By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
planetc1.com staff writer
According to a recent study, women with early-stage breast cancer were found to have significantly higher levels of vitamin D in the blood when compared to women with cancer that had spread to other parts of their body.
Researchers believe that a lack of vitamin D may somehow play a role in the spreading of cancer throughout the body. The findings were based on a small study and experts would like to see larger, randomized clinically controlled trials to gather more information.
There have been previous research studies that suggest vitamin D can play a role in cancer prevention. Getting sunlight is important to our health because it allows our skin to synthesize vitamin D. Some research and epidemiological reviews suggest that the incidence of breast cancer is lower in regions that have greater amounts of sunlight.
According to some news reports, vitamin D deficiency has been named among one of the leading causes of breast cancer with the majority of people in Western societies showing a deficiency for vitamin D in their bodies.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food and can also be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D because UV rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
Vitamin D exists in several forms, each with a different level of activity. Calciferol is the most active form of vitamin D. Other forms are relatively inactive in the body. The liver and kidney help convert vitamin D to its active hormone form. Once vitamin D is produced in the skin or consumed in food, it requires chemical conversion in the liver and kidney to form the physiologically active form of vitamin D. Active vitamin D functions as a hormone because it sends a message to the intestines to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. By promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D also works in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones to promote bone mineralization. Without vitamin D, bones can become thin and/or brittle.
Research also suggests that vitamin D may help maintain a healthy immune system and help regulate cell growth and differentiation, the process that determines what a cell is to become.
Some National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggested dietary sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, and cheese.
According to the NIH, sun exposure is perhaps the most important source of vitamin D because exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their vitamin D requirement. UV rays from the sun trigger vitamin D synthesis in skin. Season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis. For example, sunlight exposure from November through February in Boston, Massachusetts is insufficient to produce significant vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
From a lifestyle point of view, all women (and men) should be eating a balanced and nutritional diet and should be getting some exposure to sunlight, which is important for vitamin D synthesis. Adopting a lifestyle that is healthy and proactive is a great way to go. Get some sun, get some good food, and get adjusted by your chiropractor on a regular basis.
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Here are some links to related articles on the topic of breast cancer, breast feeding, and breast health…
Breast Cancer Prevention vs. War
(Breast cancer tops the list of cancer deaths among women in this country, annually claiming the lives of more than 40,000 women. The incidence of cancer overall has climbed to such epidemic proportions during recent decades that a man living in the United States now has a fifty-fifty chance he will have cancer during his lifetime. For a woman, the chance is 1 in 3.)
Breast-Feeding & Good Health
(According to a recent Yale University study, breast-feeding a child for one year can reduce a mother’s risk of developing breast cancer by about 50 percent compared with women who never breast feed.)
Breasts – Educated and Innate
(Mammograms are a huge business, aggressively marketed; they are emotionally linked to everything female. This past Mother’s Day, I received many offers to send my loved ones a mammogram in lieu of flowers. Mammograms are also a huge controversy, and more and more the press is reporting on this and new companies are sprouting up created off their limitations.)
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