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Preventing Cancer with Vitamin D3

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Exciting new research is underway that shows that vitamin D3 acts as both a cancer preventer and a cancer treatment for those suffering from colon cancer.

Cystatin D is part of the vitamin D3 and has various functions, including helping cell growth, cell differentiation (the changing of cells from one cell to a different cell, which happens, for instance, when cells are renewed due to injury) and the formation of T cells, which help immune system defenses.

Scientists have previously found that vitamin D3 can prevent cancer cells from developing and can stop any resistance to chemotherapy in a cancer sufferer. The active form of D3 directly activates the CST5 gene in human colon cancer cells, responsible for producing cystatin D protein, and this protein inhibits the growth of further cancer cells.

They summarized that:

“The active vitamin D metabolite 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3] has wide but not fully understood antitumor activity. Here we report that 1α,25(OH)2D3 induced vitamin D receptor (VDR) binding to, and activation of, the CST5 promoter and increased CST5 RNA and protein levels in human colon cancer cells. Based on these data, we propose that CST5 has tumor suppressor activity that may contribute to the antitumoral action of 1α,25(OH)2D3 in colon cancer."

Where Can I Get Vitamin D3 From?

• Sunshine! Get out in the sun more. Nowadays people work mainly indoors for 40 or more hours a week and this has contributed to vitamin D deficiencies.
• Some foods, such as breakfast cereal, are fortified with vitamin D3. Check the labels of products you buy in the supermarket to see how much you are getting in your food.
• Egg yolks contain vitamin D3, as do margarine, cheese and some types of fish.
• If you live in the USA, then milk is fortified with D3, and some fruit juices. However, a natural source from your food or the sun is better.

Source: Cystatin D is a candidate tumor suppressor gene induced by vitamin D in human colon cancer cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation, July 6, 2009.

Joanna is a freelance health writer for The Mother magazine and Suite 101 with a column on infertility, http://infertility.suite101.com/.

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