April 25, 2016

367 Vitamin D, Cancer & MS [25 April 2016]

Two recent vitamin D studies emphasize the importance of maintaining sufficient levels of this crucial vitamin.

In the most recent study, researchers combined the data from two previous studies – the Lappe cohort from Nebraska and the GrassrotsHealth cohort from San Diego – to examine the risk of cancer at different blood levels of vitamin D. They found that women with Vitamin D concentrations of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) or more had a 67% lower risk of all types of cancer than women with concentrations less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L). As previously reported in these columns, 100 - 150 nmol/L is now considered by many vitamin D researchers to be the optimum level for health. Both these studies looked at white women over 55 years of age, so the results can’t be extrapolated to the general population.

A study published in December 2015 in Neurology compared the effects of standard dose (800 IU) and high dose (10,400 IU) vitamin D in 40 patients with relapsing/remitting MS. The researchers found that the high dose group had lower blood levels of interleukin-17 T cells, which play a role in MS pathogenesis, than did the low dose group. Each 5 ng/ml rise in blood vitamin D levels above 18 ng/ml corresponded with a 1% fall in the percentage of interleukin-17 T cells. There was no reduction in the interleukin-17 T cell percentage in the low dose group.

Although 10,000 IU seems a very high dose, it is the blood level that counts. Previous research has found that MS patients often require extremely high intake of D to maintain normal blood levels. It is critical for people with MS to monitor their blood levels and supplement accordingly. A Rosetown customer told me she has had to take 30,000 IU daily just to maintain her D level at the low end of normal.

Vitamin D likely also plays a significant role in the prevention of MS. A study from Finland published in JAMA Neurology on March 7 of this year found that children of mothers with severe vitamin D deficiency (less than 12 ng/ml) during early pregnancy are at 90% higher risk of later developing MS.

With the rising costs – both financial and in human suffering – of cancer and diseases like MS, we must move swiftly to implement public programs with safe and effective treatments like vitamin D. Every Canadian should be screened for D deficiency and encouraged to supplement (or sunbathe) to achieve optimum levels.

D & Cancer study PLOSOne
D & Cancer study review by Vitamin D Council
High dose D MS treatment Science Daily Review
High dose D MS treatment MDLinx Review
Maternal D & MS EurekAlert Review

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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