By Dr. Mercola
In 2011, it was estimated that nearly 1.6 million people would be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 570,000 would die of the disease.
With an epidemic such as this, virtually every safe preventive strategy available deserves attention.
But when a simple, and virtually free, strategy emerges that shows promise in reducing rates of not one, not two, but potentially dozens of different types of cancer, it needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
So open your ears — such a strategy does exist: Sun Exposure and Vitamin D!
Sunlight Protects Against Cancer by Stimulating the Production of Vitamin D
New research just in confirms that if you want to slash your risk of cancer, it’s essential that you spend adequate time in the sun or a safe tanning bed, or at the very least supplement with proper amounts of vitamin D3.
Specifically, researchers found that, consistently, the higher the solar UVB, the lower the incidence of 15 different types of cancer, including:
Bladder, Breast, Cervical, Colon Endometrail, Esophageal, Gastric, Lung, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Rectal, Renal, Vulvar, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The review, based largely on three studies from the United States, one each from Australia, China, France, Japan, and Spain, and eight multi-country studies of cancer incidence rates that collectively examined more than 100 countries, concluded:
“The evidence for the UVB-vitamin D-cancer hypothesis is very strong in general and for many types of cancer in particular.”
Further, they noted that weaker evidence exists that solar UVB also leads to lower rates of cancer of the following types:
More Than 200 Studies Show Vitamin D Plays a Role in Cancer
Theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies, according to epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Here are just a few highlights into some of the most noteworthy findings:
On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 70-100 ng/ml—would be beneficial. Vitamin D’s protective effect against cancer appears to work in multiple ways, including:
What are You Waiting For? Why Not Start Optimizing Your Levels Now?
Many Americans simply are not getting enough vitamin D to even maintain healthy bones, much less getting enough to fight off diseases like cancer. There are two primary reasons for this, one being that many people are still worried that going out in the sun will lead to skin cancer. It’s important to understand, however, that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comes only from excessive exposure.
When used properly, sunlight exposure will help you prevent cancer.
To optimize your levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin to the appropriate amounts of sunlight. And, contrary to popular belief, the best time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is actually as near to solar noon as possible. During this time you need the shortest exposure time to produce vitamin D because UVB rays are most intense at this time. Plus, when the sun goes down toward the horizon, the UVB is filtered out much more than the dangerous UVA.
Just be cautious about the length of your exposure. You only need enough exposure to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. Once you reach this point your body will not make any additional vitamin D due to its self-regulating mechanism. Any additional exposure will only cause harm and damage to your skin.
Vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the BEST way to optimize your vitamin D levels. Safe tanning beds have electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, which helps you avoid unnecessary exposure to health-harming EMF fields. They also have less of the dangerous UVA than sunlight, while unsafe ones have more UVA than sunlight. The second primary reason so many are vitamin-D-deficient, aside from lack of sun exposure, has to do with misinformation about supplementation.
If You Use a Vitamin D Supplement, You Need to Know This
First, let me repeat that sun exposure or the use of a safe tanning bed are the best options to optimize your vitamin D levels. You cannot overdose when getting your vitamin D from sun exposure, as your body has the ability to self-regulate and only make what it needs. If these options are not available, a supplement can be used, but keep the following in mind:
This range applies for everyone: children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Remember, unless you get a deep dark tan, which is a pretty good gauge that your vitamin D levels are where they need to be, it is wise to get your blood levels checked; that is the only way to know for certain you have reached therapeutic levels.
Given that optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the simplest and most profound steps you can take to improve and maintain your health, including helping you to prevent cancer, this is information that could, quite literally, save your life.
By Dr. Mercola