Vitamin D Might Prevent Cancer in Older Adults

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director

Though I live in Arizona where the sun really shines, my doctor encouraged me to take a vitamin D supplement. Then, recently I heard from another doctor on the importance of vitamin D. He explained that the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is found in every cell of our body.

“Every cell in your body has a Vitamin D receptor in the nucleus,” says Dr. Ryan Cole, CEO and Medical Director of Cole Diagnostics, one of the largest independent labs in Idaho. “Approximately 2,000 genes in your body are controlled by Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the master key to our immune system.”

A Mayo Clinic trained Board-Certified Pathologist, Dr. Cole even goes on to suggest there is no such thing as a cold and flu season, “only low Vitamin D season” referring to the winter period, especially in the most northern part of North America where it’s nearly impossible during the winter to get enough natural light to naturally absorb Vitamin D. So, he too advocates a supplement of Vitamin D.

Oh, yes! We live in Arizona and grow such a variety of fruits and vegetables and the Hickman Family raises laying hens for the best eggs around so besides enjoying the sun, Arizonans can access local eggs for that added dose of Vitamin D. Eggs are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D.

And there is more good news about Vitamin D, according to one study recently published.

A study published in the journal Molecular Oncology showed that providing U.S. adults aged 50 and above with a 5-cent vitamin D supplement could help avoid 78,000 deaths due to cancer, as well as save $3.7 billion and provide older Americans with 870,000 more years of life.

The findings were based on an analysis of 2016 data on cancer deaths. If a Vitamin D supplement will boost my immune system, aid me in battling colds and the flu and potentially help prevent cancer, I’m taking the supplement! For more on Vitamin D and other vitamin articles, do a search for “vitamins” within our Fill Your Plate blog page.

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