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Research suggests that vitamin D may reduce cancer risk.


Although research shows that this bone-building vitamin may reduce cancer risk, many older individuals are still deficient.

Vitamin A, B, and C  are important vitamins. Is it possible to get enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it is stored in fatty tissues and the liver when it isn't used. Its primary function is to aid in the absorption of bone-building calcium by the body. Vitamin D, on the other hand, may have an important function in health.

Vitamin D may lessen the risk of several malignancies by reducing chronic inflammation and boosting immunity.

While further study is needed, numerous studies have revealed a relationship between vitamin D levels in the blood and the risk of cancer.

For example, one research published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute in February 2019 looked at the vitamin D levels of 12,000 individuals. It discovered that individuals with insufficient levels, defined as fewer than 12 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL), had a higher risk of colorectal cancer than those with levels between 20 and 25 ng/mL, the lower range of what is considered appropriate for bone health. People with levels of 30 to 40 ng/mL, which are more than what is considered adequate, saw an additional advantage. People with more than 40 ng/mL showed no further benefit.

Vitamin D may also assist those who develop cancer. The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial, or VITAL, published in 2020 revealed that healthy adults who took a daily vitamin D supplement of 2,000 international units (IU) had no lower cancer risks overall than those who received a placebo. Those who took the supplements, on the other hand, had a 17 per cent reduced probability of being diagnosed with metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads from its original site to other areas of the body) or dying from their illness than those who took a placebo.

While the VITAL research was a randomized trial, which might indicate cause and effect, the previous study and others like it merely show a correlation, so it's unclear what, if any, influence vitamin D has on cancer prevention and prognosis. Nonetheless, it indicates that persons with vitamin D deficiency have a greater cancer risk, and larger doses than the current recommendations may benefit.

Adult men up to the age of 70 should consume 600 IU daily, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025. Those above the age of 71 should take 800 IU. However, the standards clearly state that many individuals do not receive these bare minimums. The issue might be due to vitamin D's scarcity.

Food and the sun

Up in the sky is the simplest way to acquire vitamin D. When the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays enter the skin, the body produces vitamin D. However, where you live, the season, the time of day, and how much skin you expose all have a role in how much vitamin D you generate.

However, to avoid skin cancer, many older individuals use sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and protective clothes to shield themselves from dangerous rays. (Despite the fact that SPF 30 or 50 sunscreens only block 97 per cent to 98 per cent of UVB radiation, you still synthesize vitamin D.) If you apply too little or don't fully cover all exposed skin, you'll create even more, but it's still a little quantity.)

Vitamin D is found in only a few foods. Fish that are strong in vitamin D, such as trout and salmon, are the greatest sources. A 3-ounce portion of either provides a healthy dose of 570 to 645 IU. Breakfast with cold cereal is maybe the finest source of vitamin D. (see "Champion D breakfast").

A typical cereal breakfast is a fantastic method to obtain your daily vitamin D. Depending on the brand, a cup of fortified cereal (ideally whole grain and low sugar) contains around 80 IU of vitamin D. Fortified cow's milk has around 120 IU per cup, whereas fortified plant-based milk including soy, almond, and oat have 100 to 144 IU per cup. A cup of fortified orange juice contains around 100 IU.

Because getting 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D through sunshine and food might be difficult, you may need to take a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin that includes the RDA for vitamin D. Supplements are available in 400 IU, 600 IU, 1,000 IU, and even greater dosages. Up to 4,000 IU per day is considered safe by the National Academy of Medicine.

A blood test to assess your level can help your doctor figure out if you need a supplement and, if so, what dosage you should take. Getting at least the recommended daily dose of vitamin D is an excellent way to keep your bones healthy and may even help prevent cancer and cancer-related mortality.

Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.

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