Sunday, November 27, 2011

Higher Vitamin D Blood Levels Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Just in case you needed more proof that low blood levels of vitamin D represent a significant health concern, researchers publishing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrate that small increases in the sunshine vitamin can add precious years to your life. For nearly a decade scientific evidence has been mounting to show that the vast majorities of adults (and many children) are grossly deficient in circulating blood levels of vitamin D.

Further proof is documented in the PLoS One journal to show the precise cellular mechanism that helps vitamin D dramatically lower the risk of colon cancer. The bottom line is simple: check your vitamin D blood saturation with an inexpensive test and make the necessary adjustments to live a healthier and longer life.

Doubling Average Vitamin D Levels Could Cut World Death Rate by Twenty Percent
Using epidemiologic studies, Dr. W.B. Grant of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco found that doubling the serum blood concentration of vitamin D could increase average life expectancy by two years. Dr. Grant and his team identified the major diseases that responded to increased levels of vitamin D. They then compared mortality rates to six identified regions around the country, and contrasted serum blood levels of the sunshine vitamin with disease occurrence.

After compiling all the data, the researchers found that conditions and diseases responsive to vitamin D that account for over half of the world's mortality include cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases and infections. It was determined that doubling the circulating level of vitamin D would lower the mortality rates of diseases that are sensitive to vitamin D by approximately 20 percent. Dr. Grant concluded “several ways to raise serum vitamin D include food fortification, supplementation and increased ultraviolet B exposure.”

Vitamin D Directly Correlated With Decreased Colon Cancer Risk
Researchers have known for some time that low vitamin D levels are associated with a significant increase in colon cancer cases, but have not understood the specific mechanism responsible. Now, scientists have discovered how a lack of vitamin D promotes DNA damage and colon cancer risk. Specifically, low vitamin D status instigates the development and progression of this devastating form of cancer.

Researchers have focused on a protein in intestinal epithelial cells called beta-catechin that normally helps epithelial cells bond together with other cells to form a protective barrier between the contents in your gut and the physical structure of your digestive tract. They found that when vitamin D is lacking, DNA synthesis is disrupted and beta-catechin builds up in cells, dramatically increasing the risk of colon cancer initiation.

There should be no doubt remaining that one of the most critical foundations to vibrant health is maintaining proper vitamin D blood saturation levels. Prevention is worth a pound of cure, so have your family physician run the simple and inexpensive 25 (OH)D blood test (alternatively, mail-in home testing is now a viable option), and be certain your level runs between 50 and 70 ng/mL to add years to your life and dramatically lower colon cancer and chronic disease risk.

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