Vitamin D Cancer, Deficiency Influences Autoimmune Diseases

By: Staff
Staff Writer
Published: Aug 28, 2021

Vitamin D cancer study links deficiency, and sources of it are found in fish and other foods.

Vitamin D cancer, autoimmune diseases influences deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cancer and several autoimmune diseases. In fact, vitamin D influences more than 200 genes.

Cancer is big news as up to a billion people around the world are believed to have a vitamin D deficiency. This includes up to half of adults and children in the U.S. A team of English and Canadian scientists conducted a study that revealed a detailed "map" of the molecular interactions between vitamin D and certain genes. The map showed extensive connections between the vitamin and certain genes associated with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Sources of vitamin D can be found in many foods, including oily fish like salmon, milk and other foods that have been fortified with the nutrient. According to WebMD current guidelines call for 200 international units (IU) for people up to age 50, 400 IU for people 51 to 70, and 600 IU for people over 70. However, many experts say those doses are too low. "Genes involved in autoimmune disease, and cancer were regulated by vitamin D," stated author Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan of Oxford. Skin makes vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight.

"2,000 IU may be more like it, though some experts warn against jumping the gun," Ramagopalan said. "We will soon have a better understanding of the optimal doses of vitamin D and the optimal blood levels associated with the best balance of benefits and risks," stated Dr. JoAnn Manson, chairman of the preventive medicine department at Harvard University. "But right now there are too many unanswered questions," she added.