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Why Vitamin D Is So Important
Because of the fact that women with breast cancer are generally deficient in vitamin D – and this is the time of year when we start to get deficiencies, when sunlight is less available or we’re all covered up, I wanted to raise awareness that this is a good time of year for vitamin D supplementation.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because certain amounts of it come from sunshine in an interesting chemical reaction that happens in the skin. While soaking in the sun may seem like a great idea for getting the vitamin D we need, as you are probably aware, it can create problems for us by giving us wrinkly skin and increasing our risk of skin cancer.
Vitamin D is required for a healthy, functioning immune system. It is also required for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus — two minerals that are crucial to bone health. Vitamin D also contribute to brain and heart health, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.
The importance of vitamin D cannot be stressed enough. It is no ordinary “vitamin”, it is in fact a steroid hormone that influences nearly every cell in your body. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from the bones to the brain, which is why it has such a powerful part to play in the human body.
Vitamin D’s Role In Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer
As we know, many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen and for those whose tumor cells have estrogen receptors (known as ER+, meaning that this sort of tumor appears to depend on estrogen to grow) there is some really great news about vitamin D.
In a 2012 animal study , researchers reported that calcitriol (the hormonally active form of vitamin D) inhibits the growth of many cancerous cells, including breast cancer cells, by arresting the cancer cells’ replication cycles. Researchers also found that vitamin D suppressed aromatase, the enzyme that assists with estrogen synthesis in breast cancer cells. That makes vitamin D a natural aromatase inhibitor.
2018 update: A 2018 study  found that women who were aged 55 years or older who had a vitamin D serum level of 60 ng/ml or greater had a whopping 80% reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those with a vitamin D level of 20 ng/ml or less. Three different analyses of the data showed similar results.
The Top 6 Food Sources of Vitamin D
According to the website Nutrition Data , these are the top 6 food sources of vitamin D:
- Fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, catfish, oysters, trout, halibut (fish oils and cod liver oils have the highest concentrations)
- Fortified orange juice (make sure yours has vitamin D in it)
- Plain yogurt, milk
- 100% whole grain cereals such as oatmeal
- Soy milk, tofu
What I wanted you to be aware of is that most foods do not contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Additionally, many fatty fishes are now also being found to be polluted with Fukushima radiation, so eating more fish is not necessarily the answer to our vitamin D problems. Supplementation is the best route, this allows you to attain therapeutic doses and avoid possible toxins, especially if you choose a certified organic vitamin D3 supplement.
So How Much Is Enough and What Kind of Vitamin D?
According to mercola.com : “When you do supplement with vitamin D, you’ll only want to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Do NOT use the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2, which is the one most doctors will typically give you in a prescription unless you ask specifically for D3. According to the most recent findings, which involved research on nearly 10,000 people, shows the ideal adult dose appears to be 8,000 IU’s a day to get most into the healthy range.”
If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, get them checked. The best way to determine the correct dose for you personally is to get your blood levels of vitamin D tested. The test you want to ask for from your doctor is the 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.
Additional Info: The folks over at Grassroots Health have more information and research about vitamin D and an enrollment for something called D*action Breast Cancer Prevention Project. Go check it out by clicking here.
 The potential therapeutic benefits of vitamin D in the treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer — http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22801352
 Breast cancer risk markedly lower with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations =60 vs <20 ng/ml (150 vs 50 nmol/L): Pooled analysis of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort — https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199265
Dr Mercola article – Vitamin D for Breast Cancer –http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/01/vitamin-d-for-breast-cancer.aspx
If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach). When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally. You can depend on me to help you through this.