I am certain that you are aware of the controversy regarding whether sunlight is good or bad for us. There have been reports in the media that sunshine can actually cause cancer, but the motive behind these allegations and propaganda is suspect, to say the least. On the other hand, if sunlight were a mainstream drug. It would probably make the cover of “Time” magazine, and be heralded as the greatest medical breakthrough in the history of modern medicine – it really is that powerful.
A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn’t take it, a drop so large – twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking – it almost looks like a typographical error.
WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE BETWEEN VITAMIN D AND CANCER?
Two new vitamin D studies using a sophisticated form of analysis called meta-analysis, in which data from multiple reports is combined, have revealed new prescriptions for possibly preventing up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The work was conducted by a core team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and colleagues from both coasts.
The breast cancer study, published online in the current issue of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, pooled dose-response data from two earlier studies – the Harvard Nurses Health Study and the St. George’s Hospital Study – and found that individuals with the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, had the lowest risk of breast cancer.
The researchers divided the 1,760 records of individuals in the two studies into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels of 25(OH)D (less than 13 nanograms per milliliter, or 13 ng/ml) to the highest (approximately 52 ng/ml). The data also included whether or not the individual had developed cancer.
“The data were very clear, showing that individuals in the group with the lowest blood levels had the highest rates of breast cancer, and the breast cancer rates dropped as the blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased,” said study co-author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H. “The serum level associated with a 50 percent reduction in risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily plus, when the weather permits, spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun.”
The colorectal cancer study, published online February 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is a meta-analysis of five studies that explored the association of blood levels of 25(OH)D with risk of colon cancer. All of the studies involved blood collected and tested for 25 (OH)D levels from healthy volunteer donors who were then followed for up to 25 years for development of colorectal cancer.
As with the breast cancer study, the dose-response data on a total of 1,448 individuals were put into order by serum 25(OH)D level and then divided into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels to the highest.
“Through this meta-analysis we found that raising the serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 34 ng/ml would reduce the incidence rates of colorectal cancer by half,” said co-author Edward D. Gorham, Ph.D. “We project a two-thirds reduction in incidence with serum levels of 46ng/ml, which corresponds to a daily intake of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. This would be best achieved with a combination of diet, supplements and 10 to 15 minutes per day in the sun.”
WHY ISN’T SUNLIGHT PROMOTED AS A NATURAL CURE?
The $10 million question of course is why aren’t researchers promoting cures that are available for free?
Well, anyone dabbling in medical politics will know that the medical community doesn’t really promote anything that it cannot invent and patent for financial gain. Given the large checkbooks of the pharmaceutical companies, it should not surprise us that they can control what press releases are published, and spend millions of dollars on advertising their drugs. When was the last time you saw a full-page advert for sunlight, being able to prevent or reverse cancer? Instead, the medical community uses the full-page advertisement for high-profit prescription drugs that have negative side effects and actually kill people.
If conventional medicine was not so interested in making profits from the drugs that they patents, then we would probably see much more information on how sunlight is a natural treatments and preventative for breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and even diseases like osteoporosis and depression. Instead, however, the profiteers actually scare people away from the healing power of sunlight and discredit any person, who dares to talk and publish scientific information on sunlight and vitamin D. it is a sad state of affairs!
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IS WIDESPREAD!
So how do we know that vitamin D deficiency is widespread amongst us? Well, statistics tell us the following:
40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.
Up to 80% of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient.
42% of African American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.
48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient.
Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.
32% of doctors and med school students are vitamin D deficient.
76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies in their unborn children, which predisposes them to type 1 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were deficient.
Dr. Michael Hollick has written a book well worth reading entitled: “The UV Advantage.” Amongst other things he say, “In Europe it’s estimated that 25% of women that die of breast cancer may not have died of breast cancer if they would have maintained adequate vitamin D levels throughout their life and have had some sun exposure.”
Amongst other things that Dr Hollick says in his book, here is a summary of other useful facts about sunlight and vitamin D:
1. Natural sunlight stimulates your skin to produce Vitamin D.
2. Glass windows in your home or car can block the ultraviolet rays that help generate vitamin D.
3. It is nearly impossible, without taking large amounts of specific foods, to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is really the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
5. The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.
6. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 – 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That’s why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men – it’s a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.
7. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
8. If you are chronically deficient in vitamin D this takes months to reverse.
9. Using sunscreens, even weak ones, can block your body’s ability to produce vitamin D by 95%. Three guesses why the sunscreen industry does not want you to know this?!
10. Additional exposure to sunlight will not generate too much vitamin D in your body as your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
11. If you press firmly on your sternum and it hurts, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D. deficiency.
12. Given that vitamin D is “activated” in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used, kidney and liver disease can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
HOW MUCH SUN EXPOSURE IS HEALTHY?
People should be careful to avoid excessive sun exposure, especially if it causes reddening of the skin. Only a small amount of sunlight is needed to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. It is produced in ideal quantities when the skin is exposed to ‘suberythemal’ amounts of UVR (i.e. low levels of UVR before the skin goes red). There is no extra benefit from the levels of sun exposure that cause deliberate tanning or sunburn and potentially increase the risk of skin cancer.
Past studies have shown that being outdoors for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a week in the summer months is sufficient. However, this will be dependent on skin type, on the age of the person and the amount of UVB radiation present. Once someone has produced enough vitamin D, any extra vitamin D is changed into inactive substances in the body. So prolonged sunlight exposure does not improve vitamin D levels but it does increase the risk of long-term skin damage.
Vitamin D can be stored in the body in fatty tissue, and will prevent most healthy individuals from becoming vitamin D deficient in the winter.
Those studying the vitamin say the hide-from-sunlight advice has amounted to the health equivalent of a foolish poker trade. Anyone practising sun avoidance has traded the benefit of a reduced risk of skin cancer — which is easy to detect and treat and seldom fatal — for an increased risk of the scary, high-body-count cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon, that appear linked to vitamin D shortages.