 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day.
How the sunshine vitamin fights lung and other cancers
A new analysis of 12 studies involving nearly 300,000 men and women found that people who had the highest levels of vitamin D in their blood had 17% less risk of lung cancer compared to people with the lowest levels of D.
The researchers believe that vitamin D may not only help keep people from developing lung cancer, but it could also help prevent cancer cell metastasis and spread in those who already have lung cancer.
And that’s not the only type of cancer this amazing vitamin can fight.
Another new study demonstrates that pancreatic cancer may well be linked to insufficient vitamin D.
The researchers analyzed the incidence of this often-fatal cancer in 107 countries. They found that people who live in areas with increased cloud cover and at higher latitudes (further away from equatorial sun) are six times more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Why? Well, the more sunshine you can soak up every day, the more likely your body is to produce sufficient levels of vitamin D.
Interestingly, multiple sclerosis has also been observed to be more common in areas where there is less sun. I have long suspected that lack of vitamin D is a key factor in this disease as well.
D can help ensure a smooth and successful surgery
While I was analyzing the new vitamin D cancer studies, another research review caught my eye.
Scientists evaluated 31 studies on a total of 16,195 patients. They found that in a whopping 84% of the studies, people who had low levels of vitamin D in their blood had at least one adverse outcome after having major surgery.
For instance, in one of the studies the researchers reviewed, people who had pre-surgery vitamin D levels lower than 30 ng/ml were three to four times more likely to get an infection of their incision sites while they were in the hospital. (For optimum health—whether or not you’re having surgery—I recommend the D levels in your blood be at least 30 ng/ml).
Another study reported that people who had a kidney transplant had an 8% higher risk of cancer for each ngl/mL decrease in their vitamin D level. And yet another study found that lung transplant patients with low D levels at the time of surgery, and for one year afterwards, had a death rate nearly five times higher compared to people with normal vitamin D status.
The authors of this study noted today’s widespread deficiencies of D—due to the perfect storm of poor diet, lack of supplementation, and avid sun avoidance. They recommended that anyone about to have surgery boost their vitamin D intake.
So why are healthy D levels so important when you go under the knife? Well, surgery is a major stress on the body. And the more vitamin D you have circulating in your blood, the better your body is equipped to meet the demands of trauma and the requirements for healing.
Can you overdose on vitamin D?
Despite all of the evidence, some mainstream doctors and researchers cling to the myth that vitamin D may be toxic since it is fat soluble. The argument is that, unlike vitamins B and C, which can be excreted in your urine, if you have more D than your body can use, too much could theoretically build up to toxic levels in your body’s fat and liver stores.
This concern is laughable given the actual data, and compared to the toxicities of the modern drugs that are doled out. And biologically, the reason the body stores vitamin D because it needs it!
Hopefully a big new Mayo Clinic study has finally put the mythical concerns about vitamin D safety to rest once and for all.
The researchers analyzed 20,308 vitamin D tests collected from patients over a 10-year period. Eight percent of those people had D levels that were considered high—over 50 ng/ml. Less than 1% had even higher levels over 80 ng/ml.
Too much vitamin D in your blood can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia, or high blood calcium. Hypercalcemia has been associated with some cardiovascular diseases. (Which is one of the reasons why I recommend you never take calcium supplements. But rather get optimal levels of this vital mineral from foods like butter, eggs, meat, and seafood.)
But the Mayo Clinic researchers found there was no increased risk of hypercalcemia in any of the study participants—even the ones with high D levels.
In fact, out of the nearly 2,000 people with elevated vitamin D, only four of them had temporary, mildly elevated calcium levels within three months before and after testing.
This study just reinforces that vitamin D toxicity is one of the rarest of all observed medical conditions—and typically due to intentional intake of extremely high doses of vitamin D.
So how much D should you take? I recommend 10,000 IU of D3 a day, especially this time of year.
If you live north of the latitude of Atlanta in the east, or Southern California in the west, the sun does not get strong enough to activate vitamin D synthesis in your body each year from November to March. So while I recommend supplementing with D3 year-round, it’s particularly crucial not to miss your daily dose of D during these winter months.
“Vitamin D and lung cancer risk: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis.” Cell Physiol Biochem. 2015;36(1):299-305.
“Cloud cover-adjusted ultraviolet B irradiance and pancreatic cancer incidence in 172 countries.” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Apr 9.
“Vitamin D status and surgical outcomes: a systematic review.” Patient Safety in Surgery 2015, 9:14.
“Changing Incidence of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Values Above 50 ng/mL: A 10-Year Population-Based Study.” Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 May;90(5):577-86.