I know I spend a lot of time discussing vitamin D. But there’s a really good reason for that.
First and foremost, it’s a critical nutrient that you really must be taking. But the frightening fact is, you may not be getting enough vitamin D — even if you’re already supplementing with it. That’s because most doctors have no clue what your blood level of this essential nutrient should be — and chances are, they’re satisfied as long as you’re in the “normal” range.
The problem is, that “normal” range is huge. And if you’re at the lower end of the scale, your health — and even your life — may be at stake.
Case in point: New research has once again found that lower levels of vitamin D are strongly linked to a higher risk of cancer.
Researchers at University of California set out to pinpoint exactly what blood level of D you need for effective cancer protection. Unsurprisingly, they found that rates of the disease dropped as levels rose. And that women with levels at 40 ng/ml or higher had a 67 percent lower risk of cancer than women with levels under 20 ng/ml.
In other words, the higher your level, the lower your risk. Pretty simple.
And plenty of other studies have proven this same point…
One study showed that women with vitamin D levels higher than 60 ng/ml benefited from an 83 percent drop in breast cancer risk compared to women testing below 20 ng/ml.
Another population-based study demonstrated a 63 percent drop in breast cancer risk among women with D levels at 30 ng/ml, as opposed to 20 ng/mL. (The risk reduction was as large as 71 percent among post-menopausal women.)
Yet another study discovered a 55 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer among women with levels at 29 ng/mL when compared to women with levels below 18 ng/ml.
And those are just a few examples.
Studies like these have been linking higher D levels to lower rates of breast, lung, bladder, and many other cancers since the 1980s. (Yes, THE ’80S.) So you’d think more conventional doctors would be on board with vitamin D as a first line of defense against cancer.
Unfortunately, the number of new cancer cases is projected to nearly double worldwide over the next 20 years. And vitamin D deficiency is as pervasive as ever.
That’s because the Institute of Medicine thinks any number above 20 is perfectly sufficient. So most mainstream doctors do too. And until that perception changes, we won’t make any real headway.
I don’t always say this, but this is definitely one case where more is better. Your vitamin D level should be between 80 and 100. Accept nothing less.
Don’t fret about toxicity and don’t be afraid to take high doses. In fact, I take 10,000 IU per day, to keep my level around 90. Depending on sun exposure and other factors, you may or may not need that much, too.
But I always suggest taking 2,000-5,000 IU at a minimum, every single day. And get your blood level checked regularly to see if a higher dose is necessary. (You can order your own vitamin D testing kit through a company called Direct Labs. Just visit their website at www.DirectLabs.com/OVH1. Or call 1-800-908-0000 and reference account code: R-OVH.)