Supplements

Vitamin D: The #1 Anti-Cancer Vitamin

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Members of the holistic health community have been talking about the connection between vitamin D and cancer prevention and survival for a long time.

And this year (2016), a landmark study in PLOS ONE found that women over 55 with blood concentrations of vitamin D higher than 40ng/ml, had a 67% lower risk of cancer compared women with levels lower than 20ng/ml.

“We have quantitated the ability of adequate amounts of vitamin D to prevent all types of invasive cancer combined, which had been terra incognita until publication of this paper,” said Cedric Garland, researcher and adjunct professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. [Emphasis mine] (Also they excluded skin cancer)

The researchers concluded that optimal levels for cancer prevention are between 40 and 60ng/ml, and that most cancers occur in people with vitamin D blood levels between 10 and 40ng/ml.

The study did not reveal whether supplementation or sun exposure was the best way to obtain vitamin D. However, the researchers concluded that vitamin D only starts protecting against cancer once you get you blood level up to 40 ng/ml. They noted that more health benefits were observed at even higher levels.

Another study from 2015 showed a 55% lower risk of colorectal cancer in women with vitamin D concentrations of 30ng/ml or higher compared to those lower than 18ng/ml.


Higher than 60ng/ml could be even better…

2005 study found that women with blood concentrations of vitamin D higher than 60ng/ml had an 83% reduction in breast cancer compared with those lower than 20ng/ml. I’ve personally heard many holistic doctors and experts recommend that cancer patients shoot for the 60-80 ng/ml range.

Even though most of these studies involved women, I think it’s safe to assume that men will also drive the same anti-cancer benefits from vitamin D

The Sunshine Vitamin (If you can get it)
Most experts agree that the best source of vitamin D is sunshine, and you may have seen recommendations like “get 5-30 minutes of sunshine several times per week on as much of your body as possible”. This is generally good advice, but it may not help you, because the amount of D3 you can get from the sun is determined by multiple factors: your age, your BMI, your your skin tone, your distance from the equator, the season of the year, and the weather.
If you live above 37 degrees north of the equator — in the U.S., that’s north of Washington, D.C. and north of the Utah/Arizona border — you probably aren’t getting enough UVB exposure to naturally produce adequate amounts of D3 year-round.

For example, a fair skinned person living in New York gets about 1,000 IU of D3 in about 4 minutes on a sunny day in July. In January however, it would take them ten times longer, about 40 minutes of sunshine. If it’s cloudy or smoggy, that can block as much as 60% of D3 producing UV rays from the sun.

Sunscreen with SPF 8 blocks vitamin D3 production by 95%. SPF 15 or more blocks vitamin D3 by 99%.

A person with dark skin needs about four times more sunshine to produce the same amount of D3 as a fair skinned person. Obese people have been found to have 50% less D3 in their blood than non-obese people. And a 70 year old makes about 75% less D3 than a 20 year old.

Basically you need an advanced degree in calculus to figure out how much vitamin D3 you can actually get from sunshine. This is why I take it in supplement form.

Action Steps
-Order blood work to check your vitamin D3 level. Make sure you ask for a vitamin D panel. Your doctor can order it, or you can get it done at a walk-in testing clinic if there is one in your area. Any Lab Test Now has 150+ locations, or try Walk-In Lab.

-Depending on your current D3 level and your target level, take 1,000-10,000 IU per day, then retest in 30 days and adjust accordingly. It may take a few retests to get your optimal daily dose dialed in.

What form to take?
There’s a lot of debate about which form of vitamin D supplementation is best. This study found that 1,000 of D3 oral spray, which is absorbed in your mouth, raised D3 blood levels about twice as high as 1,000 IU soft gel capsules. After 30 days, the subjects taking oral spray saw a D3 blood level increase of 8 points, the gelcap takers had an increase of only 4 points. So spray form appears to be better.

There are also claims that K2 is necessary to the absorption of D3, which may be true, but there is also evidence (like the study above) that it is not necessary to take a D3+K2 supplement. I haven’t been able to find a study comparing the absorption rate of D3 versus D3+K2. If you know of one, feel free to post a link to it in the comments section (please make sure it’s a real study not a bloggers opinion).

The highest absorbable form of D3 I’ve found thus far appears to be InMed Misol D3 micellized D3 spray, which is about 3x more absorbable than gel caps, and almost twice as high as sublingual spray. If you can’t get that brand, go with a sublingual spray.

Whatever form you take, if after a month, your D3 levels aren’t up, you either need to take more or take a different form.

BIG TAKEAWAY
The researchers in the landmark study (mentioned at the top of this post) concluded that the ideal vitamin D blood level for cancer prevention is between 40-60 ng/ml. So you definitely want to get it up into that range, but even higher might be better. Many holistic doctors and experts recommend that cancer patients shoot for the 60-80 ng/ml range.

Sources
NIH
Science Daily
Eureka Alert
New Hope
How Stuff Works

If you want to deep dive into the science of high dose vitamin and supplement therapies, tune in to That Vitamin Summit free online this week May 12-18, 2016. I’m one of the featured speakers along with Dr. Mercola, Andrew Saul, Jordan Rubin, Ty Bollinger, Sayer Ji, and many more. My talk will be on Essential Anti-Cancer Supplements every patient should consider. Don’t miss it!

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Comment rules: The comments section is a place to share your thoughts, ask questions, and connect with other people in this community. If you are here to attack and argue, don't bother. Your comment will be deleted.

  • Doc Tooley

    I just take D3 gel caps about 10,000 IU/day but I miss some days. I test and have been as high as 105, cut back and stay around 80. I know they dropped the normal high from 100 to 80 recently. I still like to be around 75-80 for optimal cancer prevention.

    • Chris Wark

      You’re in the zone Doc!

  • Rebecca

    With sun exposure, no one ever talks about how you can also wash it off. I’ve read it takes up to 48 hours to fully be absorbed and converted, so if you wash with soap you interfere with that process (adding the the already complicated equation). Is this a myth or legit?

    • Tom

      I read you should wait 6 hours before washing your skin. The rest of the 48 hours is the time the convertion takes.

  • Sue Waterworth

    This might shed some light on the K2 issue….
    “A lack of vitamin D seems to influence cardiovascular disease in several ways, and a key mechanism is its close relationship with K2.

    Vitamin D is required to make MGP, the most important protein to prevent artery calcification. Vitamin K2 activates the MGP made by vitamin D, so these nutrients team up to keep arteries free of calcium plaque.”

    Rheaume-Bleue, Kate (2013-06-25). Vitamin K2 And The Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (Kindle Locations 1543-1545). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.

    • Chris Wark

      Thank you Sue. Another thing to think about is vitamin D from the sun doesn’t include k2, and it works just fine. :)

  • Jeanette

    I am looking into taking a vitamin D3 and for my daughter who is 10. We both spend time out in the sunshine but I would like us to have a sufficient amount during the whole year really. How many IU of vitamin D3 per day is sufficient to be in the cancer prevention zone that you mentioned in your article or is that something that’s individual per person depending on age, weight, etc.? Thanks.

    • Chris Wark

      It’s individualized. You need to look at your bloodworm. If you are really low, 5-10k IU per day

  • Eileen

    The link you put in the article is out of stock. Do you have a next best choice for a breast cancer fighter?

  • Valorie Toth

    The over-seers of my cancer protocol have me on 5000 units daily now, and double that in winter.

    • Chris Wark

      Perfect!

  • Amy

    Hi Chris. I am 21-years-old and have had leukemia twice (when I was 4 and 9). I’ve recently just learned that I have it again, however this time it isn’t aggressive and the doctors have told me that it has been discovered early so can be treated, which is obviously great. However, they suggested chemo – which isn’t what I want. It was so painful last time, I don’t think I can go through it again. I was just wondering if you can explain to me how you did it wothout chemo, how long you had cancer for etc etc. I smoke atm, so will definitely be giving up, I’m vegetarian but am starting the raw vegan diet from tomorrow, I was eveb going to try cannabis oil (what are your thoughts on that?) I have a bit of money saved up for a house, but was going to spend that on private healthcare instead and get biological therapy (again, I’d love to know your thoughts on that). My email is alsmith2026@outlook.com or if you could get back to me on here, I’d really appreciate it ☺

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    This study was conducted by GrassrootsHealth. I was a member of the first 5 year study which was completed a couple of years ago. It is truly a grassroots organization that receives no government funding. It was initially formed to provide affordable testing for blood level of vitamin D. They encourage all members to test twice a year, spring and fall. Each tester must fill out a lengthy health questionnaire and this is how they compile their data. Tens of thousands of participants taking all sorts of doses. They also plot their data according to where you live and your lifestyle. The purchase price (I think now about $65) provides funding for the organization. America could cut their health costs in 1/2 by encouraging higher vitamin D levels.

  • jkelvin

    forever grateful.I am here to testify about my life.
    i was diagnose of thyroid cancer,stage 4 and my doctor told me that my chance of living depend on no medication but only almighty God. so I gave up started praying and I was patiently waiting for my death until one day my boss visited and told me about Mr Robert, how he helped his wife fight against cancer. so I decide to give it a try with the help of the email he gave me #ricksimpson98@gmail.com I purchase 60grams of cannabis oil from the medical centre. with the help of God after 3 months now, I am back to my normal life. I am very grateful and I will continue to testify about Roberts and save more life. contact email ricksimpson98@gmail.com.

  • Angela Bello

    forever grateful.I am here to testify about my life.
    i was diagnose of thyroid cancer,stage 4 and my doctor told me that my chance of living depend on no medication but only almighty God. so I gave up started praying and I was patiently waiting for my death until one day my boss visited and told me about Mr Robert, how he helped his wife fight against cancer. so I decide to give it a try with the help of the email he gave me #ricksimpson98@gmail.com I purchase 60grams of cannabis oil from the medical centre. with the help of God after 3 months now, I am back to my normal life. I am very grateful and I will continue to testify about Roberts and save more life. contact email ricksimpson98@gmail.com.

  • Benz K Rashford

    I want to specially thank Rick Simpson for saving my wife’s life with his healing oil here in the United State of America. My wife was diagnose with Breast Cancer 3 years ago, and ever since she have done a lot of Chemo and Radiation that have not helped her, but only damaged her immune system and render it weak and helpless until I saw a post on Facebook on how the cannabis oil had cured cancer patients, I quickly emailed the mail: ricksimpsoncancercure001@gmail.com for the procurement of this medication. And from that very moment we just have to give it a trier and he told us, that his oil will heal my wife cancer problem only if we can order for it online as soon as possible, and to my utmost surprise, we decided to give it a try and behold when we did exactly 48hours of ordering the medication came to our door step through the delivery agent and deliver it to us. Am now here to testify that my wife is no more a cancer patient, We have experience a total transformation in her health sector with Rick Simpson Cancer Cure service.
    Get your Hemp oil from : ricksimpsoncancercure001@gmail.com or +1 469-293-1943, +1 304-461-7144

  • Libby

    Do you have a good recommendation for what Vitamin D3 a child can take? My 2 1/2 year old son has leukemia, and I want a trusted brand.

  • Stacy

    I’ve read from Dr. McDougall that we’re looking at Vitamin D all wrong. When you take blood levels from healthy people, they aren’t high. So pushing high levels may not be what is the real story. He says that low Vitamin D levels are not the cause of disease, but the result….that D is used up when we’re stressed or ill. I was a big proponent of D for the past 10 years, but now I’m rethinking it.

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