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How Important is Vitamin D for Your Health? Let Us Count the Ways ....

 
 

The evidence just keeps pouring in that vitamin D is a superstar for your health. Here we have compiled some of the TOP references proving beyond a doubt that getting proper sun exposure is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Journal Articles

Over 800 References Showing Vitamin D’s Effectiveness for Cancer

[No authors listed]. Vitamin D - monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):153-64.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):18-28. Review.

Estimation of Optimal Serum Concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D for Multiple Health Outcomes

Cancer Causes and Control 2005 ― This abstract does NOT give the D levels needed for anti-cancer prevention, but it does say that “studies indicate that vitamin D may have anti-cancer benefits, including against progression and metastasis, against a wide spectrum of cancers. The researchers encourage further studies on this, “given the potential benefits from vitamin D.”

Cannell J, Hollis B, Zasloff M, Heaney R. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Jan;9(1):107-118.

Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):6-20.

Cherniack EP, Florez H, Roos BA, Troen BR, Levis S. Hypovitaminosis D in the elderly: from bone to brain. J Nutr Health Aging. 2008 Jun-Jul;12(6):366-73.

DeLuca HF. The vitamin D story: a collaborative effort of basic science and clinical medicine. FASEB J. 1988 Mar 1;2(3):224-36. Review.

Grant WB, Garland CF, Holick, MF. Comparisons of estimated economic burdens due to insufficient solar ultraviolet irradiance and vitamin D and excess solar UV irradiance for the United States. Photochem Photobiol. 2005;81:1276-86.

Grant WB, Holick MF. Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):94-111.

Holick MF. High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Mar;81(3):353-73.

Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 19;357(3):266-81.

Jablonski NG, Chaplin G. The evolution of human skin coloration. J Hum Evol. 2000 Jul;39(1):57-106.

Lips P. Vitamin D physiology. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;92(1):4-8.

Lucas RM, McMichael AJ, Armstrong BK, Smith WT. Estimating the global disease burden due to ultraviolet radiation exposure. Int J Epidemiol. 2008 Jun;37(3):654-67.

Martins e Silva J. [Brief history of rickets and of the discovery of vitamin D] Acta Reumatol Port. 2007 Jul-Sep;32(3):205-29. Portuguese. (very interesting with some text in English)

Norman AW. Minireview: vitamin D receptor: new assignments for an already busy receptor. Endocrinology. 2006 Dec;147(12):5542-8.

Rajakumar K, Thomas SB. Reemerging nutritional rickets: a historical perspective. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Apr;159(4):335-41.

Schwalfenberg, G., Not enough vitamin D: health consequences for Canadians. Can Fam Physician, 2007. 53(5): p. 841-54.

Stumpf WE. Vitamin D and the digestive system. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2008 Apr-Jun;33(2):85-100.

Fractures

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Baron JA, Burckhardt P, Li R, Spiegelman D, Specker B, Orav JE, Wong JB, Staehelin HB, O'Reilly E, Kiel DP, Willett WC. Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1780-90.

Brown SE. Vitamin D and fracture reduction: an evaluation of the existing research. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):21-33.

Cancer

Abbas S, Linseisen J, Slanger T, Kropp S, Mutschelknauss EJ, Flesch-Janys D, Chang-Claude J. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of post-menopausal breast cancer--results of a large case-control study. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Jan;29(1):93-9.

Boscoe FP, Schymura MJ. Solar ultraviolet-B exposure and cancer incidence and mortality in the United States, 1993-2002. BMC Cancer. 2006 Nov 10;6:264.

Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED, Lipkin M, Newmark H, Mohr SB, Holick MF. The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):252-61.

Garland CF, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Gorham ED, Garland FC. What is the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer risk? Nutr Rev. 2007 Aug;65(8 Pt 2):S91-5.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Rimm EB, Hollis BW, Fuchs CS. Stampfer MJ, Willett WH. Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and mortality in men. JNCI 2006; 98:451-9.

Grant WB. An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation. Cancer. 2002 Mar 15;94(6):1867-75.

Grant WB, Garland CF. 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 Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4A):2687-99.

Ingraham BA, Bragdon B, Nohe A. Molecular basis of the potential of vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008;24:139-49.

John EM, Koo J, Schwartz GG. Sun Exposure and Prostate Cancer Risk: Evidence for a Protective Effect of Early-Life Exposure. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16 1283-1286.

Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91.

Moan J, Porojnicu AC, Dahlback A, Setlow RB. Addressing the health benefits and risks, involving vitamin D or skin cancer, of increased sun exposure. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 15;105(2):668-73.

Ng K, Meyerhardt JA, Kana Wu, Feskanich D, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and survival in patients with colorectal cancer J Clin Oncol. Jun 20 2008: 2984–2991.

Nürnberg B, Schadendorf D, Gärtner B, Pföhler C, Herrmann W, Tilgen W, Reichrath J. Progression of malignant melanoma is associated with reduced 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels. Exp Dermatol. 2008 Jul;17(7):627.

Pilz S, Dobnig H, Winklhofer-Roob B, Riedmüller G, Fischer JE, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Boehm BO, März W. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin d predict fatal cancer in patients referred to coronary angiography. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1228-33.

Porojnicu AC, Dahlback A, Moan J. Sun exposure and cancer survival in Norway: changes in the risk of death with season of diagnosis and latitude. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;624:43-54.

Reichrath J, Nürnberg B. Solar UV-radiation, vitamin D and skin cancer surveillance in organ transplant recipients (OTRs). Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;624:203-14. Review.

Infectious diseases

Adams JS, Hewison M. Unexpected actions of vitamin D: new perspectives on the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Feb;4(2):80-90.

Aloia JF, Li-Ng M. Re: epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2007 Oct;135(7):1095-6; author reply 1097-8.

Bikle DD. Vitamin D and the immune system: role in protection against bacterial infection. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2008 Jul;17(4):348-52.

Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF, Giovannucci E. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40.

Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.

Liu PT, Stenger S, Tang DH, Modlin RL. Cutting edge: vitamin D-mediated human antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on the induction of cathelicidin. J Immunol. 2007 Aug 15;179(4):2060-3.

Mookherjee N, Rehaume LM, Hancock RE. Cathelicidins and functional analogues as antisepsis molecules. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Aug;11(8):993-1004. Review.

White JH. Vitamin D signaling, infectious diseases, and regulation of innate immunity. Infect Immun. 2008 Sep;76(9):3837-43.

Autoimmune diseases

Adorini L, Penna G. Control of autoimmune diseases by the vitamin D endocrine system. Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2008 Jul 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Ascherio A, Munger KL. Environmental risk factors for multiple sclerosis. Part II: Noninfectious factors. Ann Neurol. 2007 Jun;61(6):504-13.

Cantorna MT, Mahon BD. Mounting evidence for vitamin D as an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Dec;229(11):1136-42. Review.

Munger KL, Levin LI, Hollis BW, Howard NS, Ascherio A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006 Dec 20;296(23):2832-8.

Cardiovascular disease

Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, Renner W, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Kinkeldei J, Boehm BO, Weihrauch G, Maerz W. Independent Association of Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Levels With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1340-1349.

Forman JP, Giovannucci E, Holmes MD, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Tworoger SS, Willett WC, Curhan GC. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of incident hypertension. Hypertension. 2007 May;49(5):1063-9.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9;168(11):1174-80.

Martins D, Wolf M, Pan D, Zadshir A, Tareen N, Thadhani R, Felsenfeld A, Levine B, Mehrotra R, Norris K. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the United States: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1159-65.

Michos ED, Melamed ML. Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Jan;11(1):7-12.

Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B. 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.

Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Boehm BO, März W. Low Vitamin D Levels Predict Stroke in Patients Referred to Coronary Angiography. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3.

Pilz S, März W, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Dimai HP, Boehm BO, Dobnig H. Association of vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary angiography. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL, Jacques PF, Ingelsson E, Lanier K, Benjamin EJ, D'Agostino RB, Wolf M, Vasan RS. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2008 Jan 29;117(4):503-11.

Diabetes

Knekt P, Laaksonen M, Mattila C, Härkänen T, Marniemi J, Heliövaara M, Rissanen H, Montonen J, Reunanen A. Serum Vitamin D and Subsequent Occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes. Epidemiology. 2008 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Pittas AG, Lau J, Hu FB, Dawson-Hughes B. The role of vitamin D and calcium in type 2 diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2017-29.

Congestive heart failure

Zittermann A, Schleithoff SS, Götting C, Dronow O, Fuchs U, Kuhn J, Kleesiek K, Tenderich G, Koerfer R. Poor outcome in end-stage heart failure patients with low circulating calcitriol levels. Eur J Heart Fail. 2008 Mar;10(3):321-7.

Periodontal disease and dental caries

Dale BA, Fredericks LP. Antimicrobial peptides in the oral environment: expression and function in health and disease. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2005 Jul;7(2):119-33.

Dietrich T, Joshipura KJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Association between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and periodontal disease in the US population. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul;80(1):108-13.

Dietrich T, Nunn M, Dawson-Hughes B, Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Association between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and gingival inflammation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):575-80.

East BR. Mean Annual Hours of Sunshine and the Incidence of Dental Caries. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1939 Jul;29(7):777-80.

The brain

McCann JC, Ames BN. Is there convincing biological or behavioral evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction? FASEB J. 2008 Apr;22(4):982-1001.

The skin

Reichrath J. Vitamin D and the skin: an ancient friend, revisited. Exp Dermatol. 2007 Jul;16(7):618-25.

Life expectancy

Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D Supplementation and Total Mortality: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Sep 10;167(16):1730-7.

Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at the population level

Binkley N, Novotny R, Krueger D, Kawahara T, Daida YG, Lensmeyer G, Hollis BW, Drezner MK. Low vitamin D status despite abundant sun exposure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2130-5.

Nesby-O'Dell S, Scanlon KS, Cogswell ME, Gillespie C, Hollis BW, Looker AC, Allen C, Doughertly C, Gunter EW, Bowman BA. Hypovitaminosis D prevalence and determinants among African American and white women of reproductive age: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):187-92.

Rovner AJ, O'Brien KO. Hypovitaminosis D among healthy children in the United States: a review of the current evidence. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Jun;162(6):513-9.

Vitamin D doses, requirements and considerations

Aloia JF, Patel M, Dimaano R, Li-Ng M, Talwar SA, Mikhail M, Pollack S, Yeh JK. Vitamin D intake to attain a desired serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1952-8.

Gordon CM, Feldman HA, Sinclair L, et al. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency Among Healthy Infants and Toddlers. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162[6]:505-512.

Hathcock JN, Shao A, Vieth R, Heaney R. Risk assessment for vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):6-18. Review.

Heaney RP, Davies KM, Chen TC, Holick MF, Barger-Lux MJ. Human serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol response to extended oral dosing with cholecalciferol. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):204-10.

Hollis BW. Vitamin D requirement during pregnancy and lactation. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec;22 Suppl 2:V39-44. Review.

Vieth R, Bischoff-Ferrari H, Boucher BJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Garland CF, Heaney RP, Holick MF, Hollis BW, Lamberg-Allardt C, McGrath JJ, Norman AW, Scragg R, Whiting SJ, Willett WC, Zittermann A. The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):649-50.

Assignment/Dr. Mercola: Vitamin D and Cancer― What Is the Amount Needed for Good Anti-Cancer Prevention?


Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention

Anticancer Research 2011― Studies indicate that intake of vitamin D in the range from 1,100 to 4,000 IUs a day and a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 60-80 ng/mL may be needed to reduce cancer risk. This study found that the supplemental dose ensuring that 97.5% of the study population achieved a serum 25(OH)D of at least 40 ng/mL was 9,600 IU/day. It also concluded that intake of up to 40,000 IUs per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity.

Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective

Annals of Epidemiology July 2009 ― Cancer-free survival in the study women after 4 years’ follow-up and random allocation to placebo, cancer-free survival was 77% higher in the calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation group than the placebo group. This study looked at the MINIMUM year-round serum levels needed to prevent breast and colorectal cancers, that minimum being 40-60 ng/mL. Quote: “The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium.”

Prognostic Effects of 25-Hydroxyvitain D Levels in Early Breast Cancer

Journal of Clinical Oncology August 2009 ― Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with poor outcomes in breast cancer. In this study:

Deficient = Less than 50 ng/mL
Insufficient = 50-72 ng/mL
Sufficient = Over 72 ng/mL

Vitamin D and Prevention of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis

The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology March 2007 ― Showed that intake of just 2000 IU/day of vitamin D 3 and, when possible, moderate exposure to sunlight, could raise serum 25(OH)D to 52 ng/mL, a level associated with reduction by 50% in incidence of breast cancer.

Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: A Quantitative Meta Analysis

American Journal of Preventive Medicine March 2007 ― Concludes that a 50% lower risk of colorectal cancer was associated with a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL; evidence suggests that daily intake of 1000-2000 IU/day of vitamin D3 could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer with “minimal risk” (of D3 toxicity).

Vitamin D: Its Role in Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology September 2006 ― The abstract does not give anti-cancer D3 levels; however, it does encourage measurement of D3 levels as an important tool to monitor vitamin D status for bone health and cancer prevention.

Estimation of Optimal Serum Concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D for Multiple Health Outcomes

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2006 ― Evidence suggests that vitamin D intakes above current recommendations may be associated with better health outcomes. … For all endpoints, the most advantageous serum concentrations of 25(OH)D begin at 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL), and the best are between 90 and 100 nmol/L (36–40 ng/mL). The study notes that more than 1000 IU/day are necessary to bring the levels up to minimal standards.

The Epidemiology of Vitamin D and Cancer Incidence Mortality: a Review (United States)

Cancer Causes and Control 2005 ― This abstract does NOT give the D levels needed for anti-cancer prevention, but it does say that “studies indicate that vitamin D may have anti-cancer benefits, including against progression and metastasis, against a wide spectrum of cancers. The researchers encourage further studies on this, “given the potential benefits from vitamin D.”

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk: The NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-Up Study, 1971-1975 to 1992

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & PreventionWhile this study does NOT cite specific D3 levels for anti-cancer prevention, is a good historical document for background information supporting the assertion that vitamin D from sunlight, diet and supplements reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Prospective Study of Predictors of Vitamin D Status and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Men

Journal of the National Cancer Institute April 2006 ― Vitamin D has potent anticancer properties, especially against digestive-system cancers. This study encourages more research on the how and why of the relationship between vitamin D3, sunlight and cancer prevention. The study concludes: “Vitamin D supplementation necessary to achieve a 25(OH)D increment of 25 ng/mL may be at least 1500 IU/day.

Vitamin D Insufficiency
NEJM 2011

The author reviews data supporting the recommendation to maintain a serum concentration of vitamin D above 20 ng per milliliter and notes the lack of evidence to support a higher target level. He reviews the limitations of data linking vitamin D insufficiency to chronic disease risk.

The author reports serving as an unpaid consultant for Lexicon Genetics and serving on the Vitamin D Subcommittee for the IOM. Lexicon Pharmaceuticals also happens to have over 100 potential therapeutic targets and multiple ongoing drug trials for the treatment of cancer, gastroenterologic diseases, and other immunological conditions― in other words, the company he consults for makes drugs that are planned to treat what D3 could cure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexicon_Pharmaceuticals

Vitamin D and dark skin

Egan KM, Signorello LB, Munro HM, Hargreaves MK, Hollis BW, Blot WJ. Vitamin D insufficiency among African-Americans in the southeastern United States: implications for cancer disparities (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Jun;19(5):527-35.

Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Willett WC. Cancer incidence and mortality and vitamin D in black and white male health professionals. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Dec;15(12):2467-72.

Grant WB. Lower vitamin-D production from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance may explain some differences in cancer survival rates. J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Mar;98(3):357-64.

 

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.