For optimal health, one has to maintain a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml year-round. Growing evidence suggests that 40 ng/ml seems to be the magic number at which multiple health benefits are obtained.
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a wide range of illnesses, such as stroke, hypertension, autoimmune disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, infectious diseases, Alzheimer disease, and Chron disease as well as cancers of the colon, prostate, esophagus, breast, ovaries, and the lymphatic system.
Vitamin D Lowers Overall Mortality Risk
As reported by the Institute of Medicine, there is a close relationship between vitamin D and overall mortality risk. A 54-month study including over 422,800 adults has shown that those who were most deficient in vitamin D were at 88% increased mortality risk.
By following sun exposure guidelines and not getting burned you can optimize these benefits and maximize the risk of skin damage which could eventually lead to skin cancer. On the other hand, overexposure to sun is the real problem regarding the risk for skin cancer.
Higher Vitamin D = Lower Cancer Risk
Earlier research has shown that a vitamin D level of 50 ng/ml was linked with a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Patients suffering from breast cancer with vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml also had higher survival rate than those with low levels.
Recently, a team of researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) to 40ng/ml can lower the risk of cancer by staggering 67 percent!
According to study co-author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H.,
“We have quantitated the ability of adequate amounts of vitamin D to prevent all types of invasive cancer combined, which had been terra incognita until publication of this paper…
These findings support an inverse association between 25(OH)D and risk of cancer, and highlight the importance for cancer prevention of achieving a vitamin D blood serum concentration above 20 ng/ml, the concentration recommended by the IOM for bone health.”
Improving Vitamin D Status is a Key Cancer Prevention Tool
By using data from two earlier studies-one randomized trial and one cohort study, the first of which showed a 77 percent lower cancer risk for those with vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml compared to a baseline of 28 nhg/ml- they managed to get a larger sample size.
This helped them obtain more accurate idea of the vitamin D level needed for cancer prevention. This study involved all invasive cancers, expect for skin cancer.
According to Science Daily,
“In the Lappe trial cohort, the median blood serum level of 25(OH)D was 30 nanograms per milliliter. In the GrassrootsHealth prospective cohort, it was higher: 48 ng/ml.
The researchers found that the age-adjusted cancer incidence was 1,020 cases per 100,000 person-years in the Lappe cohort and 722 per 100,000 person-years in the GrassrootsHealth cohort.
Cancer incidence declined with increased 25(OH)D. Women with 25(OH)D concentrations of 40 ng/ml or greater had a 67 percent lower risk of cancer than women with levels of 20 ng/ml or less…
Primary prevention of cancer, rather than expanding early detection or improving treatment, will be essential to reversing the current upward trend of cancer incidence worldwide,” the researchers wrote. “This analysis suggests that improving vitamin D status is a key prevention tool.“