Vitamin D and Lung Cancer
Obviously, all vitamins and minerals are essential parts of your daily intake that should never be neglected. Vitamins are known to help with various functions of your body, such as your immune system, hair growth, healthy skin, good eyesight, etc. Recent studies have also shown that Vitamin D, which is well known for ensuring that bones and teeth are kept strong and healthy, is also an important factor for reducing the risk of lung cancer.
With lung cancer being a malady that kills approximately one million people each year, finding ways to reduce the risk of this serious illness is vitally important. If the answer is as simple as ensuring individuals get enough Vitamin D in their diet, than we can significantly reduce risk and improve health.
Why Vitamin D and Cancer are Being Studied
Believe it or not, Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. Part of a vitamin’s definition makes it something the body needs that it cannot make by itself. Vitamin D can, however, be synthesized in the body by exposure to the sun. Structurally it is similar to steroidal natural hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. It is specifically classified as a hormone that is beneficial for a large amount of important body functions and physiological functions that occur as we grow. Maintaining healthy bones are of course one of those functions, and research now also shows that it can be responsible for reducing the risk of lung cancer, and possibly other cancers as well.
Like other hormones, Vitamin D can have many functions in remote parts of the body. Also, we know that Vitamin D deficiency is rampant – which can only mean that health consequences are inevitable for many people.
Studies have been performed at The University of California at San Diego, where a relationship was discovered between Vitamin D and lung cancer. Researchers found that areas in which individuals had less exposure to the sun than others, displayed higher rates of lung cancer.
Other studies that utilized data compiled from databases that included information on 111 countries also revealed that lung cancer rates were higher in areas where individuals had less exposure to the sun than in other countries. Areas where individuals don’t get enough sunlight are usually those that are located a far distance from the equator.
A 2001 study published in the British Journal of Cancer stated that individuals who consumed fish or took cod liver oil supplements also showed a decreased risk of lung cancer. Fish and cod liver oil are both excellent sources of Vitamin D.
How Does Vitamin D Prevent Lung Cancer
Researchers say that Vitamin D helps to prevent cancer cells from growing by controlling specific genes that destroy malignant cells. The process is quite interesting, as future research and understanding as to how exactly it works may lead to better treatment or even a cure that leaves a patient with little to no debilitating side effects.
In fact, more and more practitioners are focusing on other natural and nutritional ways to prevent and treat cancer, and as scientists learn more about the healing powers of vitamins, minerals, and healthy foods, we find more ways to achieve a healthy balance in the body and maintain a healthier, disease free life.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D and Lower the Risk of Lung Cancer
The two most common sources of Vitamin D are dairy products such as a glass of milk, and exposure to the sun. Fish and cod liver oil are also great sources of Vitamin D. However, even consuming dairy and fish and spending time in the sun doesn’t always ensure that individuals get enough Vitamin D in their diets. To truly ensure that you receive the recommended daily allowance, you might want to utilize Vitamin D supplements. They are inexpensive and readily available in pharmacies, supermarkets, health food stores, etc.
Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2
When we refer to Vitamin D, we are really looking to enhance Vitamin D3 levels. Vitamin D3 works in close concert with another Vitamin – K2. Vitamin D3 works to build calcium levels – but whether it goes to the bone or somewhere else depends on Vitamin K2. Without Vitamin K2, excessive calcium levels start depositing in the arteries that could cause serious cardiovascular side effects. Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin that helps bind calcium to the bone matrix, thus preventing it from going to the arteries.
Given this fine “dance”, Vitamin D3 supplementation must be taken with care and preferably with professional advice. Your blood levels of Vitamin D can reveal if you need more Vitamin D as a supplement, and how much. People should know, however, that the suggested recommended daily allowance of 600 IUs for adults up to 70 years falls way short of the needed quantities according to the natural health community experts.
“This article reflects the opinions of the author and those of any of the source articles and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. None of this information is evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.”