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Vitamin D and Cancer

Plants metabolize sunlight to produce Vitamin D. Humans metabolize sunlight to produce vitamin D. Does it make sense that if we are not metabolizing sunlight because we are in an office during prime daylight hours that we would eat more plants? Think about that for a moment. Going vegan may not be the answer but surely eating more vegetables will help.

Dr. Frank and Cedric Garland from the University of California, San Diego first connected Vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of cancer. The doctors found that incidence of colon cancer was nearly three times higher in New York than in New Mexico. The brothers hypothesized that lack of sun exposure, resulting in a Vitamin D deficiency, played a role. (Murray, N.D., 2013).

Research now indicates that being deficient in Vitamin D increases the risk of many cancers, especially breast and colon. For example, a four-year, placebo-controlled study involving 1,179 postmenopausal women concluded that Vitamin D supplementation produced a dramatic 60% drop in the risk of developing any form of cancer.

Years ago when the h1n1 virus hit the scene and the public was rather panicked about contracting such a terrible flu I looked into flu shots. I was also working with a physician whose chosen field of expertise was human trial stage research. I asked if the current flu shot would do any good and she explained that it would not. Knowing she could not divulge what she was working on I pushed further and asked if she knew of someone working on the vaccine for this seemingly insidious flu bug. She again responded in the negative. Then she said something that I thought was rather unique. She explained that I should up my dose of Vitamin D and that I would fine if I did so. When I asked why this wasn’t being broadcast all over CNN her response was very matter of fact. There was no money in promoting Vitamin D.

At least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body are now thought to be regulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH}D), the active form of the vitamin, including several involved in calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning, (Mead, 2008). If this is true, I would argue that there is great money in promoting Vitamin D.

The National Cancer Institute’s fact sheet on colorectal cancer says the following: “Many studies in humans, but not all, suggest that higher intakes of vitamin D or higher levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer,” (National Cancer Institute, 2013). Yet again another reason there is money in promoting Vitamin D. After all, colorectal cancer is the number 2 cancer in the United States, (Centers for Disease Control, 2014).

Vitamin D is important. If you cannot get into the sun for an appropriate amount of time during the day, stop in for some rays at standing tanning facility. Standing is better than traditional lay-down beds from a hygiene perspective, but that is a topic for another article on another day. In the meantime, take a moment to smell the roses, outside!


Centers for Disease Control (2014, February 26). CDC - Basic Information About Colorectal Cancer. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Mead, M. N. (2008, April). Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Murray, N.D. , M. T. (2013, July 7). 7 Little-Known Benefits of Sunlight | Care2 Healthy Living. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

National Cancer Institute (2013, October 21). Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention - National Cancer Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

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