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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sunshine = Vitamin D

The sun has been shining on this part of the south coast of England for the last few days.  After weeks and weeks of rain which has given me cause to start planning to build an ark the sun has come.  Of course this being England there is no real indication as to how long the sun will stay, but that doesn't really matter.

Having the sun shining down on me as I have been going for my daily walk to strengthen my bones and keep my self moving, also means that I have been able to well and truly top up on Vitamin D which is important to help the body synthesize calcium, but is also something that most women with breast cancer are deficient in. 
In a new study, women with vitamin D deficiency at the time of breast cancer diagnosis were 94% more likely to experience cancer spread and 73% more likely to die over the next 10 years, compared to women with adequate vitamin D levels
Conventional medicine does not yet recommend taking Vitamin D supplements, but I am told that they give them to breast cancer patients at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, which was the first dedicated cancer hospital in the world.  This is despite the likelihood that those who are Vitamin D deficient are more like to have agressive cancers.

I follow an integrated approach to dealing with my cancer and although I do have conventional treatment of Letrozole (Femara) and Zoledronic Acid (Zometa) to control the hormone production in my body (my cancer is oestrogen positive) and strengthen my bones.  However I have never been convinced that conventional medicine has many answers to offer me that will not actually cause more side effects, one of which is possibly excellerating the cancer after holding it back for a while.  I prefer to use more natural approaches that tackle the cancer while being kinder to my body than pharmaceutical medicines.  After all a recent study has shown that conventional medicine is 62,000 times more likely to kill you than supplements and I know which I prefer to try

As with any treatment we all have to go with what we feel is right for each of us and I know that many only want to consider the conventional western medical approach, and if that is right for you then that is what you should do.  I know that there are those who say there is no evidence to support claims about Vitamin D etc, but I have just put in a search on PubMed for Vitamin D + breast cancer and there are 1133 entries.  Just one of them is
2010 Jul;121(1-2):343-8. Epub 2010 Feb 13.
Vitamin D and breast cancer: inhibition of estrogen synthesis and signaling.
Source Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.
Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3), the hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D, inhibits the growth and induces the differentiation of many malignant cells including breast cancer (BCa) cells. Calcitriol exerts its anti-proliferative activity in BCa cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and stimulating apoptosis. Calcitriol also inhibits invasion, metastasis and tumor angiogenesis in experimental models of BCa. Our recent studies show additional newly discovered pathways of calcitriol action to inhibit the growth of BCa cells. Calcitriol suppresses COX-2 expression and increases that of 15-PGDH thereby reducing the levels and biological activity of prostaglandins (PGs). Calcitriol decreases the expression of aromatase, the enzyme that catalyzes estrogen synthesis selectively in BCa cells and the breast adipose tissue surrounding BCa, by a direct repression of aromatase transcription via promoter II as well as an indirect effect due to the reduction in the levels and biological activity of PGE2, which is a major stimulator of aromatase transcription through promoter II in BCa. Calcitriol down-regulates the expression of estrogen receptor alpha and thereby attenuates estrogen signaling in BCa cells including the proliferative stimulus provided by estrogens. We hypothesize that the inhibition of estrogen synthesis and signaling by calcitriol and its anti-inflammatory actions will play an important role in the use of calcitriol for the prevention and/or treatment of BCa.
Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

For the role of Vitamin D with all diseases there are something like 55,000 entries.  If you put in Vitamin C + cancer there are 9786 entries.  How can they say there is no evidence?  Because they can't be patented and therefore pharmaceutical companies can't make big profits from them.  But I know which I prefer to try.  Do the research yourself and make up your own mind.

1 comment:

  1. I take a Vitamin D3 supplement - 5,000 IUs daily. Since nearly every breast cancer patient is low on this vitamin, I think the evidence is there. My oncologist tried to tell me they're doing studies on the effects of too much Vitamin D. I never heard of someone dying from too much of any vitamin. Chemo is much more likely to be the cause of serious problems...