T Nation

Vitamin D and Cancer

“[The] trial involving 1,200 women, and found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn’t take it, a drop so large ? twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking ? it almost looks like a typographical error. And in an era of pricey medical advances, the reduction seems even more remarkable because it was achieved with an over-the-counter supplement costing pennies a day. One of the researchers who made the discovery, professor of medicine Robert Heaney of Creighton University in Nebraska, says vitamin D deficiency is showing up in so many illnesses besides cancer that nearly all disease figures in Canada and the U.S. will need to be re-evaluated. ‘We don’t really know what the status of chronic disease is in the North American population,’ he said, ‘until we normalize vitamin D status.’”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070428.wxvitamin28/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/home

This is some news alright. We’re talking 60% here. I think it’s time I start supplmenting with vitamin D, or at least start getting 5-10mns of daily sun exposure.

Given that cod liver oil is one of the best sources of vitamin D around, it is no surprise that the Weston A. Price Foundation has been preaching about the use of CLO for years.

http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/cod-liver-oil-menu.html

So on T-Nation we’ve recently had sponsored articles telling us that saturated fat is not the devil, that soy is, and now a post suggesting that we need to get some good sources of vitamin D in our diets. All of this confirms that the WAP Foundation is way, way ahead of the curve.

Great post. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins when it comes to cancer. Another great source of Vitamin D, other than cod liver oil and raw dairy, is the sun, which actually helps prevent cancer.

Vitamin D is actually more like a hormone than a vitamin.

The anti-cancer effects of vitamin D have been known since the 1940’s. It’s been known as a cellular growth regulator, among other things. It’s surprising that somebody had to do a new study. Or maybe not.

Oddly enough, your skin produces vitamin D when it tans. The vitamin D protects against skin cancer, up to point.

Even the alarmist Dr. Mercola thinks very highly of vitamin D. I believe he actually recommends controlled sun exposure.

[quote]Cthulhu wrote:
Another great source of Vitamin D, other than cod liver oil and raw dairy, is the sun, which actually helps prevent cancer.[/quote]

I’ve been down this road before. Get ready to be flamed by the skin cancer naysayers.

The nice thing about sun-generated vitamin D is that it’s self-regulating; you can’t overdose on D from the sun. You can overdose on oral D.

[quote]yorik wrote:
Cthulhu wrote:
Another great source of Vitamin D, other than cod liver oil and raw dairy, is the sun, which actually helps prevent cancer.

I’ve been down this road before. Get ready to be flamed by the skin cancer naysayers.

The nice thing about sun-generated vitamin D is that it’s self-regulating; you can’t overdose on D from the sun. You can overdose on oral D.

[/quote]

That would be pure ignorance on their part then, because the sun does not cause skin cancer. Overexposure MAY cause skin cancer, but there are other factors that play into this as well.

That was another good point I wanted to bring up though.

Thats why it’s important to get your Vitamin D levels checked if you’re going to take it orally. Funny how people often forget the difference between “Overexposure” and sunlight.
You sure wont see that study on the front page of the washington post.

Will everyone start looking like George Hamilton when this gets out?

So how much should one supplement with? I’ve been taking 700 IU’s of supplemental D, in addition to the 200 IU’s in my multivitamin, every day. Is that too much? Too little . . . ?

Thanks.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

check this out. Vitamin D can really improve athletic performance, as it is a prehormone and activates some of the same genomes or something that testosterone does.

http://www.westonaprice.org/men/vitaminabodybuilding.html

and this one talks about how vitamin A raises testoserone.

that’s why i take 3-4 capsules of Cod liver oil everyday, as it not only gives epa/dha but also natural forms of vitamins A and D.

EDIT: but you can’t make cod liver oil your main source of epa/dha or you’ll overdose on the two vitamins, so add them on top of your Flameout or any other fish oil. but also, dont be afraid to go a little above the max limit that the fda set for vitamin a and d consumption cause i read they’re too low (at least for vitam d anyway)

This study talks about overexposure to UVB. But keep in mind that Vitamin D is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B; and Vitamin D is the likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight .

It could also be a major factor that vitamin D synthesis could shut down completely during winter since it’s much darker-thats why I would take cod liver oil, or another source of Vitamin D during the winter instead of the summer/spring. Another factor is the omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio, which I believe is contributing to this problem as well. In fact, Cancer Res 2000 Aug 1;60(15):4139-45 states:
“Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma.”

Last year, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review showing that the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventing skin cancer development. An Australian study done ten years ago, showed a 40% reduction in melanoma for those who were eating fish. And this was without any attention to lowering omega-6 fats.
Not many people get enough omega 3 fatty acids either- since Omega-3 fats help to normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration in the cells-and half of America is probably deficient in omega 3’s.

I would love to see some studies done on people who have skin cancer and their consumption of omega 3’s and Vitamin D. I don’t think anyone is saying that overexposure to the sun can’t set you up for skin cancer later in life- thats nothing new, since too much of anything can be bad for you.

If you optimize your Vitamin D levels and eat enough omega 3’s and less omega 6’s, I don’t see how 30 minutes or even an hour of sun exposure will cause skin cancer.

It could be sunburn in conjunction with excess omega-6 fats that can increase your risk of skin cancer.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Cthulhu wrote:
That would be pure ignorance on their part then, because the sun does not cause skin cancer. Overexposure MAY cause skin cancer, but there are other factors that play into this as well.

.

Really? I would love to hear more form you on this. As I understand it, UVB radiation causes serious damage to DNA which is a significant trigger for cancer.

Here’s a quote from a pubmed article: [b]"It is well known that chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation present in sunlight is responsible for the induction of most nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in humans.

Wavelengths in the UV-B (290?320 nm) region of the solar spectrum are absorbed into the skin, producing erythema, burns, and eventually skin cancer. NMSC is the most common type of human cancer.

Recent surveys indicate that around one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, about 70% of which result from repeated exposure of the skin to sunlight. Laboratory studies have shown that UV-B region of the solar spectrum is responsible for this effect.

The first step in UV skin carcinogenesis involves the induction of DNA damage. Occasional mistakes during the repair of this damage leads to the incorporation of wrong bases into the genetic material. The DNA damage that is left unrepaired may also disrupt cellular processes by obstructing the DNA and RNA synthesizing machineries and introduce wrong bases into the DNA.

These types of mistakes often result in mutation leading to loss or inappropriate expression of affected genes. Recent studies indicate that genetic alterations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene play an important role in the development of skin cancer.

The p53 protein is also involved in programmed cell death (apoptosis), and it has been proposed that p53 serves as a ?guardian of the genome? by aiding DNA repair or causing elimination of cells with excessive DNA damage. Unrepaired photoproducts in the p53 gene are transformed into mutations thereby initiating the process of carcinogenesis.

Following repeated exposures to UV, keratinocytes carrying p53 mutations acquire a growth advantage by virtue of their increased resistance to apoptosis. Recent studies have shown that UV-B damaged keratinocytes (sunburn cells) are eliminated by Fas/Fas-ligand interaction and that this pathway is dysregulated during UV skin carcinogenesis resulting in accumulation of p53 mutations in DNA damaged keratinocytes.

These results demonstrate a link between p53 pathway and Fas/Fas-ligand pathway and that dysregulation of both pathways can lead to the pathogenesis of UV-induced skin cancer."[/b] - J Biomed Biotechnol. 2001; 1(2): 49.
doi: 10.11551/S1110724301000122.
[/quote]

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Not one study proves than 30 minutes or even an hour of sun exposure daily will cause skin cancer, therefore the sun does not cause skin cancer- otherwise, almost all of the world would have skin cancer. The study simply states that “Chronic exposure to ultraviolet Radiation sunlight is responsible for the induction of most nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in humans.” DNA damage dose not occur when you are exposed to sun light. It only occurs during chronic exposure to sunlight.

The same goes with food intake and weight gain- although there are other factors that play into that as well.

You never see nutritionists say that eating food makes you gain weight. They’ll always say eating too much food makes you gain weight. It’s overexposure that causes skin cancer. Thats what every study shows. As I said, there are other factors that play into this as well. Some people will get a tan after 30 minutes of sun exposure. I could stay out in the sun for hours and slowly tan. I do contribute much of this to diet.

When it comes to your health, EVERYTHING is dependant on dose, for too little may never be enough and too much may be deadly.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Cthulhu wrote:
This study talks about overexposure to UVB. But keep in mind that Vitamin D is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B; and Vitamin D is the likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight .

It could also be a major factor that vitamin D synthesis could shut down completely during winter since it’s much darker-thats why I would take cod liver oil, or another source of Vitamin D during the winter instead of the summer/spring. Another factor is the omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio, which I believe is contributing to this problem as well. In fact, Cancer Res 2000 Aug 1;60(15):4139-45 states:
“Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma.”

Last year, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review showing that the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventing skin cancer development. An Australian study done ten years ago, showed a 40% reduction in melanoma for those who were eating fish. And this was without any attention to lowering omega-6 fats.
Not many people get enough omega 3 fatty acids either- since Omega-3 fats help to normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration in the cells-and half of America is probably deficient in omega 3’s.

I would love to see some studies done on people who have skin cancer and their consumption of omega 3’s and Vitamin D. I don’t think anyone is saying that overexposure to the sun can’t set you up for skin cancer later in life- thats nothing new, since too much of anything can be bad for you.

If you optimize your Vitamin D levels and eat enough omega 3’s and less omega 6’s, I don’t see how 30 minutes or even an hour of sun exposure will cause skin cancer.

It could be sunburn in conjunction with excess omega-6 fats that can increase your risk of skin cancer.

I agree almost entirely with what you’ve written here. I just couldn’t shut up when I read your “The sun does not cause skin cancer” comment, sorry. The sun does most definitely cause skin cancer, dependant on dose. Sensible users will limit their exposure, but that doesn’t remove the fact that the sun is about the most powerful skin cancer promoting agent there is.[/quote]

[quote]lixy wrote:

twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking.[/quote]

It’s a good thing we wrote laws and wasted public money to stop tobacco companies from funding research and publishing propaganda like this.

with reference to viatmin D and the sun. A Doctor wrote an article in a health newsletter that I used to buy. He openly suggested 30 minutes, three times a week of suntaning. I have a number of friends who do this, and are very healthy, and NO skin damage.

[quote]philipj wrote:
with reference to viatmin D and the sun. A Doctor wrote an article in a health newsletter that I used to buy. He openly suggested 30 minutes, three times a week of suntaning. I have a number of friends who do this, and are very healthy, and NO skin damage.[/quote]

The general rule of thumb is to never burn. The trouble is that many people don’t tan, they go straight to burn because they can’t produce enough melanin. I used to be this way until I started taking l-tyrosine supplementation and I very slowly and carefully built up a tan.

[quote]Damici wrote:
So how much should one supplement with? I’ve been taking 700 IU’s of supplemental D, in addition to the 200 IU’s in my multivitamin, every day. Is that too much? Too little . . . ?[/quote]

I read a similar article recently that said 15 minutes of sun exposure in just shorts and tank top produces about 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D. So if you get this on top of your supplements, you’re probably doing all right.

I’m certainly no expert but my understanding is that a lot of the new research is showing that sun exposure does not cause melanoma (the deadly skin cancer) but does increase the risk of getting basal cell carcinoma (a mild form of skin cancer that rarely causes death).

The research seems to show that the more sun exposure one has the lower the risk of getting more serious cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

If this is true then I would gladly increase my risk of basal cell carcinoma if it lowered my risk of getting colon or prostate cancer.

[quote]Hillside77 wrote:
I’m certainly no expert but my understanding is that a lot of the new research is showing that sun exposure does not cause melanoma (the deadly skin cancer) but does increase the risk of getting basal cell carcinoma (a mild form of skin cancer that rarely causes death).

The research seems to show that the more sun exposure one has the lower the risk of getting more serious cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

If this is true then I would gladly increase my risk of basal cell carcinoma if it lowered my risk of getting colon or prostate cancer. [/quote]

Getting 30 minutes to an hour of sun exposure won’t even increase your risk of getting basal cell carcinoma. Only during excessive exposure this may happen.

UVB actually protects against 16 types of cancer. Another important factor, other than Vitamin D and the omega 3 to omega 6 fat ratio, are minerals such as calcium.
Melanin and Vitamin D is the main factor as to why they have lower skin cancer rates. If you build up enough melanin, you won’t burn so easily, thus preventing DNA damage and basal cell carcinoma.