Deficiency of vitamin D can increase the risk of leukemia
Leukemia, known as the cancer of blood cells commonly affects the white blood cells or leukocytes. These cells help in fighting infection. Millions of people all over the world are diagnosed with leukemia each year. While scientists are still unable to fathom the exact causes of this condition, it is believed that several environmental factors and genetic roles play an integral part. Various recent studies have shown that Vitamin D that provides numerous health benefits to humans can also reduce the risk of many types of cancers including leukemia.
1 Vitamin D and AML
A good number of studies have confirmed that the vitamin D metabolites in the blood that are also better known as 25 hydroxy vitamin D or 25 (OH) D are a vital indicator of the levels of vitamin D present in the body. These vitamin D metabolites interact with the acute myeloid leukemia cells. These cells are also abbreviated as AML. Now latest studies report that patients with AML possess lower levels of vitamin D.
2 Soak up in the sun for a variety of health benefits
Some foods that contain vitamin D are oily fishes, cheese and eggs. But these foods contain the nutrient in smaller amounts. The best source from where you can obtain vitamin D is the sun. The ultraviolet B or the UVB radiation emitted from the sun penetrates the bare skin, thus inducing synthesis of Vitamin D. So if you want to stay healthy and keep the risk of leukemia at bay the best thing that you can do is to soak up in the sun, daily for some time and you are sure to remain fit and fine. Moreover, vitamin D from sunlight is also known to offer other health benefits including reduced risk of heart diseases, sleep apnea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.
3 Geographical factors
Survey has shown that people who live in higher latitudes are twice more likely to get affected by leukemia and those living close to the equator are not so much at risk. This is because people living at higher latitudes do not get as such sunlight as those near the equator. Leukemia is thus highly reported in countries located near the poles such as USA, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand, there are reportedly fewer cases of leukemia in countries like Madagascar, Nigeria, Samoa and Bolivia. This is mainly because places are situated close to the equator and get sufficient amount of Vitamin D from sunlight.
4 How to optimize the level of vitamin D in your body?
The best way in which you can optimize the level of vitamin D in your body is through exposure to the sun. A safe tanning bed is also a very good option as it virtually eliminates the risk of overdose. So, a very good practice is to expose your entire body to the sun for about 15 to 20 minutes between 10 am and 2 pm as this is the time slot when the sun remains at its zenith. It should be noted that there remains absolutely no risk of toxicity due to vitamin D from exposure to ultraviolet B rays.
In case you are opting for oral supplements then you need to consult a doctor before starting off with any such medication. Research claims that adults require approximately 8000 IUs of oral vitamin D3 daily in order to obtain serum levels above the range of 40 ng/ml. But if you are consuming D3 supplements then you also need to increase your vitamin K2 either through food or through supplements. This is because vitamin K2 deficiency can lead to vitamin D toxicity including inappropriate calcification leading to hardening of arteries.
5 Vitamin D and disease prevention
An increasing body of evidence proves that vitamin D plays a pivotal role in disease prevention and also helps in maintaining optimal health. The human body consists of about 30,000 genes and vitamin D affects approximately 3,000 such genes. It also affects the vitamin D receptors that are located all over the human body.
Large scale studies have also shown us that optimal levels of vitamin D in the body can slash the risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. So, if there is optimal level of vitamin D in your body there is reduced risk of developing at least 16 types of cancer including lung, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and leukemia.