General / Off-Topic Sunlight, Vitamin D and Cancers

It's always a shock to realize that nobody really knows much about what Vitamin D does, or how it works. You'd think science has at least understood vitamins by now.

Years and years ago, the Nixon Presidency commissioned a "cancer map" of the USA. You can get the interactive map here.
At the time, people honestly thought it was a waste of time. But look at what it showed:

j0u4nurm.jpg

Stunningly, there's more cancer everywhere there's less sunlight. Colon, pancreas, breast, liver, brain, leukaemia, lung.
Areas that are heavily polluted in the atmosphere like around the Great Lakes have more cancer too, as less UV rays penetrate. You can't see that at this resolution, but there's a cancer rim around each lake.

For decades, data collected has consistently showed this around the world too. There is less cancer near the Equator. More as you move North or South. The place with the highest rates is New Zealand.

Why is that? Does Cancer like the dark?
Well, no. At each latitude, you will find another variation. The darker the skintone, the more likely cancer will occur, all other factors being equal.
Additionally, as people age, they get more cancer too. Everywhere.

The common factor here is vitamin D level. We make less in less sunshine. Less if we age. Less if our skin is darker.
More Vitamin D = Less Cancer in the population.
Here's a recent blood level study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29906273/ where they found that breast cancer drops in a linear manner as the Vitamin D rises.

19OWUyal.jpg


If we just gave women Vitamin D tablets, and scrapped all the mammograms, we could cut the rate of that cancer to 1/3 what it is now.

It would also hit a lot of other cancers.
https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-lower-colorectal-cancer-risk.html ---- like colorectal cancer.

Or liver cancer:
The evidence from this meta-analysis suggests that there may be an inverse relationship between serum vitamin D levels and the risk of liver cancer.

You see where this is going. Even if we selectively just dosed the highest risk categories- older people, darker skin, at the higher latitudes where there's pollution, it could make a staggering difference to medical costs, and lives saved. If we just got cancer patients to take Vitamin D , maybe it could stop recurrence too. The downside? Stronger bones? There's practically no side effect.
And if you REALLY want to be cheap, just get the people to walk around in the sun.

As a rough rule of thumb, getting the Vitamin D blood level to 50ng/ml would drop the cancer rates by 50%. Some kinds more, some kinds less.
Unfortunately, the blood test is practically useless. There's a staggering variation in results from lab to lab.

I want to dig into the mechanism of why this Vitamin D substance does this to a wide range of disease, in follow up posts, if there's interest.
Also look at what it's doing to other processes in our bodies. I'm too old to start a Ph.D now, but getting people aware of what is known might be a better way to go.
 
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check with your own doctor
( According to Dr. Strange, the warnings should always come before the spells in books. So here it is. Because Vitamin D is almost like magic. Nobody knows how it works.)

Ok, so how much Vitamin D should be in our blood?

We are not talking about the RDA's here. We're looking at how to optimize. What did humans evolve doing? Not wearing clothes.
The natural level we are supposed to have is likely bigger than we think. But how much?

Going with the rule of thumb in the post above: 50ng/ml = 50% cancer rate drop, and a linear inverse relationship. That's good. Can we do better?
Well, basic crude math suggests 100ng/ml would give "100%" cancer free best case results. If we extrapolate the graph in the post above to zero, it cuts the line at about 80ng/ml.
How does that compare with the present reccomendations?

This is what is in Wikipedia:
Vitamin D deficiency is typically diagnosed by measuring the concentration of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood, which is the most accurate measure of stores of vitamin D in the body.[1][7][2] One nanogram per millilitre (1 ng/mL) is equivalent to 2.5 nanomoles per litre (2.5 nmol/L).

  • Severe deficiency: <12 ng/mL = <30 nmol/L[2]
  • Deficiency: <20 ng/mL = <50 nmol/L
  • Insufficient: 20–29 ng/mL = 50–75 nmol/L
  • Normal: 30–50 ng/mL = 75–125 nmol/L
Vitamin D levels falling within this normal range prevent clinical manifestations of vitamin D insufficiency as well as vitamin D toxicity.[1][7][2]
(same as in my textbook)

The rough estimate is double what is considered "normal". So aggressive supplementation would be needed. Is that dangerous? Maybe. High doses are connected to increased mortality in the elderly in a study. Levels of 150ng/ml present with high calcium symptoms, like abnormal heartbeats. That's definitely too high, at 3 X normal.

Dr. Greger, a lifestyle specialist with an interest in the topic, suggests a supplement level of 2000 IU per day. He holds that the increased mortality study is flawed/old and that the risk is very very low.
We can take too much vitamin D, however, but problems don’t tend to be seen until blood levels get up around 250 nmol/L, which would take consistent daily doses in excess of 10,000 IU.
250nMol/L = 100 ng/ml, our roughly calculated max level. Probably best to stay below that then.

This is a matter of personal tailoring, and it's hard to give a correct precise answer because the stupid lab test is stupid. But don't go and take 10 vitamin tablets a day on the strength of this post. If you have a medical condition, your needs may be very different, so just check with your own doctor.

I use 3-4 tablets at 1000 IU per, for 3000-4000 IU per day. My sun exposure is lacking.
( Dr. Campbell takes a dose of 3000 IU too, as a precaution vs COVID. Maybe you've seen his channel?)
Things to consider: weight(bigger people store it in fat, and need more), age ( older need more), liver and kidney damage, malabsorbtion after surgery, - many other things.

Video on this topic by Dr. Greger - does Vitamin D prevent Cancer? Good summary of current knowledge. Some authorities do NOT think that vitamin D will work, for good reasons, but till we get clinical trial data, nobody really knows how much vitamin D to take, what target blood level is optimal, and how to change it with different conditions. But here is what we do know-
  • muscle power varies with vitamin D level
  • ICU mortality is worse with vitamin D deficiency
  • erectile dysfunction is linked to lower levels of vitamin D
  • cardiac output is linked to higher vitamin D levels
  • vitamin D prevents lung fibrosis, improves lung function
Other than stopping cancer, all the above are on my short list. Vitamin D is a pretty safe thing to take.
 
It's always a shock to realize that nobody really knows much about what Vitamin D does, or how it works. You'd think science has at least understood vitamins by now.

Years and years ago, the Nixon Presidency commissioned a "cancer map" of the USA. You can get the interactive map here.
At the time, people honestly thought it was a waste of time. But look at what it showed:

j0u4nurm.jpg

Stunningly, there's more cancer everywhere there's less sunlight. Colon, pancreas, breast, liver, brain, leukaemia, lung.
Areas that are heavily polluted in the atmosphere like around the Great Lakes have more cancer too, as less UV rays penetrate. You can't see that at this resolution, but there's a cancer rim around each lake.

For decades, data collected has consistently showed this around the world too. There is less cancer near the Equator. More as you move North or South. The place with the highest rates is New Zealand.

Why is that? Does Cancer like the dark?
Well, no. At each latitude, you will find another variation. The darker the skintone, the more likely cancer will occur, all other factors being equal.
Additionally, as people age, they get more cancer too. Everywhere.

The common factor here is vitamin D level. We make less in less sunshine. Less if we age. Less if our skin is darker.
More Vitamin D = Less Cancer in the population.
Here's a recent blood level study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29906273/ where they found that breast cancer drops in a linear manner as the Vitamin D rises.

19OWUyal.jpg


If we just gave women Vitamin D tablets, and scrapped all the mammograms, we could cut the rate of that cancer to 1/3 what it is now.

It would also hit a lot of other cancers.
https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-lower-colorectal-cancer-risk.html ---- like colorectal cancer.

Or liver cancer:


You see where this is going. Even if we selectively just dosed the highest risk categories- older people, darker skin, at the higher latitudes where there's pollution, it could make a staggering difference to medical costs, and lives saved. If we just got cancer patients to take Vitamin D , maybe it could stop recurrence too. The downside? Stronger bones? There's practically no side effect.
And if you REALLY want to be cheap, just get the people to walk around in the sun.

As a rough rule of thumb, getting the Vitamin D blood level to 50ng/ml would drop the cancer rates by 50%. Some kinds more, some kinds less.
Unfortunately, the blood test is practically useless. There's a staggering variation in results from lab to lab.

I want to dig into the mechanism of why this Vitamin D substance does this to a wide range of disease, in follow up posts, if there's interest.
Also look at what it's doing to other processes in our bodies. I'm too old to start a Ph.D now, but getting people aware of what is known might be a better way to go.
Vitamin D is really not a vitamin it’s more like a hormone but you’re correct it’s very important to our health, I take it every day together with other vitamins and minerals.


Now the French government asks the people to be outside as often as possible, to help in the fight against the virus.

😷
In a hazmat suit 😆 this world is soon going over the cliffs 🤷‍♂️
 
In a hazmat suit 😆 this world is soon going over the cliffs 🤷‍♂️
It seems that 80% of contaminations are created indoors in closed places.

With the rise in temperatures to come, being outside (and away from others if possible) seems like a good solution to help a little in this fight.

But not everyone is lucky enough to live in a rural area.

Even without the virus this world is soon going over the cliffs. :)

😷
 
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Vitamin D is really not a vitamin it’s more like a hormone but you’re correct it’s very important to our health, I take it every day together with other vitamins and minerals.

Very much so.

Here's a famous joke from Benny Hill:
"What is the difference between a vitamin and a hormone?"
"A man can't make a vitamin!"

Technically, we can make vitamin D if we get sunshine to run reactions in our skin. More reactions happen in our livers and kidneys to finish the product. So badly damaged internal organs can turn a hormone (that we make) into a vitamin ( that we cannot make ). For normal people, in the sun, as we should normally be, this is definitely a hormone.

One place we find rickets, the bone disease caused by bad deficiency in young people, is unbelievably Saudi Arabia. This is a sunny and prosperous place.


Babies are wrapped, and carefully kept out of the "harmful" sun. Mothers go about shielded in clothing from head to toe, so their breast milk has no Vitamin D.
I guess if we lived in a desert place, our attitude to the sun might become the same. Spend as much effort to avoid something, and it becomes culturally bad.
 
NYC is very dirty to the point where you have to wash your face and other parts of the body every hour, it stinks of many bad Oders. From there move to PA, ahhhhhhhhhh fresh air BUT the weather is even worse with 3 straight weeks of none stop rain during summer and poor wooden housing that usually catch fire all year. The PA schools have asbestos issues, so moved to Florida and everything is cleaner by a large margin.
 
NYC is very dirty to the point where you have to wash your face and other parts of the body every hour, it stinks of many bad Oders. From there move to PA, ahhhhhhhhhh fresh air BUT the weather is even worse with 3 straight weeks of none stop rain during summer and poor wooden housing that usually catch fire all year. The PA schools have asbestos issues, so moved to Florida and everything is cleaner by a large margin.
PA is also one of the most backwards states I have had the displeasure of living in.
 
There's a very interesting case/Professor of Medicine in Dr. Terry Wahls.

Of direct relevance: Dr. Wahls approach to vitamin D is to target the blood level to 75-85ng.
This is about the same range we worked out in the second post.

She developed Multiple Sclerosis, an incurable neurological disease, for unknown reasons. Despite the best standard care, it progressed, debilitating her till she was crippled in a wheelchair. The long term outcome looked very bad.
However, she decided to persue her own research in the literature. Because the pharmacological developments were not approved by FDA, and therefore not available, she focused on basic science, supplements, cell biology, etc.

Over a long course of time, she was successful in becoming the first documented reversal of Multiple Sclerosis, gave away the chair, started walking with a cane, then gave the cane away, and finally did a bike race of 18 km.
She did this with diet mostly. Then she documented the work in a book, and is now working on other neurological illnesses. There's a review of her work here:

Unless you are especially interested in mitochondria or neurology, this might not be the book for you.
By no means is this the first time somebody tried to do this. But it seems to help if you start off being a Professor of Medicine, and have the ultimate amount of skin in the game. Yes there is an enormous amount of research to read and maybe the answer is already there, just scattered and awaiting someone to put it together. But - it's not easy.

In this specific case, she eliminated some things that immunologically cross reacted with her brain. The rest of the diet is non specific, and just geared to recovery.
 
It's always a shock to realize that nobody really knows much about what Vitamin D does, or how it works. You'd think science has at least understood vitamins by now.

Years and years ago, the Nixon Presidency commissioned a "cancer map" of the USA. You can get the interactive map here.
At the time, people honestly thought it was a waste of time. But look at what it showed:

j0u4nurm.jpg

Stunningly, there's more cancer everywhere there's less sunlight. Colon, pancreas, breast, liver, brain, leukaemia, lung.
Areas that are heavily polluted in the atmosphere like around the Great Lakes have more cancer too, as less UV rays penetrate. You can't see that at this resolution, but there's a cancer rim around each lake.

For decades, data collected has consistently showed this around the world too. There is less cancer near the Equator. More as you move North or South. The place with the highest rates is New Zealand.

Why is that? Does Cancer like the dark?
Well, no. At each latitude, you will find another variation. The darker the skintone, the more likely cancer will occur, all other factors being equal.
Additionally, as people age, they get more cancer too. Everywhere.

The common factor here is vitamin D level. We make less in less sunshine. Less if we age. Less if our skin is darker.
More Vitamin D = Less Cancer in the population.
Here's a recent blood level study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29906273/ where they found that breast cancer drops in a linear manner as the Vitamin D rises.

19OWUyal.jpg


If we just gave women Vitamin D tablets, and scrapped all the mammograms, we could cut the rate of that cancer to 1/3 what it is now.

It would also hit a lot of other cancers.
https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-lower-colorectal-cancer-risk.html ---- like colorectal cancer.

Or liver cancer:


You see where this is going. Even if we selectively just dosed the highest risk categories- older people, darker skin, at the higher latitudes where there's pollution, it could make a staggering difference to medical costs, and lives saved. If we just got cancer patients to take Vitamin D , maybe it could stop recurrence too. The downside? Stronger bones? There's practically no side effect.
And if you REALLY want to be cheap, just get the people to walk around in the sun.

As a rough rule of thumb, getting the Vitamin D blood level to 50ng/ml would drop the cancer rates by 50%. Some kinds more, some kinds less.
Unfortunately, the blood test is practically useless. There's a staggering variation in results from lab to lab.

I want to dig into the mechanism of why this Vitamin D substance does this to a wide range of disease, in follow up posts, if there's interest.
Also look at what it's doing to other processes in our bodies. I'm too old to start a Ph.D now, but getting people aware of what is known might be a better way to go.
This is excellent. Thanks for sharing. In my travel experience, I've observed some postcolonial cultures have a better inherent understanding of sunlight and Vitamin D (not necessarily intentional). Could be because these cultures worship the sun or have a special cult practice for it.
 
This is a Feb article but I chanced upon it now. Provides more impetus to your study

 
I put every cancer patient on this vitamin as soon as they turn up.
Two days ago one turned up with 2 different cancers, she's lost her breast at 21, then got another unrelated cancer later in life. Unbelievably, she's not on vitamin D. Lived for 20 years without the protection. Got another cancer.
Well, Ok, NOW she is on vitamin D. :)

Despite the solid documentation, the value of it is sadly not widely applied by oncologists. It sounds stupid, but they could really stop a lot more cancer if they were to just give out vitamin D pills to everyone, and drop all the rest of the ( also useful and valuable) stuff they do.

The mechanism of how it impedes all these different cancers is still unclear. But it's really unlikely that we'll get any drug ever that has this kind of safety profile, that can do what Vitamin D does. It seems to be working by reducing inflammation generally, suggesting that low grade inflammation might be underlying carcinogenesis.

Several studies have demonstrated that inflammatory response represents the “common soil” of the multifactorial diseases, encompassing both chronic inflammatory rheumatic disorders and a wide variety of conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, cancer, asthma, and ageing.

Of course, they are also blaming this inflammation for everything now. So by extension, it's possible that vitamin D might also improve all the stuff on the list there.

Eg: getting older faster

Yup.

Eg: Diabetes type 2
Yup.

Eg: Asthma
The researchers found that giving an oral vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission or emergency department attendance from 6% to around 3%. They also found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the rate of asthma attacks needing treatment with steroid tablets.
Yup.
 
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I put every cancer patient on this vitamin as soon as they turn up.
Two days ago one turned up with 2 different cancers, she's lost her breast at 21, then got another unrelated cancer later in life. Unbelievably, she's not on vitamin D. Lived for 20 years without the protection. Got another cancer.
Well, Ok, NOW she is on vitamin D. :)

Despite the solid documentation, the value of it is sadly not widely applied by oncologists. It sounds stupid, but they could really stop a lot more cancer if they were to just give out vitamin D pills to everyone, and drop all the rest of the ( also useful and valuable) stuff they do.

The mechanism of how it impedes all these different cancers is still unclear. But it's really unlikely that we'll get any drug ever that has this kind of safety profile, that can do what Vitamin D does. It seems to be working by reducing inflammation generally, suggesting that low grade inflammation might be underlying carcinogenesis.



Of course, they are also blaming this inflammation for everything now. So by extension, it's possible that vitamin D might also improve all the stuff on the list there.

Eg: getting older faster

Yup.

Eg: Diabetes type 2
Yup.

Eg: Asthma

Yup.
Yeah, sadly this is not new information, all vitamins are very important, getting them naturally is the best, however our body need them badly to function correctly.

During winter, I take a B12 jab every 2 weeks to boost my system, also been doing it for decades actually.

Never been sick not even one day for decades can’t even remember the last time I was ill.
 
UV radiation induces expression of JUN gene, producing c-JUN protein.
UV radiation also makes Vitamin D.

Therefore, the level of natural vitamin D can be read by the body as a proxy marker or indicator of the c-JUN level from sun exposure.

What is c-JUN?
c-jun was the first oncogenic transcription factor discovered
It's a protein that causes cancers. Normally, it regulates cell growth and cell proliferation. In excess, c-JUN inhibits expression of the cancer watchman gene p53.

Hypothesis:
c-JUN and Vitamin D have to operate together to both run cell growth and division, but inhibit it from running away into a cancer. Like the gas( C-JUN) and brake( Vitamin D) pedals in a car, both operated by the same driver, UV radiation.

Here we show that c-Jun is essential for VDR expression and VDR in turn inhibits c-Jun-dependent cell death by non-classical mechanisms.
VDR = Vitamin D Receptor, in the cell nucleus. c-JUN increases the amount the cells make, which amplifies the effect of Vitamin D. This is protective. The body's not stupid.
c-Jun is also required for vitamin D(3)-induced classical VDR transcriptional activity by a mechanism likely involving physical interactions between c-Jun and VDR proteins.

In other words, if we dose vitamin D when c-JUN has increased the vitamin D receptors levels, we can create a situation that mimics normal human conditions:

NORMAL:
naked human, in full sunshine
- High JUN, high vitamin D, amplified receptors bind the D, NO cancer. ( As observed in the study in the OP )

MODERN:
clothed human, indoors
- Low JUN, Low D, less receptors are bound to low D, suboptimal but safe because JUN is loafing.

ABNORMAL:
clothed human, indoors, overstimulation of JUN by cancer causing agents
- High JUN, low vitamin D, lots of receptors, but not switched on, Cancer Develops.

FIX:
Give ABNORMAL some vitamin D tablets----------------> converting the chemistry to NORMAL

How would we know if this hypothesis is correct? One way would be to find mechanisms that allow cancer causing agents to activate JUN.
I looked at tobacco.

Tobacco Exposure Enhances Human Papillomavirus 16 Oncogene Expression via EGFR/PI3K/Akt/c-Jun Signaling Pathway in Cervical Cancer Cells

Yep.
Cancer causing agents frequently modify c-JUN by activating an enzyme that changes it, the c-JUN N-Terminal Kinase family of enzymes, or JNKs. They are involved in a host of diseases, and the Pharma companies cannot wait.

The JNK signaling pathway has long been recognized as a gold mine for therapeutic targeting [76,77]. However, strategies targeting the JNK pathway have not been translated into clinical use thus far

Of course, YOU know how to target this, don't you? The solution isn't to turn off the JNK, it's to raise the Vitamin D because we live indoors now.
Other than Vitamin D, curcumin inhibits JNK directly. Just saying, it's in the kitchen.
 
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