Vitamin D deficiency. What are the risks? How can you determine if you’re deficient? And what are the benefits of raising your vitamin D level?
Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common around the world, but many mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk because they consume vitamin D-fortified foods, such as milk. Few foods have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally, and even fortified foods do not contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs.
Despite its name, vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone that you obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet. Since most dermatologists and other doctors recommend avoiding the sun and using sunscreen before venturing outdoors, vitamin D deficiency has reached truly epidemic proportions around the world.
Unfortunately, while the justification for sun avoidance is that it may reduce your risk of skin cancer, by avoiding sun exposure you risk vitamin D deficiency, which in turn raises your risk for many cancers — not only internal ones but also skin cancer, as well as a whole host of chronic diseases.
Considering the importance of vitamin D for disease prevention, strict sun avoidance is likely doing far more harm than good. The major problem with sun exposure is burning, not overall exposure. And, the easily treatable forms of skin cancer — squamous and basal cell carcinomas — are the ones most likely to form.
Definition of Vitamin D Deficiency
According to research1 published in June, 2018, an estimated 40 percent of Americans are profoundly vitamin D deficient, defined as having a serum (blood) level of vitamin D below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). Sufficiency is defined as having a level of 20 ng/mL or higher.
Calling someone with a vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/ml vitamin D deficient is like calling someone over 400 pounds simply overweight; in both cases a grossly serious understatement.
Seventy-five percent of American adults and teens are deficient in vitamin D when a sufficiency level of 30 ng/mL is used.2 If the sufficiency cutoff were to be moved to 40 to 60 ng/mL, sufficiency rates in the U.S. would likely be in the high 90 percent bracket.
It’s important to realize that 20 ng/mL has repeatedly been shown to be grossly insufficient for good health and disease prevention and, really, anything below 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) should be suspect. For example, research has shown that once you reach a minimum serum vitamin D level of 40 ng/mL, your risk for cancer diminishes by 67 percent, compared to having a level of 20 ng/mL or less.3
Most cancers occur in people with a vitamin D blood level between 10 and 40 ng/mL (25 to 100 nmol/L), and the optimal level for cancer protection now appears to be between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 to 200 nmol/L).
Several studies also show that these higher vitamin D levels are protective against breast cancerspecifically. Importantly, a 2005 study4 showed women with vitamin D levels above 60 ng/mL have an 83 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those below 20 ng/mL! I cannot think of any other strategy that can offer that kind of risk reduction.
More recently, a pooled analysis5 published in June 2018 of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort study came to a near-identical conclusion. The objective was to assess whether there are any benefits to having a vitamin D level above 40 ng/mL, as most studies do not venture into these higher levels.
Indeed, mirroring the 2005 findings, women with vitamin D levels at or above 60 ng/mL had an 82 percent lower incidence rate of breast cancer than those with levels of 20 ng/mL or less. Published research by GrassrootsHealth reveals as much as 80 percent of all breast cancer incidence could be prevented simply by optimizing vitamin D and nothing else.
Top 5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
The only way to definitively identify vitamin D deficiency is via blood testing. However, there are some general signs and symptoms to be aware of as well. If any of the following apply to you, you should get your vitamin D levels tested sooner rather than later, and take proactive steps to boost your level into the 60 to 80 ng/mL range:
1.Ongoing musculoskeletal pain and achy bones — According to vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia,6which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” Holick says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”7
2.Frequent illness/infections — Vitamin D regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses, so frequent illness and infections of all kinds, including colds and flu, is a tipoff that your immune function is subpar, which likely means you’re low on vitamin D.
3.Neurological symptoms — This includes depression, “feeling blue, cognitive impairment, headaches and migraines. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.8
The same study also found low vitamin D was linked to poor cognitive performance. Several other studies9 have also linked vitamin D deficiency with poor mental function, confusion, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. Headaches and migraines are also associated with low vitamin D.10,11
4.Fatigue and daytime sleepiness — Studies have linked low vitamin D to persistent fatigue.12,13 In one case, a woman struggling with chronic fatigue, daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia), low back pain and daily headaches was found to have a vitamin D level below 6 ng/mL.
Her symptoms resolved once she raised it to 39 ng/mL.14 Another study15 found women with vitamin D levels below 29 ng/mL were more likely to complain of fatigue than those with levels above 30 ng/mL.
5.Head sweating — According to Holick, a classic sign of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.16
Top 5 Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency
Several factors will influence your risk for vitamin D deficiency, including the following:
- Rarely spending time outdoors and/or always wearing sunscreen — Researchers have noted that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in adults of all ages who always wear sun protection (which blocks vitamin D production) or limit their outdoor activities.17 The ideal time for sun exposure is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the UVB rays are present.
- Darker skin — Your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D. If you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin.
- Being 50 or older — As you get older, your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into its active form. Older adults also tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).
- Obesity — Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person. In one recent study,18 vitamin D deficiency was three times more prevalent in obese individuals.
- Gastrointestinal problems — Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and nonceliac gluten sensitivity and inflammatory bowel disease.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D Optimization
Optimizing your vitamin D levels has been shown to have a powerful effect on health, helping protect against a wide variety of diseases. Among them:
|Dry eye syndromes.19,20|
|Macular degeneration,21,22 which is the No. 1 cause of blindness in the elderly.|
|Autoimmune diseases — Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis, just to name a few.|
|Infectious diseases, including influenza and HIV.24,25|
|Inflammatory rheumatic diseases26 such as rheumatoid arthritis.|
|Osteoporosis and hip fractures.|
|Cardiovascular disease — Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack and stroke, as it plays a vital role in protecting and repairing damage to your endothelium.27
It also helps trigger production of nitric oxide — which improves blood flow and prevents blood clot formation — and significantly reduces oxidative stress in your vascular system, all of which are important to help prevent the development and/or progression of cardiovascular disease.
According to Holick,28 vitamin D deficiency increases your risk of heart attack by 50 percent, and if you have a heart attack and you’re vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack is virtually guaranteed.
Indeed, a Norwegian study29 published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found “a normal intake of vitamin D” significantly reduces your risk of death if you have cardiovascular disease.30
|Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease31,32 and epilepsy — In one study,33 epileptics given a one-time megadose of vitamin D3, ranging from 40,000 IUs all the way up to 200,000 IUs, followed by a daily dose of 2,000 to 2,600 IUs a day for three months to bring each individual’s vitamin D status to at least 30 ng/mL, resulted in significant improvements.Ten out of 13 had a decrease in the number of seizures, five of which experienced more than a 50 percent reduction. Overall, the group had a 40 percent reduction in the number of seizures.|
|Lupus — According to researchers in Cairo,34 most patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have some level of vitamin D deficiency, defined as a level of 10 ng/mL or less, or insufficiency, a level between 10 and 30 ng/mL.|
|Obstructive sleep apnea — In one study, 98 percent of patients with sleep apnea had vitamin D deficiency, and the more severe the sleep apnea, the more severe the deficiency.35|
|Bone health, falls and fractures — A 2006 review36 looking at vitamin D intakes and health outcomes such as bone mineral density, dental health, risk of falls, fractures and colorectal cancer, found “the most advantageous serum concentrations of 25(OH)D begin at 30 ng/mL, and the best are between 36 to 40 ng/mL.”|
|Obesity and diabetes — Research37 has shown vitamin D supplementation (4,000 IUs/day) combined with resistance training helps decrease your waist-to-hip ratio, a measurement that is far better at determining your risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease than body mass index.|
|Type 1 diabetes — Data from GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action project to prevent Type 1 diabetes38suggests maintaining a vitamin D level between 40 and 60 ng/mL (100 to 150 nmol/L) may prevent Type 1 diabetes, and stop the progression of the disease, which is a growing problem.|
|Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS)39,40,41— Research shows MS patients with higher levels of vitamin D tend to experience less disabling symptoms.42 Vitamin D deficiency is also common among patients with Parkinson’s43 and seniors with severe vitamin D deficiency may raise their risk for dementia by 125 percent.44|
|DNA repair and metabolic processes — One of Holick’s studies45 showed healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months up-regulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes, including DNA repair and autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and/or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer).|
|Preterm birth — A level of 40 ng/mL has also been shown to offer powerful protection against preterm birth if you’re pregnant.46 Women with a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/mL may lower their risk of preterm birth by as much as 62 percent, compared to having a level of just 20 ng/mL. Women with a history of preterm birth gain even greater protection — an 80 percent reduction — when raising their vitamin D level above 40 ng/mL.|
|Pregnancy complications — Having a vitamin D level above 40 ng/mL also protects the mother by reducing her risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and prenatal infections by approximately 50 percent.47|
|All-cause mortality — Studies have also linked higher vitamin D levels with lowered mortality from all causes.48,49,50|
Check Your Vitamin D Level Twice a Year
Regular, sensible sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D status, but many will need to take an oral vitamin D3 supplement, especially during winter months.
The only way to gauge whether you might need to supplement, and how much, is to get your level tested, ideally twice a year, in the early spring, after the winter, and early fall when you level is at its peak and low point. This is particularly important if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or if you have cancer.
Again, the level you’re aiming for is between 60 and 80 ng/mL, with 40 ng/mL being the low cutoff point for sufficiency to prevent a wide range of diseases, including cancer.
GrassrootsHealth makes testing easy by offering an inexpensive vitamin D testing kit as part of its consumer-sponsored research. By signing up, you are helping further vital health research that can help millions in coming years. (All revenues from these kits go directly to GrassrootsHealth. I make no profit from these kits and only provide them as a service of convenience to my readers.)
All women are also encouraged to enroll in the Breast Cancer Prevention project,51 to track your vitamin D level and help prevent an initial cancer occurrence, or, if you’ve already had it, to help prevent a recurrence. In addition, anyone affected by Type 1 Diabetes is invited to enroll in the Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Project.
Required Dosage Is Highly Individual
Research52 suggests it would require 9,600 IUs of vitamin D per day to get 97 percent of the population to reach 40 ng/mL, but individual requirements can vary widely, and you need to take whatever dosage required to get you into the optimal range.
As noted by Carole Baggerly, director and founder of GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into practice:53
“Our first paper, published in 2011, showed the dose response relationship. You can easily see that two people taking the same dose (e.g., 4,000 IU/day) could have very different results. That’s why testing … is so important.”
If you’ve been taking a certain amount of vitamin D3 for a number of months and retesting reveals you’re still not within the recommended range, then you know you need to increase your dosage.
Over time, with continued testing, you’ll find your individual sweet spot and have a good idea of how much you need to take to maintain an ideal level year-round. GrassrootsHealth also has an online vitamin D calculator you can use to estimate your vitamin D3 dosage once you know your current serum level.
Additional Guidelines When Using Oral Vitamin D3
Aside from determining your ideal dose of vitamin D3, you also need to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin K2 (to avoid complications associated with excessive calcification in your arteries), calcium and magnesium.
Research54,55 has shown that if you’re taking high doses of vitamin D while having an insufficient magnesium level, your body cannot properly utilize the vitamin D you’re taking. The reason for this is because magnesium is required for the actual activation of vitamin D. If your magnesium level is too low, the vitamin D may simply get stored in its inactive form.
This may actually help explain why many need rather high doses of vitamin D to optimize their levels. According to this scientific review, as many as 50 percent of Americans taking vitamin D supplements may not get significant benefit due to insufficient magnesium levels.
On the other hand, when you have an optimal magnesium level, your vitamin D level will rise even if you’re taking a much lower dose.56 In fact, previous research57 has indicated that higher magnesium intake helps reduce your risk of vitamin D deficiency — likely by activating more of it.
The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention
A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.
According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. Dr. Robert Heaney is the research director of GrassrootsHealth and is part of the design of the D*action Project as well as analysis of the research findings.
GrassrootsHealth shows how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
- Vitamin D for Public Health
- Free Vitamin D Educational Training for Medical Practitioners
- Scientific Consensus Paper Released; Assert Sunlight and Vitamin D are Essential for Human Health
- Dr. Mercola’s Vitamin D Resource Page
- Wake Up World’s Vitamin D Resource Page
Where Do We Go From Here?
GrassrootsHealth is now undertaking a new project entitled the Protect Our Children NOW! (POC) project. The aim of this project is to acquire participation of at least 500 pregnant women in a community, and to increase their serum levels to the suggested level of at least 40 ng/ml based on a clinical trial by neonatologist Carol Wagner and vitamin D researcher Bruce Hollis.
In addition, the project will take these results in two years and “march” on the various institutions in the states and government to the March of Dimes, to demand that action be taken to protect the world’s next generation.
Among other items, the projects’ expected impact is likely to be a reduction in preterm births (in some cases up to a 50 percent reduction). The project already has the blessing of scientists and physicians at the Medical University of South Carolina (who are implementing it in their practices) and even from insurance companies.
Any community can implement this and make a difference for themselves and others. For further information contact Jen Aliano, Project Manager, at email@example.com.
- 1 Cureus 2018 Jun; 10(6): e2741
- 2 Archives of Internal Medicine 2009;169(6):626-632
- 3 PLOS ONE 2016; 11 (4): e0152441
- 4 European Journal of Cancer 2005 May;41(8):1164-9
- 5 PLOS ONE June 15, 2018
- 6 US Pharmacist March 18, 2009
- 7, 28, 45 Mercola.com December 22, 2013, Interview with Dr. Michael Holick
- 8 American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry December 2006; 14(12): 1032-1040
- 9 Vitamin D Council, Cognitive Impairment
- 10 J Clin Neurol. 2018 Jul; 14(3): 366–373
- 11 Health.com January 6, 2017
- 12 Glob J Health Sci. 2015 Nov 17;8(6):196-202
- 13 Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan; 119(1): 111–118
- 14 J Clin Sleep Med. 2010 Dec 15;6(6):605-8
- 15 J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Sep;36(8):622-7
- 16 Mayo Clinic Proceedings June 21, 2013
- 17 Am J Clin NutrMarch 2004 vol. 79 no. 3 362-371
- 18 British Journal of Nutrition 2018 Apr;119(8):928-936
- 19 International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases August 13, 2015
- 20 Endocrinology Advisor August 24, 2015
- 21 JAMA Ophthalmology August 27, 2015;133(10):1171-1179
- 22 Epoch Times September 2, 2015
- 23 News.cn August 28, 2015
- 24 Greensboro.com July 27, 2015
- 25 Scidev.net July 24, 2015
- 26 Medpage Today August 20, 2015
- 27 International Journal of Nanomedicine January 19. 2018; 2018(13): 455-466
- 29 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism January 9, 2018, jc2017-02328
- 30 Medicalxpress.com March 1, 2018
- 31 The Journals of Geriontology 2012 Nov;67(11):1205-11
- 32 Vitamin D Council, April 23, 2012
- 33 Epilepsy and Behavior 2012 May;24(1):131-3
- 34 Healio September 4, 2015
- 35 Bel Marra Health May 3, 2016
- 36 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2006: 84(1); 18-28
- 37 Clinical Nutrition September 3, 2012
- 38 GrassrootsHealth, D*Action Project to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes
- 39 Greenmedinfo.com Multiple Sclerosis
- 40 PLOS Medicine August 25, 2015 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001866
- 41 Community Voices December 3, 2014
- 42 Reliawire December 31, 2015
- 43 Parkinsonsdisease.net, Vitamin D Deficiency and Parkinson’s
- 44 Neurology August 6, 2014
- 46 PLOS One July 24, 2017
- 47 J Bone Miner Res. Oct 2011; 26(10): 2341–2357
- 48 Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D (2011)
- 49 J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013;98:2160-2167
- 50 PLOS One 2013: 8(12); e82109
- 51 Grassrootshealth, Breast Cancer Prevention Project
- 52 Anticancer Research 2011 Feb;31(2):607-11
- 53 Mercola.com August 7, 2018, Interview with Carole Baggerly
- 54 Journal of the American Osteopathic Association March 2018; 118: 181-189
- 55, 56 Eurekalert February 27, 2018
- 57 BMC Medicine 2013; 11: 187
Originally posted: https://wakeup-world.com/2019/01/08/top-5-signs-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/
Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the US. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 50 percent of American kids ages one to five years old and 70 percent of children from six to 11 years old have insufficient vitamin D levels in their body.
Vitamin D is not your typical vitamin. Dubbed as the sunshine vitamin, it’s actually a steroid hormone that’s best obtained through safe sun exposure, not through fortified foods like milk. This explains the mounting research suggesting higher levels of vitamin D deficiency in individuals of all ages who constantly wear sun protection or limit their outdoor activities.
Natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola is a strong advocate of sun exposure as the best source of natural vitamin D. He believes that the recommended amount of time needed for each person to stay under the sun varies depending on different factors, including:
- Use of sunscreen
- Cloud over and pollution
- Surface reflection
- Time of the day
- Ozone layer
- Skin color or current tan level A
- Antioxidant levels
- General diet
Your skin is an excellent indicator for this. If your skin turns the lightest shade of pink, this means that you’ve already had enough sun exposure. Make sure that you reach for cover or go indoors as soon as possible, as staying under the sun after this point will no longer give you further benefits and will only put you at risk for sunburn.
If you’re tied to a nine-to-five office job, which makes it impossible for you to get some sunshine during the day, or if you’re living in areas where the sun rarely makes an appearance, Dr. Mercola suggests using a safe tanning bed with beneficial UV lights. Go to a local tanning salon near your area that uses only high-quality tanning beds, or better yet, get your own home tanning bed as an investment.
Remember: a loud buzzing noise in a tanning bed indicates that it has magnetic ballasts, which are well-known sources of cancer-causing electromagnetic fields or EMFs.
For Dr. Mercola, oral vitamin D supplementation should only be considered if you feel that you need more vitamin D and that you’re not getting an adequate dose, perhaps due to limited access to sun exposure or safe tanning beds. However, he also stressed the importance of increasing your vitamin K2, magnesium, and zinc while on oral vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and will need all these other vitamins to work properly.
How to Know If You Lack Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that provides a wide range of health benefits, which help you combat different types of infections and diseases. That said, a deficiency in it makes you vulnerable to these health threats.
If you are worried that you or someone you love is vitamin D deficient, here are some signs to watch out for:
- Having a dark skin. African Americans and other individuals with darker skin actually need 10 times more sun exposure than people with pale skin, because they have more pigments serving as natural sunscreen protecting them from sunlight.
- Feeling “blue.” Sun exposure affects the rise and fall of your serotonin levels, a brain hormone responsible for mood elevation. Scientists in a study done in 2006 found that adults with lower levels of vitamin D are more prone to depression compared to those with healthy doses.
- Being 50 or older. As you get older, your skin can’t make enough vitamin D from sun exposure, and your kidney loses its natural ability to convert vitamin D into the form your body needs. Add that to the fact that most elderly individuals spend more time indoors.
- Being overweight or obese (or having higher muscle mass). Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, your body fats act as a “sink” by collecting it. This means that the more overweight you are, the more vitamin D you’ll need. This is also true for people with higher bodyweight due to muscle mass.
- Aching bones. Throbbing and aching bones, particularly in combination with fatigue, may be a telltale sign of vitamin D deficiency.
- Sweaty head. Extreme sweating in infants due to neuromuscular irritability may be an early sign of vitamin D deficiency.
- Gut trouble. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, any digestive problem – including celiac, non-gluten sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and Crohn’s – that may affect your body’s ability to absorb fat may result in poor vitamin D absorption.
If you happen to have any of these risk factors, Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests that you get your vitamin D serum levels checked through 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D test every six months, preferably during your highest point in August and at your lowest point in February (if you live in the US).
Author: Dr. Mercola
With Breast Cancer Awareness month fully upon us once again, retail stores have been invaded with everything pink, including “pink ribbon” candies and personal care products made with blatantly cancer-causing ingredients. Retail grocery stores like Safeway even hit up customers for donations at the cash register, promising to raise funds to find “the cure for cancer.”
Consumers of course, have virtually no idea where the funds they donate actually go, nor do they know the truths about breast cancer they’ll never be told by conventional cancer non-profit organizations. In this article, I’ll reveal ten important myths about breast cancer, and the truths that can save your life.
Myth #1: Breast Cancer is not preventable
The Truth: Up to 98% of breast cancer cases can be prevented through diet, nutritional supplements, sunshine and exercise
It’s true: Breast cancer can be almost entirely prevented through commonsense changes in diet, the addition of anti-cancer nutritional supplements, boosting vitamin D creation from sunlight, avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products, pursuing regular exercise and eating a live foods diet.
The breast cancer industry — which depends on the continuation of cancer for its profits and employment — has so far refused to teach women even basic cancer prevention strategies (such as increasing the intake of vitamin D, which prevents 77% of all cancers). See:http://www.naturalnews.com/021892.html
Myth #2: Pink ribbon products are sold to raise money to support breast cancer victims.
You know where all that money goes that you donate to the “search for the cure” and other cancer scams? Virtually none of it goes to actually teach women how to prevent cancer. The World Health Organization says 70% of all cancers are preventable, but the breast cancer industry helps zero percent of women actually prevent it.
Those funds actually go to recruiting breast cancer patients by offering “free” mammograms. This is the clever recruitment strategy of the cancer industry. It’s sort of like a greasy garage mechanic offering a “free” checkup on your car’s transmission. It’s in his financial interest to find something wrong (or to break something), just like it’s in the financial interests of the cancer industry to diagnose a women with cancer and scare her into expensive, high-profit treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or cancer surgery. (Mammogram false positives are commonplace…)
Want proof of where these funds go? Check out this grant list at the Komen for the Cure organization, and you’ll see it’s almost entirely spent on recruiting more women with mammograms: http://www.komenphoenix.org/site/c….
When you read that list, note that there is not a single grant provided for nutritional educationto teach women how to prevent cancer with vitamin D, cruciferous vegetables, anti-cancer herbs, supplements or to avoid dangerous cancer-causing food ingredients like sodium nitrite, MSG and chemical sweeteners.
Myth #3: The only proven treatments for breast cancer are chemotherapy and radiation
The Truth: Chemotherapy doesn’t work and radiation causes cancer
Chemotherapy is a fraud, plain and simple. It’s as ludicrous as poisoning patients with mercury and calling it medicine (which is something doctors did a hundred years ago, by the way). There is absolutely no reliable scientific evidence showing that chemotherapy has any positive effect whatsoever on breast cancer. Try to find the science yourself: It doesn’t exist!
Sure, there’s evidence that chemotherapy shrinks tumors. Too bad, however, that tumor size is irrelevant. Artificially reducing the size of a tumor does nothing to reverse the physiology of cancer in a patient’s body. It doesn’t initiate the healing that needs to take place to reverse cancer and stay cancer free. And this doesn’t even take into account the quality of life issues here: Chemotherapy doesn’t help people LIVE any longer, but it sure does make them DIE longer!
Myth #4: Chemotherapy is safe and doesn’t cause permanent damage to your health
Cancer Drug Causes Permanent Brain Damage
Chemotherapy Causes Brain Shrinkage
Chemotherapy Found to Cause Permanent Brain Damage
Myth #5: Regular mammograms are the best way to detect cancer
The Truth: Mammograms harm 10 women for every one woman they help
Here’s part of a story we published in 2006, called Breast Cancer Screening Harms Ten Women for Every One That it Helps (http://www.naturalnews.com/020829.html)
“A new study by researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark found that mammograms may harm ten times as many women as they help.
The researchers examined the benefits and negative effects of seven breast cancer screening programs on 500,000 women in the United States, Canada, Scotland and Sweden. The study’s authors found that for every 2,000 women who received mammograms over a 10-year period, only one would have her life prolonged, but 10 would endure unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.”
Got that? For every 2,000 women receiving mammograms, only ONE would have her life extended at all. TEN women, though, would be harmed with chemotherapy, radiation ormastectomies.
What the study didn’t point out, by the way, is that all these treatments are highly profitable for the cancer industry. That’s the real reason why mammograms are pushed so aggressively onto women. It’s not because mammograms detect cancer; it’s because mammograms make them money.
To the breast cancer industry, a woman is nothing more than a piece of meat with a cash reward attached to it. The push for mammography is a marketing ploy designed to keep women scared, misinformed and lined up to be poisoned with chemotherapy while they shell out their life savings for treatments that, for most of them, aren’t even medically justified!
That’s why I say the breast cancer industry is, by any honest assessment, a crime against women. In America, husbands who beat their wives are considered criminals. They’re arrested and locked away. But those very same men, when wearing a doctor’s coat, can assault women with chemicals, slice off their breasts with scalpels and even kill those women… all with impunity. There’s not a single breast cancer doctor who has ever been arrested for the death of a patient.
In time, of course, this will change. Medical violence against women is a crime, regardless of whether the weapon is a fist, a baseball bat or a syringe full of chemicals that will cause permanent damage to her vital organs. In time, chemotherapy will be outlawed and breast cancer doctors will be put out of work or prosecuted for their crimes against women. Perhaps they’ll even be castrated as part of a “fitting” punishment.
To all the women reading this, note carefully the history of western medicine and its numerous assaults on women over the years. Do you know where the term “hysterectomy” comes from? It comes from the belief by male doctors that women’s emotions were “hysterical,” and they believed the best way to “cure” women of their hysteria was to violently cut her reproductive organs out of her body.
The procedure was widely adopted by male surgeons and used for well over a hundred years to treat women who were diagnosed as suffering from virtually every kind of emotional variance you can imagine. Doctors who didn’t use scalpels to remove these organs from a woman’s body often resorted to so-called “pelvic massages” — a medicalized raping of the female patient by the male doctor, of course.
Even today, tens of thousands of hysterectomies are performed each year with no medical justification whatsoever. Doctors continue to view women’s bodies as diseased and abnormal, surgically removing their breasts and reproductive organs for no justifiable reason whatsoever. It’s even being done today as a cancer prevention procedure, against women who have no cancer at all!
Western medicine’s treatment of breast cancer patients today is little more than an extension of hundreds of years of medical violence against women by the male-dominated medical establishment.
Want proof? Notice that cancer doctors never advise men to surgically remove their testicles as a way to “prevent” testicular cancer? That’s because the male surgeons performing these operations prefer to maim women, not men.
If you have the stomach for it, read the rest of the truth about how conventional doctors and surgeons commit outrageous medical violence against women and children even today: http://www.naturalnews.com/019930.html
Myth #6: BRCA-positive women should consider mastectomies to prevent cancer
Women who are BRCA positive are being scared into utterly unnecessary double mastectomies — a procedure that benefits no one except the surgeon. What nobody is telling these women is that cruciferous vegetables contain anti-cancer nutrients that specifically target BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, protecting these women from breast cancer.
Cancer doctors, of course, conveniently forget to tell women about these little facts. It would hurt their business if women knew how to prevent cancer on their own, at home, with everyday groceries and simple herbs.
Here’s text from one study that might interest you. It shows that I3C (from broccoli) and genistein (from fermented soy) inhibit estrogen-stimulated receptor activity in a dose-dependent fashion:
“…we showed that I3C induces BRCA1 expression and that both I3C and BRCA1 inhibit oestrogen (E2)-stimulated oestrogen receptor (ER-) activity in human breast cancer cells. We now report that both I3C and genistein induce the expression of both breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) in breast (MCF-7 and T47D) and prostate (DU-145 and LNCaP) cancer cell types, in a time- and dose-dependent fashion.
Conventional cancer doctors, of course, refuse to tell women about scientific evidence like this. If women could prevent breast cancer with I3C, why would they need cancer doctors? The answer, of course, is that they wouldn’t. You can buy I3C, but the way, right here: http://www.vitacost.com/NSI-I3C-Ind…
The FDA, of course, won’t allow companies selling I3C supplements to tell you the scientifically-validated truth about their anti-cancer benefits. It’s all part of the censorship and oppression that characterizes today’s cancer industry. The U.S. government, of course, is the co-conspirator in this sad tragedy of misinformation.
It is the job of the FDA and the cancer industry to keep women stupid, uninformed and scared when it comes to breast cancer. The last thing they want is for women to be nutritionally literate.
Myth #7: The cancer non-profits are searching for a cure for cancer
The Truth: Even if one was found, they would never allow a cure to be publicized: It would destroy the cancer treatment industry
It’s the great scam of the cancer industry: We’re searching for a cure, they claim! Never mind the fact that they’ve been using this same con since the late 60’s, when they claimed to be only a few million dollars away from curing cancer forever.
The search for “the cure” is pure deception. It’s a clever con to take money from people for all those silly pink ribbon activities, but the truth is that the cancer industry doesn’t believe there’s such a thing as cure. Just ask the FDA, the AMA or any state health licensing board: Anyone claiming to have a cancer “cure” is immediately considered a quack. Over the last several decades, countless doctors researching genuine cancer cures have been arrested, imprisoned or run out of the country. Read about Stanislaw Burzynski to learn about just one example: http://www.cancure.org/burzynski_in…
Finally, even if they actually find a “cure” (which they won’t, since that would destroy the profits of the cancer industry), do you think they would give it away for free? Of course not! They’d charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for it, milking the maximum profits out of a terrified population for their newest wonder drug.
Notice, by the way, that not a single conventional breast cancer non-profit group — nor any drug company — has announced that its breakthrough cancer drugs will be given away for free. And that leads me to this question: If they’re not planning on giving away the cure for free, then why are you giving them money for free to pay for their R&D?
Why should people donate money to the wealthiest corporations in the world (the drug companies) who are going to take their money and use it to develop a new wave of drugs that are sold to cancer victims at outrageous price markups sometimes exceeding 550,000% of the cost of the chemical ingredients?
The truth is, anyone who donates money for any such “search for the cure” is being conned outright. There’s a sucker born every minute, P.T. Barnum famously said. What he neglected to add is that most of them are now buying pink products and thinking they’re helping find a “cure” for cancer.
Don’t be suckered. Keep your money, or invest it in vitamin D supplements or anti-cancer herbs. You want to cure cancer? Cure it in your own body first. It’s a lot less expensive, and you get to keep your hair, too.
Myth #8: There is no cure for breast cancer
The Truth: There are MANY natural cures for breast cancer available right now
Just a few hours of research will turn up numerous natural cures for cancer: Vitamin D, cat’s claw herbs, the Essiac formula, medicinal mushrooms, spirulina, cruciferous vegetables, green tea, graviola herbs, Chinese medicinal herbs, oxygen therapy, alkalizing water therapies and much more.
All these cures have one thing in common: They are ALL suppressed by the FDA and FTC. Telling the truth about anti-cancer foods, herbs or supplements is now a criminal offense in America.
Myth #9: If my mother had breast cancer, I’ll get it too
The Truth: Breast Cancer is not caused by bad genes; it’s caused by bad diets
This is another common lie told to woman by cancer doctors to scare them into medically unnecessary cancer “treatments” (which can kill you or harm you). Did you know that radiation treatment for one breast actually causes cancer in the OTHER breast? See:http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000…
Your genes don’t control your health, but what you put in your mouth and on your skin has near-total control over your health! If your parents had cancer, they were no doubt eating cancer-causing foods (processed meats) and not using anti-cancer foods, superfoods, herbs and supplements. They were also likely deficient in vitamin D, and they probably didn’t drink fresh anti-cancer vegetables on a daily basis (www.JuiceFeasting.com). Lastly, they no doubt had regular exposure to cancer-causing chemicals: Cigarette smoke, chemical solvents, perfume chemicals, household cleaners, pesticides, skin care products, conventional cosmetics, etc.
Read the truth about processed meats: http://www.naturalnews.com/022288.html
Myth #10: Sunlight causes cancer
The Truth: Sunlight generates Vitamin D in your skin, which prevents 78% of ALL cancers
The disinformation put out by the cancer industry about sunlight has reached a level of absurdity that’s virtually unmatched in the history of medicine. If you believe what the American Cancer Society tells you (still being suckered?), sunlight causes cancer!
Yes, that’s right: Sunlight causes cancer, they claim. According to the entire cancer industry (and most dermatologists, too), you’d be much better off hiding in a cave, or living your life under fluorescent lights or smothered in a layer of toxic sunscreen chemicals (which actually DO cause cancer, by the way).
Somehow, the human race has miraculously managed to survived 350,000 years of natural sunlight without be obliterated. This is nothing short of astonishing, given that sunlight is so deadly. It sort of makes me wonder how the human race survived at all, with sunlight striking any given area of the Earth, say, 50% of the time. Did our ancestors live underground?
The ploy here is so obvious that it’s child’s play to expose their strategy: Cancer industry authorities know that vitamin D prevents 77% of all cancers. Since sunlight exposure causes the skin to generate vitamin D in the human body (for free, no less), the cancer industry has come to the realization that in order for it to continue surviving (and exploiting cancer patients), it has to scare people away from anything that might actually prevent or cure cancer.
This is the whole reason behind the sunlight scare campaigns, of course. It’s all just a clever profit strategy to keep people sick and diseased by enforcing widespread vitamin D deficiency across the human population. Note, too, that this deficiency is especially prominent in men and women of darker skin color, which means the cancer industry’s whole campaign against sunlight is filled with disturbing racial overtones that smack of genocide. (Ever wonder why breast cancer is FAR more aggressive in black women and white women? It’s the vitamin D deficiency caused by the skin color, of course. But cancer docs never tell their black patients anything about it…)
Remember this: Healthy people with abundant vitamin D levels in their blood don’t get cancer and they almost never catch colds. They also don’t need vaccines, by the way. These are three huge profit centers for conventional medicine: Cancer, vaccines and colds. This is why the industry goes to such great lengths to (hilariously) try to discredit the sun.
It’s hilarious because the sun, of course, is the source of ALL life on our planet. Without the sun, there would be no plants, no bacteria, no animals, no fish and certainly no humans. The sun is the single most important source of life on our planet, and without it, we’d all die in a matter of a few hours (from the cold alone). That the cancer industry would declare war on the sun is just a disturbing example of how far removed modern medicine is from the real world.
Why the cancer industry is dangerous to women
The cancer industry people are living in a world of self-reinforced fictions, where sunlight is bad and chemotherapy chemicals are good; where food is useless but pharmaceuticals are essential. Almost everything said to you by a conventional cancer doctor is the opposite of what’s real, and yet they believe their own delusions only because those delusions are so widely shared by their colleagues. It is circular logic at its worst, driven by arrogance and greed, and totally lacking any discernable degree of intellectual honesty or compassion for the value of a human life.
The cancer industry is, in a very real way, a danger to the safety of men and women alike. It is a kind of home-grown medical terrorism, through which the application of fear and disinformation results in massive corporate profits that are only exceeded by the body count of our dead women; our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces who fall victim to conventional cancer treatments. They are being lost to a medical regime wielding weapons of mass destruction: Chemical weapons (chemotherapy), radiological weapons (radiation) and weapons of sharp steel (scalpels).
These weapons of medical violence are being directed at our women for one purpose only: To secure profits that go into the hands of a few wealthy men who sit at the top of these organizations, raking in fifty-million-dollar salaries while the cancer treatment centers send women home in body bags.
It is the ultimate act of cruelty to promise a woman “treatment” and then deliver poison.
It is the ultimate act of violence to promise a woman “healing” and then mutilate her body.
The cancer industry, as operated today, is ultimately a criminal organization engaged in acts ofmedical violence against women.
Why women should revolt against the cancer industry
Even worse, it is being staffed by women, cheered by women and supported by women. In World War II, before the Jews were exterminated, Nazi soldiers pried the gold fillings out of their mouths. The fillings were sold off, and the money went to two places: The pockets of the top Nazi commanders, and the continued funding of the prison camps and extermination chambers. The Jewish prisoners, in other words, paid for their own gas chamber treatments using the gold right out of their own mouths.
Today, women are paying for their own cancer industry chemical assaults using the dollars right out of their own pockets. Those who support the conventional breast cancer non-profits are feeding the very beast that may someday destroy them and send them home poisoned, emaciated, or mutilated beyond repair.
And you know what the pink ribbon non-profits will do to help these women? WIGS. They’ll give them wigs to cover their hairless heads.
It is no coincidence that women who receive chemotherapy visually resemble the women of the Nazi concentration camps. They become emaciated through dangerous losses of muscle mass and bone mass. They lose their hair, vomit their food and suffer the devastating effects of massive nutrient loss.
They are, in effect, both prisoners of the same system of control and violence against women. It is a system that has existed for thousands of years, taking on new names and new faces as it shifts from one corner of the planet to another.
Today, that system of abuse and violence against women has a corporate logo, a cute pink symbol and a clever slogan. It has hundreds of offices all across the country, and thousands of pink products in retail stores. It is a system of violence against women, painted pink and repackaged as something that cares for women; and in that disguise, aided by the purchasing dollars of gullible consumers, it is ensnaring women in a system of such great evil that it can only be accurately compared to historical events like the Holocaust.
May God save our women from the cancer industry, lest we lose four generations to this modern chemical holocaust that has been unleashed against our mothers, daughters, grandmothers and sisters. And if our government will not protect us from this home-grown terrorism that seeks to turn the bodies of women into corporate profit centers, I hope that the People of America will one day wake up and take all justified (non-violent) measures to protect themselves from the cancer industry.
It is odd, I think, that women will protest in front of abortion clinics in order to save the life of an unborn child, and yet that same woman will say nothing when a cancer doctor destroys the life of her own mother or daughter. It is time to start protesting the cancer clinics and cancer non-profits. It is time to end this chemical holocaust and this medical violence against women. The women should be marching against mammograms and chemotherapy, demanding the arrest and prosecution of cancer surgeons who perform unjustified double mastectomies.
Throughout history, women have fought hard for the right to vote, to pursue an education and to be heard. I believe it is time that women exercised those rights to protect their freedoms and their lives from the conventional cancer industry.