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The ties between vitamin D deficiency and cancer get stronger
Study after study has proven the power of the sunshine vitamin in taking down your health risks. In fact, from neurological diseases to depression and blood pressure, vitamin D is becoming the golden child for fighting off the health problems that often increase with aging.
The vitamin has even taken the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic due to its immune-boosting effects.
And now, more evidence is mounting showing that getting more vitamin D in your life could even be the secret to avoiding colorectal cancer.
The link between ultraviolet light and colon cancer
The study from researchers at the University of California San Diego builds on a long-standing observation that deficiency in vitamin D increases your risk of colon cancer.
Yet, while time and again researchers have found a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and colorectal cancer, other studies have questioned that link.
So those San Diego researchers decided to tackle the question from a different perspective.
They instead looked at how much exposure to UVB light — sunlight — people experience across 186 different countries. Then, they adjusted for other factors that could contribute to cancer risks like skin pigmentation, smoking and age.
And hands-down, they found that in countries where people experience lower levels of UVB light they also report higher rates of colorectal cancer.
They also found that as you age, exposure to ultraviolet light (to get your body to make more vitamin D) becomes even more important.
“Differences in UVB light accounted for a large amount of the variation we saw in colorectal cancer rates, especially for people over age 45,” explains Raphael Cuomo, co-author of the study. “Although this is still preliminary evidence, it may be that older individuals, in particular, may reduce their risk of colorectal cancer by correcting deficiencies in vitamin D.”
And while this wasn’t the first study to find a relationship between UVB exposure and colorectal cancer, it is the first one to demonstrate that age makes getting your vitamin D vital!
According to the researchers, this relationship between aging and the risk increased risk of colon cancer due to lack of UV light could be due to chronic vitamin D deficiency increasing your colorectal cancer risk over time.
In other words, the longer you’re without sufficient D levels, the higher and higher your risk may go.
Vitamin D and other types of cancers
Now, UVB is the spectrum of light responsible for sunburn — and that presents a problem of its own. But luckily exposure to UVB rays from the sun isn’t the only option to get sufficient vitamin D. It also may not be the most efficient option as we age either, as other studies have shown the older we get, the less effective our bodies get at converting vitamin D from sunlight.
Your doctor can check your levels to see if you’re deficient and will likely prescribe a very high dosage to get you up to speed. You’ll taper down after that.
If you have any doubt about your levels, don’t put off your concerns. Past studies have also linked vitamin D deficiency to lung, prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers, as well as leukemia.
And one stringently controlled trial of 1,179 post-menopausal women discovered that those who supplemented with vitamin D and calcium had 76.8 percent fewer cancers after the first year, compared to the group that got no extra vitamin D.
Just be sure not to pair your vitamin D supplement with the wrong vitamin since certain nutrients can steal that disease-fighting D you need so much.
Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!
New evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to colorectal cancer risk — New Atlas