Could it really be possible? Brand new published research suggests a big YES! A large 4 year clinical trial showed a 77 percent reduction in incidence of all combined invasive cancers, including breast cancer when compared to women given a placebo. Another study published in Anticancer Research (March 2014) by Mohr, et al. showed that patients with breast cancer who had higher levels of this mystery molecule in their blood were twice as likely to survive the disease. So why is it such a big mystery? Because we have been shrouding ourselves from it! It’s the almighty sunshine-vitamin D to be exact. And of course the most useable form is directly from the sun through your skin. According to Dr. James P. Meschino, DC, MS of Nutritional and Anti-Ageing Research, these clinical analysts looked at data from five large breast cancer studies involving 4,443 breast cancer patients with a follow up period of about nine years. They found that women with an average vitamin D blood level of only 30 ng/ml had survival rates double that of women with average vitamin D blood levels of 17 ng/ml or less. And to top it off, the average vitamin D blood level in patients who have breast cancer in the United States is 17 ng/ml. Hmmm, interesting to say the least.
How does this amazing molecule work? Vitamin D is now known to reduce cancer development and progression in 3 main ways. First, adequate levels help to slow down the rate of cell division, in turn reducing the likelihood of these rapidly growing cancer cells. Second, it helps to mature newly formed cells, reducing transformation to a cancerous state. Third, it enhances the immune system to a great extent, so that your body’s own ‘killer cells’ can seek and destroy before any of them start to get out of control.
What should we be doing to get our levels to an optimal range? Well, I may be going out on a limb here but, GET YOUR REAR END IN THE SUN! Of course, listen to your skin and know your limits (burn is bad, slight pinking is good). We seem to be afraid of that gorgeous golden glowing star, which is too bad because it does us so much greatness. Slathering on sun screen is not only horrid for your skin and organs (as it sends millions of toxic chemicals directly into your bloodstream without being filtered by the liver), but it also stops the formation of vitamin D for your body. So yes, the absolute best form of easily assimilated vitamin D comes directly from the sun. The next best thing is a high quality liquid supplement that you apply topically to your skin and take internally under the tongue (a great average dosage is 4000 IUs daily). As a very important side note, if you don’t have a good build up of essential fatty acids in your body, you won’t be able to utilize the D coming from the sun or a supplement. You’ll also be more likely to burn your skin in the sun. So make sure you’re getting your fish or plant based omegas, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, etc at least a couple times daily!
Although it is pretty hard to overdose on vitamin D, especially in the northern climates, it is still advised to have your levels checked so you know where you are and where you need to be. In my practice, we strive for levels just above 80 ng/ml. It seems to be the ‘zone’ to make it all the way through the winter without a single illness as well, which is a welcome plus. So this summer, do your entire body a favor and get some good old fashioned healthy SUNSHINE!