A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that Vitamin D may have cancer-fighting properties. At the same time, ironically, Vitamin D deficiency is becoming increasing prevalent in the United States due to fear of the harmful effects of sun and poor nutrition.
Excessive sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer and cataracts in the eyes. As people slap on sunscreen and cover up to protect themselves from ultra-violet rays, they may be inadvertently missing out on an important nutrient.
The body gets vitamin D in two ways: from food and supplements, and from the sun. On exposure to the sun, the body creates vitamin D. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, and this awareness has lead to the trend of vitamin D enriched milk. Vitamin D fortification is becoming more common; however, supplementation may be needed to get at least the recommended daily requirement (RDA) and sufficient amounts of Vitamin D to maintain normal blood levels (see below).
The cancer study looked at the protein cMYC. cMYC drives the division of cells (cells reproducing). It was found that cMYC was active at elevated levels in more than fifty percent of all cancers. This study suggests that Vitamin D may slow down the process of cells going from premalignant to malignant, and may also keep them from proliferating.
In addition to examining cMYC, the researchers also looked at MXD1, which is a natural antagonist of cMYC. MXD1 basically shuts down cMYC function. They found that Vitamin D stimulates the production of MSD1. Therefore, sufficient vitamin D may help prevent certain types of cancer from taking hold. Certain forms of leukemia and cancers of the digestive tract — including colon cancer — had particularly strong correlations in this study.
Significant research shows the benefits of Vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D supplements support bone health, cardiovascular wellness, the immune system, and the brain. This nutrient has been found to reduce arthritis symptoms, help prevent macular degeneration and reduce the risk of some autoimmune disorders. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to asthma. In addition, Vitamin D supplementation has been found to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, while deficiency has been linked to breast cancer. Nutritional sources of Vitamin D include eggs, salmon, beef liver, and mushrooms; plus Vitamin D fortified cereals and dairy products. Vitamin D overdose from excessive sun has never been demonstrated.
Note: At Natural Eye Care, we suggest taking a minimum of 2,000 IU per day of Vitamin D3 supplements. Your doctor can run a blood test to determine if you need more than this. We have evaluated Vitamin D3 supplements and suggest any of these high quality options on our website: Vitamin D3 Choices
Study: Reyhaneh Salehi-Tabara et. al. “Vitamin D receptor as a master regulator of the c-MYC/MXD1 network.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 109 no. 46. Oct 2012.
Researchers report that the nutrient resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants, may help slow cancer growth. They reported that clinical trials now in their early stages are looking at the effectiveness of resveratrol in benefiting patients who have cancer, heart disease, dementia and a number of other current illnesses.
Resveratrol supplementation is helping some individuals who are looking for more energy, greater clarity of thought and better overall well being.
Researcher: Bryan C. Donohue, MD, Shadyside Hospital, U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Resveratrol Also Helpful for Eye Conditions
Resveratrol, can help preserve vision in those suffering from diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
Researchers have found that resveratrol impedes the growth of new blood vessels in the eye, a condition called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is linked to eye diseases as well as cancer and atherosclerosis. Resveratrol can inhibit this process; abnormal blood vessels disappears in the eyes of mice to which it was given. Previous studies have reported how resveratrol can work on other blood vessels in the body, but this is first to document the effect in the eyes specifically.
Reported in The American Journal of Pathology. Source: http://www.elements4health.com/resveratrol-could-prevent-eye-diseases-such-as-diabetic-retinopathy.html
A 2010 in vitro study about ovarian cancer suggests that treatment with curcumin, found in tumeric, before radiotherapy and /or chemotherapy, makes the cancer cells more vulnerable to the effects of both treatments. Another side result can be that doses of cisplatin, a chemotherapy ingredient, and the amount of radiation received can be lessened in order to slow the cancer cell growth.
Researchers: Subhash Chauhan, PhD, and associates, Sanford Research and the University of South Dakota, US team.
A team at Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, California discovered compounds that occur naturally in soy that could help prevent and possibly treat colon cancer.
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute Cancer Center director Julie Saba, MD, PhD and her associates discovered that natural lipid molecules called sphingadienes may be responsible for some of the cancer-preventive benefits found for soy products.