Vitamin D is one of the fat soluble vitamins that research published in July 2009 states may have cancer suppressing properties. Various forms of the vitamin have been discovered each with many similar properties and benefits. In addition to their common effects, the variants have been found to play specific roles in the body. The two main variants in humans are D2 and D3. It often is referred to as the sun vitamin because exposing the skin to direct sunlight allows the body to absorb and create the vitamin in necessary quantities. As people age, their requirement for it increases, as does the requirement for supplementation for those with limited sun exposure. Many foods are now supplemented with a form of the vitamin in order to help prevent deficiencies. These fortified foods may be in milk products, cereals, grains, juices, and are also naturally present in fatty fish, and mushrooms that have been exposed to radiation. In fact, the Sun Bella is a new form of mushroom that has USDA clearance and provides a considerable amount (400 IU) of the vitamin. Because the body stores some vitamins (A, K, E, D) in fat cells, an overdose is possible leading to toxicity. It is not extremely common since it occurs from manufacturer error in production or extreme over supplementation by consumers. Too much exposure to light/UV rays will not cause toxicity. Deficiencies have been linked to osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Vitamin D News On Cancer
Researchers in Spain studied the effects that Vitamin D3 had on colon cancer. Using information from previous studies, they found that a specific gene can be affected by a part of this vitamin and thus suppress the expression and development of cancerous cells. The genes respond in such a manner to the active form of the vitamin that cancer seems to not be able to further develop. When looking at the cells at the chemical level it was found that there was a “tumor suppressor gene and that it mediates a large proportion of the anticancer effects of the active form of vitamin D3.” 1 There had been some speculation of these results based on experiments that had been done looking at rats’ response to the vitamin and the development of cancer. The research used this information but included human subjects and cancerous tissue. These authors make strong predictions about the ability of the vitamin to be used when exploring cancer treatments. They feel that the “anticancer action of the most active vitamin D metabolite and provide a rationale for its preventive and therapeutic use against colon cancer.” 2 Be on the lookout for more developments regarding this topic, and be sure to continue to study the positive effects that are provided.
1. Understanding The Anticancer Effects Of Vitamin D3
2. Cystatin D is a candidate tumor suppressor gene induced by vitamin D in human colon cancer cells http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37205