We're hearing a lot about the anti-cancer effects of vitamin D. The research is starting to show a strong pattern of reduced incidence of many types of cancer (including breast cancer) associated with higher blood levels of our sunshine vitamin.
A recently launched magazine called BEYOND: LIVE & THRIVE AFTER BREAST CANCER has an article in its most recent edition (Fall/Winter 2007) that highlights what is known so far and practical advice for increasing intake from diet and supplements. I was interviewed in this article as were several vitamin D researchers (including a professor of mine from The University of Wisconsin, Dr. Hector DeLuca - Dr. Vitamin D himself).
I take very few dietary supplements in the big scheme of what all is available and promoted as being potentially beneficial for cancer survivors. One of those is vitamin D3. From my multi-vitamin w/minerals, calcium w/D3 supplements, and a separate supplement of 1000 units of D3, I get a daily intake of ~2200-2500 units/day of vitamin D3. I have my blood levels tested about once/year and know that my level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D is right where Dr. Robert Heaney of Creighton University (another Dr. Vitamin D) recommends, which is above 80 nanomoles/liter or 32 nanogram/milliliter, levels which are necessary for normal calcium absorptive regulation. The levels for optimal health, including cancer prevention/survivorship are not known yet.
I admit that if someone were to try to take away all of my dietary supplements, I would fight to keep my vitamin D. :-)
Look for all of the current science about vitamin D to be reviewed very soon with revised recommendations released that show significantly increased recommendations from the current levels.
I was not able to find a link to the article or the magazine on line, so you'll just have to make it on down to your own local bookstore to pick up a copy of this very attractive and helpful magazine. My favorite local indie bookstore in Ann Arbor is Nicola's Books. I'm sure they would be delighted to mail you a copy if you cannot find it in your own hometown. (www.nicolasbooks.com, 734/662-0600)
Diana Dyer, MS, RD