If you consider the fact that there’ll be over 1.5 million new cancer cases in the US only in 2016, apart from the already existing ones, you may stop to wonder why modern medicine still haven’t come up with a cure for this deadly disease. However, a recent scientific discovery may change our perspective as to why cancer appears in the first place.
According to latest statistical data, nearly 70% of American children and 75% adults are vitamin D deficient. This is rather alarming if you take in to consideration that this vitamin prevents almost every illness including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, our overall health is largely dependent on a sufficient daily intake of this nutrient.
What seems to be a real problem in relation to vitamin D and its link to cancer is that most people are unaware of their vitamin D deficiency. Although you can precisely determine your vitamin D levels through a blood test, there are also signs and symptoms your body is sending when you lack this vitamin, and these commonly include:
- Aching bones
- Depression – Serotonin is otherwise known as ‘the hormone of happiness’ and it determines a person’s mood. It closely depends on sunlight and increases and falls in accordance to sun exposure. Studies confirm that people with lower vitamin D levels are almost 11 times more at a risk of depression.
- Muscle weakness
- Severe asthma, particularly in children
- Cognitive impairment, especially in older adults
- Excessive sweating – Sweating that isn’t caused by physical activity or high temperature normally indicates low vitamin D levels.
- Chronic pain
Although it still hasn’t been scientifically proved, the results of several studies confirm that vitamin D is linked to cancer. For instance, a study carried out by Joan Lappe and Robert Heaney in 2007 included a group of menopausal women who were given vitamin D supplement in order to increase their levels to 40ng/ml. In 4 years the subjects of the study had 77% fewer chances of developing all types of cancer.
As found in a separate study conducted by Dr. Cedric Garland, vitamin D is directly linked to certain types of cancer, breast cancer above all. What Dr. Cedric Garland suggests is that breast cancer risk can be reduced by half when there’s sufficient supply of vitamin D in the body.
Although these studies don’t prove that vitamin D can cure or prevent cancer, they definitely indicate a serious link between the two. This may be due to the fact that many body functions depend on vitamin D. Or, to be more specific, the body’s absorption of calcium and healthy bone growth, as well as the function of the cardiovascular, autoimmune system, and other body systems depend on vitamin D.
Influenced by the latest discoveries of the link between vitamin D and proper body function, there have been changes regarding the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin. In fact, everyone aged 1-70 needs 600IU a day, whereas infants 0-12 months old need 1,000IU a day.
Obtaining this amount of vitamin D from food is highly recommended. Foods rich in this vitamin include fatty fish, milk, yogurt, tuna, mushrooms, orange juice etc. Spending enough time in the sun also matters. Oral supplements can also be used but only in the form of vitamin D3. They take longer to increase the body’s supply of vitamin D, sometimes as long as 2 to 3 months.
All in all, sufficient intake of vitamin D is not only important for a healthy bone and muscle function, but also for lower cancer risk.
Source: Healthy Food Team
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