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17/06/2009

Vitamin D may be the root of cancer

(NaturalNews) What initially causes cancer to develop? The current scientific model assumes that a genetic mutation begins the genesis of a malignancy. But what if that assumption is wrong and there's another key to the start of cancer? Scientists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California (UC) in San Diego have raised that possibility. And they've come up with another, brand new model of how cancer develops.

Reporting online in the current Annals of Epidemiology, they point to a host of research that suggests cancer develops when cells lose the ability to stick together in a healthy, normal way -- and the key factor to this initial triggering of a malignancy could well be a lack of vitamin D.

In the article, Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and his research team explain that previous theories associating vitamin D with many cancers have been tested and confirmed in over 200 epidemiological studies. In addition, more than 2,500 laboratory studies have been conducted that provide an understanding of the physiological basis of vitamin D's link to cancer.

According to Dr. Garland, researchers have documented that with enough vitamin D present, cells adhere to one another in tissue and act as normal, mature epithelial cells. But if there is a deficiency of vitamin D, cells can lose this stick-to-each other quality, as well as their identity as differentiated cells. The result? They may revert to a dangerous stem cell-like state and become cancerous.

In a statement to the media, Dr. Garland suggested that much of the process that starts cancer in the first place could be stopped at the outset by maintaining enough vitamin D in the body. "Vitamin D may halt the first stage of the cancer process by re-establishing intercellular junctions in malignancies having an intact vitamin D receptor," he said. And, he added, that if diet and supplements restore appropriate levels of vitamin D, the development of cancer might be prevented. According to Dr. Garland, vitamin D levels can be easily increased, if needed, by modest supplementation with vitamin D3 in the range of 2000 IU/day.

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