Book on Amazon
Can look inside of the book and see 14 references to vitamin D
Book in both paperback and Kindle format Sept 2010
By: admin | Date: October 12, 2011 | Categories: breast cancer
Based upon recent clinical research findings, Vitamin D is the only remaining vitamin that may have significant cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention properties. Recent large-scale prospective randomized clinical research trials have not only failed to identify a cancer prevention role (beyond a healthy balanced diet) for Vitamin E, Vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene (a member of the Vitamin A family) supplements, but data from these trials have strongly suggested an increased risk of adverse health outcomes, at least in some sub-groups of patients, with supplements of several of these vitamins.
Alas, as is typically the case with public health studies, the clinical data regarding Vitamin D is not without inconsistency, and the data on Vitamin D and cancer incidence has not been uniformly positive, either. However, multiple recent epidemiological and prospective clinical research studies have at least suggested that low levels of Vitamin D in our bodies may, in fact, be associated with a higher risk of developing certain cancers (look for a more comprehensive review of the data on Vitamin D and cancer prevention in my forthcoming book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race”). Moreover, decreased blood levels of Vitamin D also appear to be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease as well.
Now, a newly published prospective clinical research trial suggests that decreased levels of Vitamin D in the blood appears to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence, and death due to breast cancer, in women previously diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. In this study, which has just been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 512 women with early-stage breast cancer, diagnosed between 1989 and 1996, were prospectively followed for an average of nearly 12 years. Blood was routinely collected from all women following their diagnosis of breast cancer, as a part of this clinical research trial. The women were then closely followed for recurrence of their breast cancer, and for death due to breast cancer and other causes.
As with other similar studies, a surprisingly large number of these otherwise healthy women were discovered to have decreased levels of Vitamin D in their blood. In 38 percent of these women, Vitamin D levels were significantly below normal levels, while another 39 percent of these women had mildly decreased levels of circulating Vitamin D. Among these 512 women, 116 experienced metastatic recurrence of their breast cancer during the course of this prospective clinical study, while 87 women died with evidence of recurrent breast cancer.
The results of this prospective clinical study were rather compelling. The 10-year survival rates for these women with early-stage breast cancer varied significantly according to the level of Vitamin D in their blood. Survival at 10 years following breast cancer diagnosis was 74 percent, 85 percent, and 85 percent for women with significantly deficient, mildly deficient, and normal Vitamin D levels, respectively. Based upon the analysis of all of the data from this study, breast cancer patients with a significant deficiency of Vitamin D were observed to be almost twice as likely (71 percent increased risk) to experience a recurrence of their breast cancer, and they were 60 percent more likely to die, when compared to the patients who had normal levels of Vitamin D in their blood.
Although this clinical study included relatively few patients, it does, nonetheless, raise the possibility that a significant deficiency of Vitamin D may be associated with a worse prognosis in patients with early-stage breast cancer. Another related finding in this study was that very low levels of Vitamin D also appeared to be associated with breast tumors with more aggressive features when examined under the microscope, which is consistent with other studies that have suggested a link between “high grade” breast tumors and decreased blood levels of Vitamin D. At the same time, as I have already mentioned, the available data regarding Vitamin D levels (and the use of Vitamin D supplements) has not been consistent, and other clinical studies have failed to identify a link between Vitamin D and breast cancer risk. There is also some experimental data available suggesting that very high levels of Vitamin D in the blood may also be associated with poorer outcomes in women with breast cancer (similar findings have also been reported for excessive Vitamin D levels and cardiovascular disease outcomes). Taken together, the data from these various studies strongly suggest that there may be a fairly narrow “optimal range” of Vitamin D levels in the blood that are associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer, a decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence (and death), and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease; and that excessively high or low levels of this vitamin may have adverse health effects in these areas.
The next obvious step is to conduct larger prospective clinical research trials that secretly randomize patient volunteers to receive various doses of Vitamin D, versus placebo (sugar) pills. There are several such studies already underway (or about to start), involving both cancer patients and patients without cancers. However, it will likely take another 10 years for mature data to emerge from these ongoing studies. Meanwhile, my advice is to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. If you are a breast or prostate or colorectal cancer survivor, or if you have one or more risk factors for these cancers (or for cardiovascular disease), then you may also want to ask your physician to measure the level of active Vitamin D in your blood. If you are significantly deficient in Vitamin D, then your physician might consider the possibility of Vitamin D supplementation in conjunction with careful serial monitoring of your Vitamin D levels.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity.
By: admin | Date: October 12, 2011 | Categories: breast cancer
I conclude my article on the use of integrative medicine and vitamin D in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.
Epidemiological Study about breast cancer
In a major epidemiological study by Cedric Garland PhD and others, the researchers exhaustively reviewed the medical literature on the relationship between breast cancer and vitamin D levels. According to the analysis done in this article, if women kept their vitamin D blood levels at approximately 52 ng/ml, we could expect a 50% reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
In light of this study I endeavor to keep all of my patients who have a high risk for breast cancer or who have had breast cancer already above a blood level of 52 ng/ml.
So what should we do?
The gold standard for medical decision making is the randomized placebo-controlled double-blind prospective study.
The study I presented above by Dr. Lappe is one of the few such prospective studies that have already been published using vitamin D. Of course more are on the way.
So the question arises should a woman raise her blood levels higher than the current national average, and will she be harmed by taking a dose of vitamin D that allows her to do this?
My position, and the position of many vitamin D researchers is that because vitamin D is so inexpensive and because the relative risk of overdose of vitamin D is very small, what is the harm in raising women’s blood levels to protect against breast cancer? We would only be raising her level into what is now recognized in the medical literature to be optimal. In my opinion, given that vitamin D overdose does not begin until blood levels of 100 ng/ml and more probably 150 ng/ml, what is the harm in women taking doses of vitamin D high enough to get their blood levels up this high, as long as they monitor their blood on a regular basis to assure there is no overdose?
__The data is so strong and every year getting stronger.
Why don’t we take action now?
How many more women need to get breast cancer or die from it before we make a move?__
As written about in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn, it takes many years or even decades, for new findings in science and medicine to take hold in a way that the population as a whole can benefit.
In many cases this is because of an unreasonable need for certainty.
Arthur Schopenhauer, the famous philosopher, said this best when he stated:
“All truth passes through three stages.
- First, it is ridiculed.
- Second, it is violently opposed.
- Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
I believe we are in transition between the second and the third stages of Schopenhauer’s description in regards to vitamin D. Appropriate (higher) levels of vitamin D are being opposed but not violently so at this point in time. But just the same, these higher levels of vitamin D are still not yet encouraged by the majority of physicians.
Unfortunately I believe it will take another 5 to 10 years until the prospective studies are strong enough to convince the most conservative physicians of the benefits of this amazing vitamin, so that all Americans and all people of the world can benefit from what many of us see as a necessary dose of this very important vitamin.
But ask yourself if you need to wait that long?
If you are interested in learning more about Vitamin D, please visit my website, where you can get my book or my DVD. Similarly for more information about Integrative Medicine see my site as well.
(We cannot seem to find his website)
By: admin | Date: October 13, 2011 | Categories: breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the Western world. Many factors contribute to cause a malignant tumor of the breast (it is multifactorial), although heredity is an important issue. Some diets help prevent it, such as diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat. Adequate calcium intake is very important. The role of vitamin D in the deterrence and management of breast cancer are extensively explored by researchers and the results have been promising so far.
No matter what cancer you have, or are trying to prevent, the question is: is cancer left to vitamin D deficiency? Current research shows that a solution to this question is no, women with breast cancer should not meet the expense of to vitamin D deficiency, nor their doctors.
Vitamin D and Breast Cancer: Not a Panacea
If you have breast cancer, please remember that vitamin D is not a panacea and should never be used as the main treatment for cancer. Your oncologist will prescribe a treatment that has proved effective and should carefully follow their advice as the mainstay of treatment. At the same time, you should know that the evidence suggests that adequate vitamin D can help in the fight against the cancer.
Vitamin D and Breast Cancer: Fight against Breast Cancer
Contemporary research indicates that most if not all, women have their vitamin D receptor, except if they were deficient in vitamin D, ie, they have these receptors if they were full of vitamin D. It appears that the receptor is present in breast tissue, where the most active form of vitamin D were present, and this is only true if vitamin D in the form of less-active, calcidiol, were present. In other words, if you are testing vitamin D in breast cancer patients for vitamin D receptors, they will not have much if you treat their disability, they will probably develop these receptors.
Not only calcitriol (a form from the optimal amounts of your body when your vitamin D in blood is ideal) inhibits breast cancer cells to grow, making these cells grow and die as natural cells. In addition, vitamin D inhibits the formation of the large blood vessel growth around the tumor, a progression called anti-angiogenesis.
The first modern connection with cancer and vitamin D is due to an interesting observation was made during the 1930?s. The observation was that people who have spent years in the sun (and later developed a relatively mild form of skin cancer called squamous cell cancer of the skin) were less likely to develop deadly internal cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. This led to early modern theories of cancer, namely that squamous cell skin confers immunity against the most deadly forms of cancer.
- Overview Cancer and vitamin D General Cancers and specifics - including Breast