Vitamin D may inhibit cancer growth

Recent research conducted by faculty members of McGill University’s Medicine’s Department of Physiology, found that vitamin D may help stall cancer from spreading, reported Medical News Today.

The study, which will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the nutrient helps prevent a protein known as cMYC from growing and carrying out cell production. High activity of cMYC has been found in nearly 50 percent of cancers, according to Medical News Today.

“For years, my lab has been dedicated to studying the molecular mechanisms of vitamin D in human cancer cells, particularly its role in stopping their proliferation,” said lead investigator John White, Ph.D., as quoted by the news source. “We discovered that vitamin D controls both the rate of production and the degradation of cMYC. More importantly, we found that vitamin D strongly stimulates the production of a natural antagonist of cMYC called MXD1, essentially shutting down cMYC function.”

The researchers also found that test mice that had vitamin D infused into their skin had decreased levels of cMYC, while other mice that did not have vitamin D receptors, had increased amounts of the protein in their skin and the linings of their colons.

Vitamin D benefits
According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D helps control the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, and it also helps the body absorb calcium, while maintaining bone mineral density. Getting the proper levels of vitamin D can help decrease the risk of bone fractures, and other studies have found that it may help prevent osteoporosis, cancer and certain autoimmune diseases, as well as control high blood pressure.

Lack of vitamin D
Children who do not get a sufficient amount of vitamin D have a greater chance of developing rickets, which is when bones become soft and frail, the condition can lead to skeletal deformities. Adults who have a vitamin D deficiency may suffer from osteomalacia, which causes muscle weakness and weak bones.

The Mayo Clinic reports groups at-risk of vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, overweight people, babies who are solely breastfed and people who do not get enough sun exposure. Ailments such as cystic fibrosis as well as inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s, may also increase the risk of deficiency.

Vitamin D sources
Vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure and fortified foods like milk and cereal. People may also want to take a Skinny D supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.

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