Vitamin D Protects Against Breast Cancer, Autism, Hives, Improves MS Symptoms and Outcome, and Reduces Brain Decline

sunshine3TAKE VITAMIN D- Please!

If you don’t like vitamins, and will only take one, then take vitamin D.  Why? Well for one thing, 99% of those living in North America (and probably the Northern Hemisphere) are not at optimal levels (50-80 ng/dL). Most of us are deficient (<30 ng/dL) and I am finding more and more people with levels in the teens or single digits. Numerous studies show reduced cancer risk when vitamin D levels are at 50 ng/dl or higher and 50 is better than 30 which is way better than 20, etc.  At the severe levels of deficiency, children develop rickets, everyone can experience decreased bone mineralization and bone and muscle pain. Studies presented here show vitamin D protects against cancer [Study 1], autism [Study 2], and hives [Study 3]. Vitamin D improves MS (multiple sclerosis) symptoms [Study 4], and helps cognition and brain function, reducing Alzheimer’s[Study 5]. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the effects of pain from fibromyalgia [Study 6].  Deficiency has been shown to speed neurological decline[Study 7].

The five studies combined in this paper looking at breast cancer risk and survival shows that of the combined 4443 patients with breast cancer followed for 9 years, those with high levels (for this study an average of 30 ng/dL) had twice the survival rate of those with low levels (average 17 ng/dL). Previous work has shown that having a vitamin D level of 50 ng/dl is associated with a 50% reduction in breast cancer.  Those reductions hold true for most cancers. 

The article quotes that those who normally consume 4000 IU a day of vitamin D typically achieve levels of 50 ng/dL. My experience is that in some it may take 5,000-8,000 IU daily to maintain the optimal vitamin D levels of 50-80 ng/dL.  My own experience has been that 5000 IU keeps me right at 49-50 but if I start getting lazy and missing doses, my levels drop right back to the teens. 

You might wonder why we don’t get enough vitamin D from our diet.  Well, vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone and is not available from the diet. Milk has been fortified with vitamin D but you would have to drink gallons a day to absorb enough.  We naturally make vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin (skin without sunscreen that is).  How often are we getting direct sunlight on our skin without sunscreen?  I’m not suggesting you go out and get a sunburn, but a little color is probably healthy and taking a supplement of Vitamin D is essential for all but the lifeguards of the world and those who spend lots of time in the sun.

 

Dr. Paul

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