COULD THIS VITAMIN IMPROVE CANCER SURVIVAL RATES IN AFRICAN AMERICANS?

June 19th, 2012

It is known by many nutrition oriented healthcare professionals, that African Americans tend to produce less Vitamin-D and tend to have lower circulating levels of vitamin-D in their bodies because of their darker skin pigmentation, which interferes with vitamin D production from sunlight.

Cancer researchers note that African Americans have an increased risk of dying from certain types of cancers when compared to Caucasians. They postulate that these increased risks of dying from certain cancers may be due to their relative vitamin-D deficiencies.

There are many different types of scientific studies that can be conducted.  Most of us are most familiar with studies either done on animals or humans,   but other studies known as “systematic reviews” or meta-analyses are studies that study groups of studies on the same subject.

In this case the researchers analyzed the results of 17 other published studies on the association between cancer and vitamin D levels.

Meaningful associations were found between having higher vitamin D levels and better cancer survival for almost all cancers including, breast, prostate, lung, colon, and lymphomas.

Also in 37 other studies which compared cancer survival rates of blacks vs. Caucasians, again lower vitamin D levels in blacks vs. Caucasians helps to explain away much of the disparity in risk between the two groups.

The benefits of vitamin D do not stop at improving cancer survival rates, please refer to the other previous articles that discuss the other benefits.

I strongly suggest that everyone, not just African Americans, consume a minimum of 2000 IU of vitamin D-3 a day.  Your physician or other labs can measure your serum vitamin D levels which should ideally be somewhere between 50-70 ng/ml (or 125-175 nmol/L).  If 2000 IU per day doesn’t get you up to these optimal levels then increase to 4000IU/day.

 

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.