Did you know that Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” may have a potential link to reducing the risk of cancer? In recent years, there has been growing interest in the role that Vitamin D plays in cancer prevention. In this blog post, we’ll explore the latest research and findings on Vitamin D and cancer, and discuss ways to incorporate this important nutrient into your daily routine.
Vitamin D Effects on Cancer
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining our overall health. One of the many benefits associated with Vitamin D is its potential to reduce the risk of cancer. Recent research has revealed that Vitamin D may have a significant impact on cancer development, treatment, and outcomes. This has led to increased interest in exploring the potential effects of Vitamin D on cancer.
Some researchers of BMC public health found out that there’s a negative relationship between UVB and colon cancer, and it is clearly noticeable in older people. These findings opened the path for further research to use screenings for the deficiency of Vitamin D to prevent cancer. Raphael Cuomo outlines the result of a study in this article.
What is Vitamin D:
Before we find out the link between Vitamin D and its effect on cancer, let us know what Vitamin D is. A group of fat-soluble prohormones is named Vitamin D. It helps the body absorb calcium and uses it along with phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. Skin exposure to sunlight helps make Vitamin D. Also, intake of food items rich in vitamin d helps reduce its deficiency in the human body. Deficiency in Vitamin D can cause the weakening of bones, called rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults.
The rate of colon cancer is lower in countries having more UVB sunlight:
When your skin is exposed to UVB sunshine, it uses it to produce Vitamin D. People living nearer to the equator gets more sunshine, they travel outside and almost the whole year, they are bathed in sunlight and if we look at those living farther to the equator, they only get a little amount of sunshine during the day only in the months of the summer season. So, consider yourself lucky in case of risk of cancer if you are living in a place where you receive an abundant supply of UVB sunshine.
How does Vitamin-D work as an anti-carcinogen?
Vitamin D has a wide range of cellular actions. Vitamin D is DINAMIT in cancer studies. DINAMIT is acronym for disjunction, initiation, natural selection, overgrowth, metastasis, involution, and transition. The presence of cadherin molecules between cells makes them communicate effectively with the other cells, and cadherin production depends upon Vitamin-D. Having lower levels of Vitamin D means lesser cadherin molecules, it can cause cells to divide abnormally which will eventually lead to cancer.
Unable to detect the effect of Vitamin-D as an anti-cancer component in younger people:
When people under 45 years of age were examined to see the effect of vitamin D on colorectal cancer, which is one of the most frequent cancers, it didn’t show any noticeable results. By considering it, researchers discovered that younger persons in low-UVB nations had cancer rates that were substantially identical to those in high-UVB countries. But as the effect was analyzed in people older than 45 years, the outcome was pretty impressive as there was a clear difference as those in low-UVB nations had much greater cancer rates than those in high-UVB countries.
But that doesn’t mean that you are not required to take Vitamin D when you are young. Younger or older, the presence of vitamin D in your body is going to protect you from the initiation of an abnormal division of cells.
Studies On Different Kinds of Cancer:
Other types of cancers for which data are available are colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Many studies have shown that with higher intake of Vitamin D or blood levels with high Vitamin D have a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies carried out by scientists on the correlation between breast cancer and Vitamin D have revealed that women with lower levels of Vitamin D have a higher risk of cancer. Vitamin D plays a role in controlling normal cell growth. And it may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a supplement vital for good bone growth and health.
The outcomes of many studies by scientists found that vitamin d does not seem to lower the risk of stomach, esophagus, and prostate cancer.
Experimental Evidences Vitamin D Mitigating the Risk of Cancer:
There are experiments conducted in labs and mice. The evidence suggests a possible association between Vitamin D and cancer risk. The cancer cells and tumors in mice were studied, which showed that Vitamin D conducts several activities that help slow or prevent cancer development. The results include other activities promoting cellular differentiation, stimulating cell death, decreasing cancer cell growth, and reducing tumor blood vessel formation. During some studies, researchers found that women with sufficient Vitamin D levels had a 21% lower breast cancer risk than women deficient in Vitamin D. The study also found a solid link in Hispanic women; who had sufficient Vitamin D levels had a 48% lower breast cancer risk.
A study on the link between Vitamin D and breast cancer carried out on nurses has some significant outcomes. It showed that taking about 3000 – 5000 units of Vitamin D per day reduced their risk of developing cancer by about fifty percent. A research outcome in a study in Canada shows the link between Vitamin D and breast cancer. The researcher divided the women into two groups. One group was of women with breast cancer, and the other did not. The researchers posed both groups with the same question to find out each one’s exposure to sunlight during their younger days. The results got tabulated, which shows that there is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that improvement in Vitamin D status can help reduce breast cancer risk.
Further studies have revealed some interesting facts.
- The chance of breast cancer coming back is high in women with low Vitamin D levels.
- But in women with healthy levels of Vitamin D, the chance for a comeback is minimal.
- Experiments on mice showed that too little Vitamin D helped breast cancer cells grow.
- Normal and healthy levels of Vitamin D help lower the risk of cancer, but there is no evidence that it can help prevent breast cancer.
After so many studies and clinical trials, scientists and researchers cannot yet ascertain how Vitamin D affects people with cancer.
How Much Vitamin D Should Cancer Patients Take?
The safe dosage the IOM committee recommends is a minimum daily intake of 600 IU/day. Indeed, there is no evidence yet to link Vitamin D deficiency or its low levels to cancer. However, it is found Vitamin D deficiency does cause other health problems like rickets in children and weak bones in adults.
Recommendations for people living farther to the equator:
Stop worrying if you don’t live nearer to the equator, there are several ways you can fix the deficiency of Vitamin D. First of all, start taking a diet rich in Vit-D such as fish and other dairy products, secondly, get exposure to sunlight as much as you can, go for a walk in the day i.e., before 4 pm. Moreover, you can take Vitamin-D supplements, this will help you a lot to improve the levels of Vit-D in your body.
There is a need to do a lot on the topic of the link between Vitamin D and cancer. So, the inference from several studies on the connection between Vitamin D and cancer is that a lower level of Vitamin D increases the odds of cancer risk, whereas healthy levels help lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
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