Vitamin D The Cure for Cancer?

Modern medicine as a whole, has fluctuated and evolved to meet the needs of present day humans and animals. It wasn't until recent years, however, that the necessity of vitamins really came into play. The discovery of vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, was claimed by a man named Edward Mellanby in the 1930's. He was the first to understand the importance of the vitamin in overall health and well-being, spearheading the movement of extended research. Scientists, after seeing the importance, now have geared their search toward the confirmation and link that vitamin D may play in the cure and prevention of cancer. So lets take a look and ask ourselves... Can vitamin D be the undiscovered cure for cancer?

In order to understand vitamin D, we need to first examine how it works in the body. Vitamin D is special compared to other vitamins because it is the only vitamin that is able to be produced by the body in the skin when you go outside. Our bodies take the absorbed version in the skin and send it to various tissues, such as in the kidneys and liver, which turn it into calcitriol, the activated form of vitamin D. Calcitrol is a hormone necessary in making pretty much everything in your body run smoothly ("What is Vitamin D?"). It forefronts proper communication and coordination of each individual cell, while also regulating calcium in numerous places. Many people are also unaware that vitamin D helps with cardiovascular function for an improved and well-oiled heart, brain development, and anti-cancer effects.

There are multiple conditions associated with vitamin D and how its lack of can lead to negative health effects. Many people throughout their daily lives are exposed to the sun, some more than others, but nevertheless it will shine on your skin at some point throughout the day. The problem we face in this technology ridden society though, is the lack of exposure to the outdoors and how more and more people are becoming vitamin D deficient due to staying inside for the majority of the day. From an early age, people are experiencing symptoms such as an impaired immune system, rickets, insulin resistance and even brittle bones (Nall). These can all lead to major problems in adulthood and may even contribute to an early death. So, it is extremely vital to have sufficient levels since the two elements necessary for proper bone and teeth development, Phosphorus and Calcium, are unable to be processed by the body without the aid of vitamin D. That being said, a vitamin D deficiency can also lead to numerous mental health problems as well. There has also been a strong link with the vitamin and how it led to a relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental illnesses associated with cancer.

To concrete these ideas, studies have been conducted throughout different portions of the United States where the sun has different rates of exposure. What can be seen involves a direct decrease in the rate of cancer in sunnier regions than that in colder and darker regions. This is just another way that vitamin D can be seen as vital to health. In a scientific based analysis of vitamin D, conducted by a board of scientists, they prove the theory that "vitamin D and its metabolites reduce the incidence of many types of cancer by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis" or growth of tumors and their blood vessels (Garland et. al). As a major advance in nutritional medicine, this research explains how vitamin D is key in allowing the cells to communicate with each other, stopping the spread of cancer by contact to adjacent cells and how it travels throughout the body.

From the beginning, the search for the cure of cancer has dominated many peoples lives as it has become a worldwide issue costing numerous lives. Every person has either been directly involved or seen someone involved with the vicious illness and experienced its catastrophic outcome. Hopefully, scientists deem it necessary for further research and create an optimistic attitude, where there will be a better understanding of the link between vitamin D and cancer for future generations. This breakthrough in medicine could potentially impact an enormous number of individuals throughout the world, leading to vitamin D, a very tiny molecule, being a possible cure for cancer.

References :

Garland, Cedric F. et al. “The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention.” American Journal of Public Health, no. 96.2, pp. 252–261. PMC, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.045260. Accessed 30 Jan 2017

Nall, Rachel. “The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency.” Healthline, 16 Aug 2016, Accessed 29 Jan 2017.

“What is Vitamin D?” Vitamin D Council, 2017, Accessed 2 Mar 2017

Created By
Heather Koscinch


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