Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin
As an essential nutrient, vitamin D has become a hot topic in health-related circles within recent years. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be associated with a variety of cancers, so establishing a sufficient level of vitamin D seems reasonable for a dietary support of the treatment.
What is vitamin D?
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be synthesized by humans in the skin under the influence of sunlight. Sunlight exposure remains the major source of vitamin D for most people, since very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. These include oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, sun-dried mushrooms, cod liver oil, eggs and dairy.
Why is vitamin D a helpful ally?
Since vitamin D is important for your immune system, your bone structure and even the maintaining of your muscle mass, any deficiency may result in disorders of your calcium metabolism or autoimmune diseases. Even acute and chronic illnesses can be developed. Common risk factors for a low vitamin D level are inadequate sun exposure, low vitamin D intake or physiological factors like aging or high amount of melanocytes in skin epidermis.
The best way to get enough vitamin D every day is to go out in the sun and to eat a variety of healthy foods containing vitamin D. If this isn’t possible, supplements may be needed. The goal of any treatment or prevention is the same: to maintain an adequate level of vitamin D in your body.
The results of some studies indicate that sufficient vitamin D levels in serum are associated with better outcomes of anticancer treatment and lower cancer recurrence. Therefore, it makes sense to take vitamin D as a supplement in case of low serum vitamin D levels.