Sunlight Holds Key To Killing Breast Cancer

Sunlight Holds Key To Killing Breast Cancer | sunlight | Natural Medicine

A new study finds vitamin D — the ‘sunlight vitamin’ — strikes to the very heart of breast cancer malignancy.

Breast cancer is not what most people think. Beneath the intimidating statistics that make it seem like a juggernaut of inevitability or a time bomb of genetic determinism ready to go off in the asymptomatic breasts of millions of women, a far more complex conversation is occurring among clinicians and researchers concerning the true nature and causes of cancer, and why conventional therapies fail to turn the tide against the second highest cause of death in the Western world.  To fully appreciate this, one must go to the first hand research itself.

For instance, a new study published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology identifies an overlooked root cause of breast cancer (cancer stem cells), as well as a natural intervention that has yet to be incorporated into the conventional standard of cancer care.

Titled, “Vitamin D compounds reduce mammosphere formation and decrease expression of putative stem cell markers in breast cancer,” the new study brings to the forefront the role of breast cancer stem cells (BSCs) in breast tumor formation and their progression towards malignancy and treatment resistance. For many decades it was assumed that cancer results from DNA-damaged cells succumbing to fundamentally chaotic processes, ‘going rogue’ and reproducing clonally (making identical copies of one another), without an acknowledgment of the different types of cells that comprise tumors. The most salient difference is between the cancer stem cells (sometimes referred to as ‘mother’ cells) which are capable of theoretically infinite self-renewal and produce all the differentiated ‘daughter’ cells in a tumor colony, which themselves are not capable of living indefinitely. It is actually the existence of the much smaller number of cancer stem cells which causes cancer recurrence, as they are not only resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiation, but their numbers can actually be increased (enriched) by these two ‘therapies.’ Therefore, any cancer therapy that ignores the cancer stem cell subpopulation in favor of killing the non-tumorigenic daughter cells in order to ‘debulk’ the tumor (i.e. shrink it), will not result in destroying the root of the cancer. To the contrary, it can generate the illusion of ‘remission’ while in fact making the remaining tumor colony far more malignant, setting up the conditions for aggressive recurrence years later.

The new study focused on a type of breast tissue abnormality known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which for decades was considered cancer (constituting about 20% of all breast cancer diagnoses), but recently has been identified as a benign lesion of epithelial origin. There are cases where DCIS progresses towards another breast abnormality known as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which is considered a more serious risk. But even IDC cases may never progress to cause symptoms, nor ever cause harm to those within which it occurs. Nonetheless, the conventional medical system still considers a diagnosis of either DCIS or IDC justification for aggressive interventions, e.g. lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, indicating that if there is a natural intervention to decelerate the trajectory from DCIS to IDC, especially if it focuses on targeting and/or reducing the expression and growth of breast cancer stem cells, it is of great clinical relevance.

The new study sought to determine whether vitamin D3 and an analog known as BXL0124 are capable of inhibiting the progression of DCIS to IDC, and whether this effect is mediated through an influence on breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). The study used a mammosphere cell culture system, which is a clump of mammary gland cells that includes breast cancer stem cells along with non-stem cell breast cells.

The researchers found that when the Vitamin D compounds were administered to the mammosphere culture it was observed to undergo a transition from a state of disorganization and irregularity in shape to a more organized and symmetrical shape similar to spheres formed by a non-malignant, normal mammary epithelial cell line. This cancer-defying effect of the vitamin D compounds was described in terms of a reduction in the so-called ‘mammosphere forming efficiency (MFE).” Moreover, treatment with vitamin D compounds was found to repress cell markers associated with stem cell-like phenotype (e.g. CD44, CD49f,c-Notch1, andpNFkB), as well as pluripotency markers (e.g. OCT4 and KLF-4), another property found within cancer stem cells.

The study concluded:

“Cancer progression, metastasis, and recurrence are significant problems in managing breast cancer. A significant body of evidence indicates that breast cancer stem cells drive these processes, complicating treatment strategies. A better understanding of how BCSCs drive breast cancer progression will aid in developing targeted therapies toward BCSCs. Our present study suggests a potential treatment strategy to reduce the putative BCSC population, and therefore enhance the effectiveness of breast cancer prevention and treatment through the use of vitamin D compounds.” [emphasis added]

Regardless of whether DCIS or ICS really do represent a mortal threat to the health and lives of women, this study indicates that vitamin D targets the most malignant cell type found within breast cancer — the cancer stem cells — which is infinitely more selective an intervention than radiation and chemotherapy; nor does vitamin D have the profoundly damaging side effects of conventional cancer treatment.

Vitamin D, of course, is designed to be manufactured through the ultraviolet B-stimulated conversion of the cholesterol metabolite 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. The fact that in the modern era the breasts are never exposed to sunlight and that generally speaking adequate sunlight exposure (especially considering the over-use of vitamin-D blocking and carcinogenic petroleum-based sunscreens) is rare, it is likely that many of the variations in breast morphology increasingly being diagnosed through technologies like mammography as being ‘abnormal’ or ‘precancerous,’ directly reflect a deficiency of sunlight and Vitamin D.  While the U.S. Preventive Task Force does not believe there is enough evidence supporting the benefit of vitamin D screening in routine practice, there is no harm in getting a blood test to determine one’s levels relative to the background population. And since vitamin D3 supplementation is affordable and extremely safe relative to commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals like Tamoxifen (a known carcinogen), it may provide those at risk for breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence with a reasonable alternative to watchful waiting and/or preventive chemotherapy.

For additional research on risk factors for breast cancer stem cell enrichment, as well as natural substances found to kill them, take a look at our database page on the topic: Breast Cancer Stem Cells, as well as the larger database section on Cancer Stem Cells in general.

© March 20, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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9 Facts Everyone Should Know About Vitamin D

9 Facts Everyone Should Know About Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining your health, but many people don’t know just how important it is. Almost all of us at one point or another have experienced low vitamin D levels, whether we have realized it or not. Symptoms often manifest as poor energy, insomnia, compromised immune system, and mood imbalance. That’s why I want you to know these 9 facts about D. Everyone needs to know these, so let’s dive right in!

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

You probably already know that the best source of vitamin D is the sun, something all of us rarely get access to on a daily basis. Without appropriate sunlight exposure, our vitamin D status decreases and our health follows. Here are a few things you should know about vitamin D:

  1. Most of Us Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D

In the U.K., not only is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) much lower than in the U.S., but also many people don’t realize how important this vitamin is for bone health. [1] Because of this, many kids and adults there don’t get enough. [2] But while U.S. RDA can sometimes be as high as 4000 IU, a higher guideline doesn’t mean all Americans will get enough either. Since you get Vitamin D from both diet and sunlight, make sure you’re getting enough.

  1. Vitamin D is Insanely Good for Your Health

Some experts say Vitamin D not only helps in bone health but can also aid in heart, brain, and immune system function, even noting that lower levels can be associated with asthma. [3] Some suggest it could even protect against certain forms of cancer. [4] It’s fairly well established, though, that maintaining proper levels can stave off infections and prevent bone brittleness. [5][6]

     3. Vitamin D Can Cut the Risk of Breast Cancer

I’m not saying a vitamin D supplement will cure or prevent breast cancer but a recent study suggests spending some time in the sun each day can reduce your risk for breast cancer. This exposure stimulates Vitamin D production in your skin, and that alone could cut your risk for breast cancer in half. [7] Opt for around 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day without sunscreen.

  1. Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of MS

In Scotland, where sun exposure is typically low, there’s a push to supplement the nation’s food with Vitamin D. One source of Vitamin D is from the sun. Because of this, much of the population is deficient, and some experts blame that deficiency for a high rate of multiple sclerosis—one of the highest in the world. Studies suggest there could be a link between the two, and that Vitamin D could offer some neuroprotective effects. [8]

  1. Vitamin D Supports Verbal Communication

I wouldn’t have thought about this unless I’d read the study but a recent report suggests pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels are two times as likely to have children with language difficulties. [9] It’s important to remember that a developing baby relies entirely on the mother for vitamin D. This makes it doubly important for expectant mothers to get enough of the vitamin!

  1. Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked to Autism

With sunlight as a main source for Vitamin D production, increased sunscreen use, declining vitamin levels, and rising autism rates have had many wondering if there could be a connection. [10] While one study noted that autistic children do, in fact, have lower vitamin D levels than non-autistic children, more studies must be done before drawing a conclusion of any kind. [11] Regardless, it certainly seems to show how important Vitamin D can be to brain health.

  1. Low Vitamin D is Linked to Premature Death

In a worrisome discovery, low vitamin D levels have been linked to premature death. [12] Research has found that individuals with low blood levels of vitamin D had a doubled risk of premature death compared to those with a higher level. If you’re curious, your doctor can do a simple blood test so you can know your current levels of Vitamin D.

  1. Low Vitamin D Boosts Risk of Dementia

I’ve already mentioned vitamin D’s suspected role in brain health. A recent study even suggests low levels can boost a person’s risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. [13] As we age, our skin becomes less able to convert vitamin D from sunlight, so while it’s too early to draw conclusions, these findings could lead to updated guidelines for vitamin D levels in those over age 65.

     9. Fears of Skin Cancer May Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency

More evidence is stacking up for Vitamin D’s influence on health: one study even suggests it could protect us from high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke. [14] But fear of skin cancer is keeping people out of the sun, and that is leading to low levels of D. Consider getting your sun exposure in the morning or evening when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong.

One Final Thought

Vitamin D is crucial for the healthy body, but getting enough can be tricky as there aren’t too many foods that naturally contain the nutrient. With all we’ve heard about milk and healthy bones, you’d think dairy products would be a great source. While milk does contain Vitamin D, it might be time to rethink all you know about milk and bone health. One study suggests it’s not as helpful as originally thought when it comes to preventing bone fractures. [15] Since finding the right amount in foods can be tough, a vegan-friendly supplement is an easy way to always make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to support your health.

References:

  1. Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Factsheet: Vitamin D. Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
  2. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency. National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency.
  3. Sutherland, E.R. et al. Vitamin D Levels, Lung Function, and Steroid Response in Adult Asthma. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
  4. Garland, C. F. et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. American Journal of Public Health. 96 (2).
  5. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal of Investigative Medicine.
  6. Cranney, A. et al. Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D in relation to bone health. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment. 158.
  7. John, E. et al. Sun Exposure, Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms, and Breast Cancer Risk in a Multiethnic Population. American Journal of Epidemiology. 166 (12).
  8. M. Cadden, N. Koven & M. Ross. Neuroprotective Effects of Vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis. Neuroscience & Medicine. 2(3).
  9. Whitehouse, A. et al. Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development. Pediatrics.
  10. Grant, W.B. & Soles, C. M. Epidemiologic evidence supporting the role of maternal vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for the development of infantile autism. Dermato-endocrinology. 1 (6).
  11. Mostafa, G. & AL-Ayadhi , L. Y. Reduced serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in children with autism: Relation to autoimmunity. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 9.
  12. Garland, C. et al. Meta-analysis of All-Cause Mortality According to Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. American Journal of Public Health. 104 (8).
  13. Littlejohns, T. J. et al. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Neurology.
  14. Liu, D. et al. UVA Irradiation of Human Skin Vasodilates Arterial Vasculature and Lowers Blood Pressure Independently of Nitric Oxide Synthase. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 134.
  15. Michaëlsson, K. et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 349.

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Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The article 9 Facts Everyone Should Know About Vitamin D published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics


Source: Alternative news journal

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Vitamin D: The Benefits Of The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D: The Benefits Of The Sunshine Vitamin

There are five different types of Vitamin D (D1, D2, D3, D4 & D5), but D2 and D3 are the only types that our bodies can use. When something just says “vitamin D” it is generally referring to D2 or D3 (or a combination of the two).

Vitamin D is a prohormone, which is the precursor to a hormone. In its raw form (sun exposure, foods, supplements), Vitamin D is inert and has to go through a series of complex biochemical reactions before your body can use it. These reactions produce calcitriol, which is the form of Vitamin D that is used by your body (D2 and D3).

Vitamin D is one of the only vitamins that your body can produce by itself. What is the catalyst that gets your D production going? Good old-fashioned sunshine! It’s the ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) that enables vitamin D production to occur in the skin.

Vitamin D is produced in equal amounts in both people with fairly pigmented and darkly pigmented skin after exposure to UVB radiation (sunlight) [1]. Sunlight is important for Vitamin D production, but the strength of sunlight and the intensity of UVB exposure can be affected by season, distance from the equator, and even personal habits. If you have a job that keeps you indoors during daylight hours, or you work nights, you don’t produce as much Vitamin D as someone who is outside for at least ten to fifteen minutes each day.

Vitamin D can be supplemented by eating the right foods. See my previous blogpost about foods containing Vitamin D.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone building by enabling calcium uptake by your body. It is also very important for healthy immune system function[2] and may help lower your risk of contracting colds [3]. Vitamin D also helps confer innate immunity which may protect your body from the influenza virus [4].

Vitamin D has had a positive effect on many different diseases, including multiple sclerosis [5], arthritis [6] and even cancer [7]. Children with higher vitamin D levels are less likely to suffer from asthma [8] and allergies than those who are vitamin D deficient. Mental agility might be maintained by adequate levels of the vitamin, especially in the elderly [9].

Because Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, it is important for bone mineralization (hardening), which keeps your bones strong and supple. A sufficient amount of Vitamin D helps prevent joint discomfort.

There is also evidence suggesting that Vitamin D may play an important role in weight loss [10], both in adults and in children. Some researchers are exploring whether vitamin D may act as a natural protector from low levels of radiation [11], such as the background radiation we receive from sunlight and other sources.

Symptoms and Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

There are no clearly defined causes of vitamin D deficiency, however the obvious culprits are not eating right and a lack of activity in general, but especially outdoor activity. Adults and children who have poor diets are especially at risk. Risk factors for being vitamin D deficient include race, gender, and lifestyle, including time spent watching TV, playing video games or sitting in front of the computer.

People at high risk of having Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome (VDDS) are often those who suffer from other disorders, such as autoimmune diseases, heart disease, osteoporosis, chronic pain and fatigue, and certain cancers. Symptoms for some of these disorders can be lessened by taking a Vitamin D supplement or eating more foods with vitamin d.

Other diseases and disorders, such as rickets, rheumatism, and osteoporosis (bone disease) can be exascerbated by a lack of vitamin D in the body [12]. Hypocalcemic tetany, a condition in which the body is low in calcium due to vitamin D deficiency, casues overactive neurological reflexes, spasms of the extremeties (hands and feet) and larynx, and muscle cramps. Calcitriol, the form of vitamin D your body uses, plays a key role in the maintenance of many organ systems.

References:

  1. Bogh MK, Schmedes AV, Philipsen PA, Thieden E, Wulf HC. Vitamin D production after UVB exposure depends on baseline vitamin D and total cholesterol but not on skin pigmentation. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Feb;130(2):546-53. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.323. Epub 2009 Oct 8. Erratum in: J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Jun;130(6):1751.
  2. Rucević I, Barisić-Drusko V, Glavas-Obrovac L, Stefanić M. Vitamin D endocrine system and psoriasis vulgaris–review of the literature. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2009;17(3):187-92. Review.
  3. Sue McGreevey. Risk Of Colds And Flu May Be Increased By Vitamin D Deficiency. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 February 24.
  4. Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-29. Review.
  5. Kathleen Wets. Link Between Vitamin D And Reduction In Multiple Sclerosis Risk. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 May 28.
  6. n.p. High vitamin D intake linked to reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2004 January 12.
  7. Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Study Suggests Vitamin D Screening And Appropriate Supplementation Indicated For All Cancer Patients. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 June 16.
  8. American Thoracic Society. Vitamin D Levels Linked To Asthma Severity. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 April 24.
  9. Journal Of Neurology Neurosurgery And Psychiatry. Vitamin D May Have Key Role In Helping Brain Work Well In Later Life. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 May 21.
  10. Aaron Lohr. Link Between Successful Weight Loss And Vitamin D Levels. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2009 June 13.
  11. Hayes, Daniel. Vitamin D As Radiation Protection. Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 2008 November 10.
  12. Rajakumar K. Vitamin D, cod-liver oil, sunlight, and rickets: a historical perspective. Pediatrics. 2003 Aug;112(2):e132-5.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The article Vitamin D: The Benefits Of The Sunshine Vitamin published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics


Source: Alternative news journal

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