Would you trust a nutrient with 3000 cancer studies under its belt? In 2009, a very ambitious research team reviewed these studies. Here’s what they found: we could prevent 100,000 people from developing cancer every year, if we increased our vitamin D intake. They identified ten different ways that vitamin D fights cancer. What a productive little multitasker!
We need vitamin D to absorb calcium from our intestines. It regulates more than 200 unique human genes. When vitamin D isn’t preventing cancer, it’s helping our bodies build bones, prevent heart disease, and fight cold/flu bugs. Okay, now vitamin D is just being a show-off. We have two options for getting more D: cheap (less than $10/month) or free (sunlight).
If you like it cheap: The U.S. RDA for vitamin D intake, 600 IU, is intended to build bone, not to prevent chronic illnesses. It is almost impossible to get enough vitamin D through fortified foods alone. For this reason, we may need to take at least 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3. It’s widely available in tablet or liquid form.
If you like it free: Sunlight produces vitamin D in unprotected skin at a phenomenally high rate. Get 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day in the summer. In Minnesota, we need 20 minutes or more in the winter months, and most of us need to supplement with vitamin D3 (see above).
The most recent research indicates that 40-60 ng/mL is the optimal level of vitamin D in your blood. The blood test for vitamin D may require only a fingerprick and 5 minutes of your time.
About the author: Dr. Barbara Kaiser, DC, CCWP, is a wellness-certified family chiropractor at Vital Life Chiropractic in Eagan, Minnesota.