Vitamin D: The #1 Anti-Cancer Vitamin


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

In 2016, a landmark study published 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. (Note: they excluded skin cancer)

The researchers concluded that optimal levels for cancer prevention are between 40 and 60ng/ml, (100-150 nmol/L) 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.
A 2018 pooled analysis of 17 studies found that D levels between 40-50 ng/ml (75-100 nmol/L) was related to a statistically significant, substantially lower colorectal cancer risk in women.
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 10-20 minutes of sunshine per day 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 a D3 supplement year-round.
Note: There is a neat little smart phone app called “dminder”, which will tell you how much vitamin D you are absorbing based on your location, the weather, and personal factors mentioned above.

Action Steps
-Order blood work to check your vitamin D3 level. You can order a test kit from home at:

Your doctor can order a vitamin D panel, 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, you could take 1,000-10,000 IU per day, then retest in 30 days and adjust accordingly. It may take a few months to get your optimal daily dose dialed in.

What form to take?
I take liquid drops or gelcaps. I took a popular “Raw D3” supplement for nearly a year and found that I was still low in D3.

Magnesium is also critical for D3 absorption. Magnesium deficiency shuts down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway. Plant foods with high levels of magnesium are dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, avocados, and whole grains.

There are also claims that K2 is necessary to the absorption of D3, but the studies cited above demonstrate that it is not necessary to take a D3+K2 supplement because many of us get adequate K2 in our diets. 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 double blind study not a bloggers opinion.)

I take vitamin D3 gelcaps from Better Way Health. They are friends of mine. I love their products. And I am one of their affiliate partners. And I negotiated a discount for my readers! You can use the coupon code “chris” to get 10% off your order. Plus if you sign up for auto ship, you’ll save another 15%, for a total of 25% off every month. (I also take their Curcumin and Beta Glucans)

Whatever form you take of D3 you take, if after a month, your D3 levels aren’t up, you may need to take more, or take a different form, or supplement with magnesium to increase absorption.

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, in 60-80 ng/ml range, might be even better.

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Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally, published by Hay House, is a National Bestseller as ranked by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly! Get it on Amazon here, or anywhere books are sold.

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