The mounting strong evidence that vitamin D helps prevent cancer has prompted the Canadian Cancer Society to formally request that more research be done to explore the "sunshine" vitamin's cancer-fighting potential.
The request, made to major medical research agencies, came after a new study concluded that vitamin D may prevent half of all cancers. The Canadian Cancer Society has never made such a request before, but is eager to see if vitamin D could be the next cancer-fighting blockbuster.
To date, studies have linked this fat-soluble vitamin to prevention of colon, prostate and breast cancers. There are also theories suggesting that vitamin D may increase overall life expectancy by decreasing the risk of other serious ailments including high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis.
Although the Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU (international units) of the vitamin D daily in the fall and winter months, an effective dosage has not been established for cancer prevention.
Health Canada currently recommends 200-600 IU of vitamin D daily depending on your age, exposure to sunlight and skin's ability to absorb the natural vitamin. Health Canada is reviewing the recent studies on vitamin D to see if the current recommendation should be raised.
Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, milk and fortified soy beverages, orange juice and margarine. Most multivitamins supply 400 IU of the nutrient and calcium pills offer 200 to 400 IU depending on the brand. Speak to your dietitian or doctor about vitamin supplementation.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.