Increasing daily vitamin D intake may help lower the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, and ovary by up to 50%, according to a recent review published in the American Journal of Public Health.1
After assessing 63 studies conducted over 40 years, Professor Cedric Garland and colleagues proposed that a daily dose of 1000 international units (IU) of vitamin D is necessary to maintain health.
Vitamin D deficiency may account for thousands of premature deaths due to cancer, they postulated, and the evidence is so overwhelming that public health authorities should take immediate action to urge people to boost their levels of vitamin D.1,2
Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in diverse conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D is crucial to skeletal health, helping to prevent rickets and osteoporosis, two diseases characterized by weak bones. Vitamin D’s health-promoting effects are attributed to its numerous actions in the body, including supporting calcium absorption, decreasing insulin resistance, regulating cell production, and modulating immune function.
While about 90% of the body’s supply of vitamin D is produced by the action of sunlight on the skin, the increasing use of sunscreen combined with limited time spent outdoors leaves many children and adults deficient in this crucial vitamin.
According to Garland, “we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast, and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public’s intake of vitamin D. Obtaining the necessary level of vitamin D from diet alone would be difficult and sun exposure carries a risk of triggering skin cancer. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement.”
—Elizabeth Wagner, ND