Vitamin D May Improve Breast Cancer Survival



A new study links higher Vitamin D levels with improved survival in patients with breast cancer.


 

 

VITAMIN D MAY IMPROVE BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL

As I extensively discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Vitamin D is the last vitamin left standing tall based upon the findings of recent high quality cancer prevention research studies.  Other than Vitamin D, virtually every other vitamin has been shown, by solid clinical research data, to have little or no favorable impact on cancer risk.  Based upon extensive research, Vitamin D appears to be particularly effective in reducing the risk of cancers of the GI tract, including, especially, colorectal cancer.  When it comes to breast cancer, the clinical research findings for Vitamin D tend to be mixed, with some studies showing a decreased risk of developing breast cancer (and improved survival in patients already diagnosed with breast cancer) associated with higher blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin, while others studies have failed to show that these beneficial effects are associated with increased Vitamin D levels.  Now, a new update from the December 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (the largest annual meeting dedicated exclusively to breast cancer research in the world) strongly suggests that higher Vitamin D levels, when combined with chemotherapy and the bone-strengthening drug zoledronic acid (ZOMETA®), are associated with improved survival in patients with breast cancer.

The ongoing prospective AZURE breast cancer study was not directly designed to evaluate the role of Vitamin D in the treatment of breast cancer, but among the more than 3,000 women who were enrolled in this British study, some received Vitamin D supplements and some did not.  Therefore, a secondary aim of this study was to assess the impact of Vitamin D levels on clinical outcomes in this large group of women with breast cancer.

Out of the 3,360 women who volunteered to participate in the AZURE trial, blood samples of 872 of these women were available; and these blood samples were, therefore, evaluated by measuring Vitamin D levels.  As this study was conducted in the United Kingdom, where sunlight is notoriously scarce, it was not surprising to learn that only 10 percent of the women in this AZURE trial subgroup had blood levels of Vitamin D at or above the “sufficient” level of 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

The primary aim of the AZURE study was to assess the impact of the bone-strengthening drug zoledronic acid on clinical outcomes in patients previously diagnosed with breast cancer.  As published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, there appeared to be no significant differences in outcomes between women randomized to receive zoledronic acid and women who received placebo (sugar) pills while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.  However, in this new update from the AZURE trial, postmenopausal breast cancer patients who were randomized to receive zoledronic acid and who had blood levels of Vitamin D above 30 ng/mL were 11 percent less likely to develop spread (metastasis) of their breast cancer to their bones when compared to the postmenopausal women who also took zoledronic acid but who also had low Vitamin D levels.  (As breast cancer metastasizes to the bones more commonly than any other site in the body, this apparent Vitamin D-associated 11 percent reduction in bone metastases in postmenopausal patients being treated with chemotherapy and zoledronic acid would be expected to improve survival as well.)

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where I work as a Surgical Oncologist, and as the director of our breast cancer program, we routinely measure Vitamin D levels on all patients, and those who are found to be deficient in this important vitamin are routinely placed on Vitamin D supplements.  The updated findings of the AZURE breast cancer trial, as well as similarly positive research findings for other types of cancer, suggest that this approach to monitoring and, when necessary, supplementing Vitamin D levels may be an important adjunct to standard cancer therapies.

 

 

Links to Other Breaking Health News

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Thousands of Surgery Mistakes Are Still Happening Each Year

New Graphic Antismoking Ads Debut in England

Kids with Food Allergies May Become Targets of Bullies

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

“Talking” Therapy May Help Depression When Antidepressant Medications Fail

New Egg-Free Flu Vaccine

Graphic Cigarette Labels in Australia

Predicting Childhood Obesity at Birth

Inexpensive Power Foods


Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1



At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, 2.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 



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Vitamin D Improves Cancer Survival



 

New research shows that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood increase survival among colorectal cancer patients.


 

VITAMIN D IMPROVES CANCER SURVIVAL

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is a large body of research evidence available to suggest that low Vitamin D levels may be associated with a higher risk of developing cancer.  However, the vast majority of published Vitamin D research has been focused on the use of Vitamin D to prevent cancer, while there is almost no data available linking Vitamin D levels in the blood with survival rates after a person has been diagnosed with cancer.  Now, a newly published prospective clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, suggests that low Vitamin D levels in the blood of patients undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer may, in fact, be associated with poorer survival when compared to patients with higher blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin.

This new study was part of the large and ongoing European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.  Altogether, 1,202 EPIC study volunteers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1992 and 2003.  As with all EPIC study volunteers, Vitamin D levels in the blood were checked when each participant joined the study.  Additionally, extensive dietary, lifestyle and medical history information was obtained from each study volunteer.

Among these 1,202 EPIC study volunteers who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 541 died during an average study observation period of 73 months, and 444 of these deaths were directly caused by colorectal cancer.  The findings of this study were highly significant, and strongly suggest that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood, prior to the onset of cancer, are associated with better survival in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  When comparing patients who had the highest Vitamin D levels with the patients who had the lowest levels, the patients with the highest Vitamin D levels were 31 percent lesslikely to die specifically from colorectal cancer, and 33 percent less likely to die from any cause.  Similarly, increased calcium intake prior to being diagnosed with colorectal cancer also appeared to reduce the risk of death due to colon or rectal cancer.  (Like Vitamin D, increased calcium intake has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.)

These new findings from the landmark prospective EPIC public health study are highly significant, in my view, as they are among the first data available to show that, in addition to its known cancer prevention activity (as I discuss in detail in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood may also reduce the risk of dying in patients who develop colorectal cancer.  (I should note that I have also been studying potential links between Vitamin D levels in the blood and survival in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and I expect to report our institution’s findings within the next 12 months.)

As always, I strongly recommend that you check with your physician before initiating any new dietary supplements, including Vitamin D, as excessive intake of this hormone-vitamin can lead to kidney injury, GI tract ulcers, calcifications throughout the body, and other serious health complications.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.



Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 
















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Vitamin D Improves Both HDL Levels and Weight Loss



A new prospective randomized clinical study showed that Vitamin D supplements increased levels of the HDL (“good cholesterol”) and improved weight loss.


 

 

VITAMIN D IMPROVES BOTH HDL LEVELS AND WEIGHT LOSS

Many health claims have been made for Vitamin D, although very few such claims have been well substantiated by high quality research studies.

In my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, I exhaustively review and discuss the available scientific data supporting Vitamin D as a potential cancer prevention nutrient.  However, other health claims have also been made for Vitamin D, aside from cancer prevention.  For example, there is some research data available suggesting that low levels of Vitamin D in the blood may be associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.  As with most disease prevention research, though, much of the data supporting this claim for Vitamin D is based upon rather weak methods of clinical research, and there is very little “gold standard” prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research data available that confirms a role for Vitamin D in cardiovascular disease prevention.  However, a newly published prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, adds further support for Vitamin D as a protective factor against cardiovascular disease, particularly among overweight and obese women.

In this new study, 77 otherwise healthy overweight or obese women were secretly randomized to receive either 1,000 International Units (25 micrograms) of Vitamin D per day or a daily placebo (sugar) pill for a period of 12 weeks.  Both groups of patient volunteers were then tested throughout the course of this study, including measurements of their blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and weight.  Food intake and physical activity levels were also monitored throughout the course of this clinical research study.

At the end of the study, the blood level of HDL cholesterol (the so-called “good cholesterol”) was found to have significantlyincreased in the group of women who had been secretly randomized to receive daily Vitamin D supplements for 12 weeks.  Similarly, the blood levels of apolipoprotein A-I, which also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (and which makes up part of the HDL molecule), was also noted to be significantly higher in the group of women who had received Vitamin D supplements, when compared to the women in the placebo control group.  (Moreover, the levels of both HDL and apolipoprotein A-I were noted to have actually decreased, over time, in the group of women who received only daily placebo pills.)

Finally, in this group of overweight and obese women, 12 weeks of daily Vitamin D supplementation was also associated with an average weight loss of just over 5 pounds (2.7 kilograms), whereas the women in the placebo control group lost less than one pound (0.4 kilogram) during the 12 week course of this study.  Interestingly, the enhanced weight loss that was observed in the Vitamin D group was not associated with any differences in the level of physical activity between the two groups of women in this study.

The rather dramatic results of this prospective, randomized, doubled-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study, therefore, showed that, at least among overweight and obese women, daily Vitamin D supplementation for 12 weeks was associated with heart-healthy improvements in HDL and apolipoprotein A-I levels, as well as significant weight loss.  Although this study included a rather small group of patient volunteers, and should therefore be repeated with a larger cohort of patients, the fact that this study was conducted according to “gold standard” methods of clinical research further adds to the credibility of its findings.  (Whether or not similar improvements in HDL and apolipoprotein A-I levels can be achieved by Vitamin D supplements in non-overweight or non-obese women, or in men, was not addressed by this clinical study.  However, other human and animal studies have suggested that Vitamin D deficiency may, indeed, be associated with lower HDL and apolipoprotein A-I levels in both males and females.)

As excessive levels of Vitamin D can lead to significant health problems, including nausea, vomiting, dehydration, kidney stones, kidney failure, and ulcers of the GI tract, I strongly recommend that you see your physician first if you choose to start taking Vitamin D supplements.

For more information regarding the potential cancer prevention effects of Vitamin D, order your copy of my evidence-based book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, today!



For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books.  Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a lighthearted perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 






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Vitamin D May Significantly Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

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Welcome to Weekly Health Update


A new research study suggests that breast cancer risk can be cut in half with adequate Vitamin D levels in the blood.



VITAMIN D MAY SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is considerable research evidence linking low Vitamin D levels in the blood with a higher risk of some types of cancer, and colorectal cancer in particular.As I have discussed previously in this column, there is also some research evidence available to suggest that low levels of Vitamin D may, similarly, be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, as well as a possible increase in the risk of recurrence of prior breast cancers (although the results of still other studies have not supported these conclusions). Now, a new analysis of recent breast cancer prevention research studies suggests that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood may indeedsignificantly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

Meta-analysis studies use powerful statistical formulas to combine the results of multiple smaller research studies into a single larger and more conclusive “meta-study.” This form of statistical analysis is especially useful for evaluating clinical research studies that have utilized different research methods to arrive at their final conclusions. A new meta-analysis of 11 previously published breast cancer risk research studies has just been published, and this new comprehensive meta-analysis appears in the current issue of the journal Anticancer Research.

Following meta-analysis of the results of 11 different breast cancer risk studies, this new study determined that high-normal levels of Vitamin D in the blood were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer when compared to low Vitamin D levels. Indeed, in this meta-analysis, a Vitamin D level of 47 ng/ml in the blood was associated with a whopping50 percent reduction in breast cancer risk, when compared to women who had very low blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin.(While there is no uniform agreement on “normal” blood levels of Vitamin D, most experts recommend that Vitamin D levels be maintained in the 30 to 50 ng/ml range.)

While increased Vitamin D intake has been repeatedly linked with a lower risk of some cancers, as well as a decreased risk of heart disease, excessive Vitamin D levels in the blood can cause serious illnesses, including kidney failure, calcium deposits throughout the body, gastrointestinal ulcers, and other serious health problems. Therefore, prior to beginning Vitamin D supplementation (or, indeed, before starting any new supplement or medication), please consult with your personal physician first!


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Vitamin D Decreases Diabetes Risk

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Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



VITAMIN D DECREASES DIABETES RISK

I have written extensively about Vitamin D in the past, particularly in the areas of cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention.  As regular readers of this column already know, Vitamin D, which actually functions more like a hormone than a vitamin, appears to be the only vitamin with clinically significant cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention properties.  Now, a newly published clinical research study suggests that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood may be associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes.  This new clinical study appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

This new report comes from a large cancer screening trial, the U.S. Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. A total of 2,500 patient volunteers were extensively surveyed and examined, and the following clinical data was collected for all participants: gender, age, geographical location, educational level, smoking history, body mass index (BMI), level of physical activity, and diet (including Vitamin D and calcium intake). Importantly, all of these study participants underwent testing for Vitamin D levels in their blood.

After adjusting for known risk factors associated with developing diabetes (such as BMI, physical activity level, smoking, and total dietary energy intake), the scientists conducting this study found a very strong association between Vitamin D levels in the blood and diabetes risk. In this moderately large clinical research study, the likelihood of having diabetes was more than three times greater among patient volunteers with low levels of Vitamin D (less than 72 pmol/L) when compared with patients who had higher levels of Vitamin D (103 pmol/L or greater).  Once again, this dramatic association between Vitamin D levels in the blood and diabetes risk persisted even after accounting for diabetes risk factors associated with each individual patient volunteer.

The findings of this prospectively conducted clinical research study add considerable weight to previous observations that diabetes is more common in people who live in areas where Vitamin D levels are known to be low throughout the population. Although the mechanism whereby Vitamin D may reduce the risk of diabetes is not known at this time, previous research in laboratory mice has demonstrated that chemical receptors for Vitamin D can be found in the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This finding, together with an increasing volume of research data linking low Vitamin D levels to a higher risk of developing diabetes, suggests that Vitamin D probably plays a direct role in modulating insulin production by the pancreas, as well as in determining the sensitivity of our bodies to circulating insulin.


For additional evidence-based information on Vitamin D as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle, please click on the following links:

A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race

Vitamin D Significantly Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

Vitamin D and Dementia

Breast Cancer Recurrence and Vitamin D

Vitamin D and Falls in the Elderly

Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer Survival

Vitamin and Breast Cancer Risk

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Vitamin D Significantly Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



VITAMIN D SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, recent high-level clinical research studies have pretty much debunked the widely held belief that Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, or selenium supplements are able to decrease cancer risk in humans,  However, as I also discuss in my book, there is an abundance of research data suggesting that Vitamin D (which actually functions more like a hormone than a vitamin) may, indeed, offer protection against certain types of cancer (as well as cardiovascular disease).  Unfortunately, however, as with all laboratory and clinical research findings, one can easily find other research studies that have reached contradictory results.

Meta-analysis is a powerful method of statistically combining the results of multiple smaller research studies, which often differ from each other in their methods, into one large “meta-study.”  While meta-analysis cannot always overcome the limitations of poorly conducted or otherwise weak research studies, it is a valuable tool to use in studying clinical problems for which large-scale prospective randomized clinical research trials have not yet been performed.

A newly published meta-analysis of the effects of Vitamin D on colorectal cancer risk appears in the current issue of the journalCancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.  In this meta-analysis, the findings of multiple previous Vitamin D clinical research studies were analyzed.  For every 100 IU of Vitamin D intake per day (up to 600 IU per day), a 5 percent decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer was observed.  Similarly, for every 100 IU/liter increase in the concentration of Vitamin D in the blood (up to 1800 IU/liter), colorectal cancer risk decreased by 4 percent.

The results of this meta-analysis confirm the findings numerous other prospective clinical research studies linking increased dietary intake of Vitamin D, and higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood, with a significant reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer.

Because excessive Vitamin D intake can cause serious health problems, I always recommend that you check with your doctor, first, before starting Vitamin D supplements (or other vitamin supplements).

For a complete evidence-based discussion of Vitamin D as a cancer prevention nutrient, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Vitamin D and Death Due to Colorectal Cancer

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Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


VITAMIN D AND DEATH DUE TO COLORECTAL CANCER

Based upon recent high quality clinical research, only Vitamin D, among all vitamins, appears to have potentially significant cancer prevention effects.  However, as with all areas of clinical and laboratory research, one can find contradictory research results for Vitamin D, as well.

An innovative prospective clinical research study is now reporting its results, which appear to link Vitamin D deficiency to colorectal cancer death rates.  As with previous research studies, the findings of this study strongly suggest that Vitamin D deficiency may be linked with a higher risk of death due to colorectal cancer.  The findings of this clinical research study appear in the current issue of the journal Cancer.

An interesting and unique aspect of this particular clinical research study was its evaluation of the potential impact of Vitamin D deficiency on the well-known increased risk of death due to colorectal cancer that has been observed in African-Americans when compared to Caucasian patients.  As our bodies create active Vitamin D from exposure of our skin to sunlight, and as people with darkly pigmented skin are more prone to developing Vitamin D deficiency, when compared to lightly-pigmented people, the authors of this study sought to assess the potential colorectal cancer risk impact of Vitamin D deficiency on patient volunteers with darkly pigmented skin.

In this large public health study, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which was conducted between 1988 and 1994, blood levels of Vitamin D were measured in study volunteers.  Patients with a Vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/dL were considered to be deficient in Vitamin D.

As previous public health studies have also shown, the results of this study indicated that African-Americans are twice as likely to die of colorectal cancer when compared to Caucasians.  When blood levels of Vitamin D were considered, specifically, the increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer observed in African-American patients decreased by 40 percent among those African-Americans who had normal levels of Vitamin D in their blood.  (These results, therefore, suggest that at least 40 percent of the increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer in African-American persons is likely to be caused by Vitamin D deficiency.)  When patients of all races were considered in terms of Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for death due to colorectal cancer,patient volunteers with a blood level of Vitamin D less than 20 ng/dL were more than twice as likely (i.e., a 211 percent increase in risk)to die of colorectal cancer during the course of this prospective research study, when compared with patients who had normal Vitamin D levels.

In summary, this large prospectively conducted public health study found, as have previous studies, a significant association between Vitamin D deficiency and the risk of dying from colorectal cancer.  (Previous Vitamin D studies have also identified a 25 to 40 percent reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancer, and death due to colorectal cancer, in study volunteers with blood Vitamin D levels in the 30 to 40 ng/dL range.)  While not all clinical research studies have shown this level of colorectal cancer risk reduction associated with normal blood levels of Vitamin D, this particular study joins a growing list of clinical studies that appear to show a significant reduction in colorectal cancer risk associated with adequate levels of Vitamin D in the blood.

As excessive Vitamin D intake can cause significant health problems (especially in patients with kidney disease and parathyroid gland disease), you should check with your doctor prior to considering the use of Vitamin D supplements.

 

For a complete discussion of Vitamin D as a cancer prevention agent, and other evidence-based approaches to cancer risk and cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Vitamin D, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and Death

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



VITAMIN D, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, CANCER AND DEATH

Among all of the vitamins, only Vitamin D appears to have clinically significant health benefits in reducing the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease, fractures, and cancer, based upon numerous recent clinical research study findings (for a comprehensive update on the role of Vitamin D as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle, please see my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, which is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble). 

A newly-published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, prospectively evaluated 1,194 elderly men (average age was 71 years) over a period of nearly 13 years.   Blood levels of Vitamin D were measured in these elderly male men, and the results of these blood tests were then correlated with subsequent health outcomes. 

In this prospective public health study, with extensive long-term follow-up, very low and very high blood levels of Vitamin D were associated with a significantly increased risk of death.  In fact, a whopping 50 percent increase in the risk of death was associated with both very low (<46 nmol/L) and very high (>98 nmol/L) concentrations of Vitamin D in the blood.  Death due to cancer was two times more common with very low Vitamin D levels, while very high levels of Vitamin D increased the risk of death due to cancer by almost three-fold.  At the same time, death due to cardiovascular disease was nearly twice as likely in elderly men with very low Vitamin D levels, but not in men with very high levels of this hormone-like vitamin.

The findings of this prospective public health study add to the enormous volume of previously published clinical research data on the health effects of Vitamin D.  As this study suggests, there may be an optimal concentration of Vitamin D in the blood that is associated with a decreased risk of death from both cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Meanwhile, a healthy diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, brightly-colored fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish (and minimal red meat and other animal-based foods) is your best bet for a long and healthy life! 

For a comprehensive, evidence-based review of the importance of Vitamin D and diet in a cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new landmark book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 
Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 

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Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Cognitive Decline & Dementia

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


VITAMIN D REDUCES RISK OF COGNITIVE DECLINE & DEMENTIA

Regular readers of this column are already well aware of the preventive effects of Vitamin D with respect to falls in the elderly, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease.  (My new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” which is scheduled to be published in August, 2010, contains an exciting and comprehensive update on the role of Vitamin D in cancer prevention.)  Now, a newly published research study, which appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, has linked low Vitamin D levels in the blood with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in adults over the age of 65.

A total of 858 adults at or over the age of 65 participated in this prospective public health study, which was conducted over a period of 7 years.  All of these study volunteers underwent extensive evaluation of their cognitive function, using validated, standardized tests, when they entered into the study.  All patients also underwent testing of their blood for Vitamin D levels.  This extensive evaluation and testing was then repeated every 3 years during the course of this important clinical research study.

The results of this study indicated that patient volunteers with low Vitamin D levels in the blood (less than 25 nmol/liter), when compared with volunteers with normal blood levels of Vitamin D (75 nmol/liter, or higher), experienced significant declines in their intellectual function over the course of this study.  Indeed, the patient volunteers with decreased Vitamin D levels in their blood were as much as 60 percent more likely to experience progressive cognitive decline or dementia over the relatively brief duration of this study, when compared with the patients who had normal levels of Vitamin D in their blood! 

The results of this study are very similar to the findings of a similar study, which has just been published in the journal Neurology.  In this particular study, an inadequate level of Vitamin D in the blood of elderly men and women was associated with a significantly increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia from all causes, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.  Moreover, abnormalities of the brain, as detected by MRI scans, were also more commonly observed in patients who were deficient in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common in older men and women.  An estimated 80 percent of people over the age of 65 have inadequate levels of Vitamin D in their blood, while as many as 45 percent of older men and women also have severe Vitamin D deficiency.

 

The results of these two studies strongly suggest that adequate levels of Vitamin D in the blood may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of aging-associated cognitive decline and dementia in older men and women, in addition to improving muscle strength, decreasing the risk of certain cancers, and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

 

Not everyone should take large doses of Vitamin D, however, as the unmonitored use of this potent hormone-like vitamin can cause dangerous elevations in the level of calcium in the blood, as well as calcifications in the soft tissues of the body, kidney failure, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal ulcers.  (Prior to starting Vitamin D supplements, you should certainly discuss the risks and benefits of Vitamin D supplementation with your physician.)

 

To learn more about the critical role of Vitamin D and the risk of cancer, look for the publication of my new landmark book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the August of this year. 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 new and returning readers who visit our premier global health information website every month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 

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Vitamin D, Cardiovascular Disease & Death

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



  “A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 


VITAMIN D, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE & DEATH

 

There is mounting evidence that Vitamin D plays a much more complex role in maintaining health beyond its primary function in regulating calcium absorption.  Increasingly, research data suggests that this hormone-like vitamin may also play important roles in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well.  (A comprehensive update on Vitamin D’s cancer prevention properties will appear in my forthcoming book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.”)

 

The vast majority of published research studies in disease prevention have relied upon low-level research methods, including surveys of patient volunteers and retrospective medical chart reviews.  More recently, however, high-quality prospective, randomized cardiovascular disease prevention and cancer prevention clinical research trials have been performed.  These high-level studies have the potential to significantly improve lifestyle-based approaches to preventing the diseases that, together, cause the majority of all premature deaths.   

 

A newly published prospective clinical research study, from the Chianti region of Italy, enrolled more than 1,000 adults, aged 65 years and older.  All patient volunteers were tested for the level of Vitamin D in their blood when they joined this study, and all of these older adults were then carefully followed for an average of nearly 7 years.  During the course of this study, 228 study participants died.  The researchers then compared the levels of Vitamin D in the blood of the participants who died during the study with those of the volunteers who survived.  (This study is published in the current issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)

 

The findings of this prospective clinical study were striking.  The patient volunteers with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood were more than 2 times as likely to die, from any cause, when compared with the patients who had the highest levels of Vitamin D in their blood.  The patients with the lowest Vitamin D levels were also nearly 3 times as likely to die from heart attacks, and other complications related to cardiovascular disease, when compared to the patients with high levels of Vitamin D in their blood.  These dramatic findings held up even after the researchers made statistical adjustments for differences in the age, gender, education level, exercise habits, and other health-related factors among these two groups of study participants. 

 

As we age, our bodies become less efficient in converting sunlight into Vitamin D, and multiple research studies have shown that the majority of older adults are deficient in Vitamin D.  A growing number of high-level clinical research studies, such as this Italian study, continue to suggest that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, bone fractures, and decreased muscle strength in older men and women.  Therefore, the importance of this vitamin-hormone in maintaining optimal health is becoming increasingly apparent.

 

 

 

For additional Weekly Health Update articles on Vitamin D, please click the following links:

 

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/2-3-08

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/10-11-09.htm

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/11-8-09.html

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/9-20-09.htm

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/8-9-09.htm

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/12-28-08.htm

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/10-5-08.htm

http://doctorwascher.com/Archives/6-29-08.htm  


 

In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti by the recent earthquake, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in that country to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless there.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a somewhat lighter perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg


 

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