Canada Beats US in Cancer War…

Dear Health Concious Reader,

I recently wrote about a report out of a university in Nebraska showing that vitamin D has the potential to lower the risk of all cancers in women by 77%.1

In the last 15 months, 5 more bombshells exploded showing the power of vitamin D to stop cancer. Here’s the rest of the timeline:

  • In February, researchers at UC San Diego released the results of two key studies on breast and colon cancer. They said you can lower your risk of breast cancer by 50%, and colon cancer by more than 65%,simply by boosting your vitamin D levels through sunlight, diet, or supplements.2,3
  • In October of last year, scientists published compelling discoveries linking sun exposure and lowered cancer risk in the journal Anticancer Research. They found that plain old sunlight– about 20 minutes a day for fair-skinned folks, and two to four times that much for those with dark skin – can reduce the risk of 16 types of cancer in both men and women.4
  • A Harvard-sponsored report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in September 2006 uncovered a connection between low vitamin D levels and increased cancer risk. It revealed that when men raise their vitamin D intake, they can lower their overall risk of cancer death by 29%, drop rates of “digestive tract” cancers by 43% (throat, stomach, and colon), and reduce death rates from these cancers by 45%.5

The response was tremendous… in Canada. After the Creighton report last summer, the Canadian Cancer Society decided it was time to get the word out. They launched a nationwide campaign recommending that every Canadian citizen start taking 1,000 IEUs of vitamin D every day. (You should, too.) Vitamin D was flying off the shelves all over the country.

On this side of the border, the silence was deafening.

Forget about a national vitamin D awareness campaign in this country, because there isn’t one. Instead, let’s look at a recent report from a relatively small group, the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force. It’s made up of over 100 doctors and nurses. Their goal is to inform black women about the risks of breast cancer and what they can do to prevent it.6

In Chicago, black women die from breast cancer at a rate 68% higher than white women. Yet in its 113-page report, the Task Force doesn’t mention vitamin D once. This is particularly upsetting when you consider that black women are especially vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency.

Think about it: a large, vulnerable segment of the female population in the US is missing out on the biggest, most affordable cancer prevention bonanza to come along in years.

And this is just one small example of mainstream medicine’s handling of cancer prevention, from a “task force” whose stated goal is to help a group especially at risk. So you can see why I think the healthcare industry is doing the American public a major disservice.

To remedy the situation, let’s review what you can do to bolster your vitamin D levels and drive your risk of all kinds of cancer through the floor:

  • Eat a “D-rich” diet – fish, eggs, milk (wild-caught, free-range, and organic) all have plenty of vitamin D.
  • Take supplements – available on line or in health food stores – at least 1,000 IEUs per day.
  • Get 20 minutes of sunlight if you’re fair-skinned, or up to twice that much if you’re dark-skinned.

When it comes to vitamin D and cancer, it’s no exaggeration to say that the American medical establishment’s silence is more than deafening – it’s deadly.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

P.S. – To take better advantage of all the benefits of vitamin D, from arthritis and heart disease prevention to increased brainpower and enhanced mood, check out Your Best Health Under the Sun

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

  1. Lappe et al, “Vitamin D Status in a Rural Postmenopausal Female Population,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2006; 25(5):395-402.
  2. Garland et al, “Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis,” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2005; 97(1-2):179-94.
  3. Gorham et al, “Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(3):210-216.
  4. Grant WB et al, “The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates,” Anticancer Research, 2006; 26:2687-2700.
  5. Giovanucci et al, “Prospective Study of Predictors of Vitamin D Status and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Men,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2006; 98(7):451-459.
  6. “High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Black and White Pregnant Women Residing in the Northern United States and Their Neonates,” Journal of Nutrition, 2007, 137:447-452