By Nurse Mark
We’ve written about Vitamin D so much that you might have become jaded about the subject. But Vitamin D is an amazing vitamin – hormone that almost daily has new studies showing its value in treatment of an ever-widening array of diseases.
For all you men out there “of a certain age” who must be concerned with prostate health and the very real specter of prostate cancer, Vitamin D just earned itself a whole new level of respect.
Scientists at this year’s 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver learned about research showing that taking vitamin D supplements could slow or even reverse the progression of less aggressive, or low-grade, prostate tumors without the need for surgery or radiation.
In his lecture before the ACS, Dr. Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina detailed his new research suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may improve low-grade prostate cancers by reducing inflammation, perhaps lessening the need for eventual surgery or radiation treatment. “We don’t know yet whether vitamin D treats or prevents prostate cancer,” says Hollis. “At the minimum, what it may do is keep lower-grade prostate cancers from going ballistic.”
This new information reinforced findings of his previous research which showed that men with low-grade prostate cancer who took vitamin D supplements for a year had a 55 percent decreased Gleason score or even complete disappearance of their tumors compared to their biopsies a year before.
And what about other cancers? Is it just prostate cancer? Here is an excerpt from Dr. Hollis’ paper:
Vitamin D is metabolized, activated and acts through the vitamin D receptor expressed in a variety of human tissues, including cancer tissue of various origin. Basic research has revealed that vitamin D has anti-cancer potentials including pro-differentiation, anti-proliferation, and anti-inflammatory, to name a few. Epidemiological studies have revealed that low circulating 25(OH)D levels are a risk factor for a variety of human cancers.
Are you getting enough Vitamin D?
Dr. Hollis and many other experts are encouraging much higher levels of Vitamin D that conventional Medicine or the FDA. But each person is different, and an adequate or even generous supplemental dose of Vitamin D for one person may be nowhere near enough for someone else. Vitamin D testing is required to know for sure.
So, what are the “numbers”?
The Vitamin D test tells us blood levels of vitamin D measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) and the results can be grouped like this:
- Deficiency: less than 20 ng/ml
- Insufficiency: 20 to 32 ng/ml
- Sufficiency: 32 to 100 ng/ml
- OPTIMAL (per Dr. Myatt): 40 to 80 ng/ml
- Excess (toxicity risk): greater than 150 ng/ml
The Vitamin D test is a simple “Blood Spot” test, very much like the “finger poke” that diabetics do multiple times daily to check their blood sugars. A drop of blood is placed onto a test strip and sent off to the lab in a pre-paid mailer; the results come back in a few days. Then you can get started replenishing your Vitamin D levels, because chances are good that they are low – since overall, 41.6 % of Americans are Vitamin D deficient, and that number skyrockets to 82.1% of African Americans and 69.2% of Hispanics.
For additional information in our past articles about Vitamin D please review:
2) J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 2012, DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-1451
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