Friday, June 08, 2007

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0561 - If only I had over"D"ed

This morning I couldn't believe that the front page of the Globe & Mail was talking about a vitamin supplement. Then, throughout the day, my Google Alerts kept arriving in my InBox with more "news" about the recommendation from the Canadian Cancer Society to take 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily to reduce cancer risk by 60 percent.

Of course, being the skeptic that I am, the first thing I did after driving one son to school and the other to work, even before getting my morning coffee, was to stop by Shopper's Drug Mart to pick up two bottles of vitamin D. I then popped one in the car, and then purchased my mug refill of William's black coffee. Just last month, of course, the Google Alerts were talking about how useful coffee might be for helping prevent colorectal cancer.

Just think, if I had merely had more coffee and taken a regular dose of vitamin D for the past, oh, thirty years or so, I probably wouldn't have had to deal with rectal cancer. Maybe.

But such a simple and inexpensive preventative is compelling.

Researchers have discovered that there are at least 200 cell receptors in the body that work with vitamin D, especially for functions dealing with boosting immune function and repairing damaged cells. The specific study that resulted in this admittedly dramatic recommendation from the Canadian Cancer Society was a large-scale, placebo-controlled experiment involving women who took supplemental vitamin D daily for four years. Breast, colon, and lung cancer incidence were all dramatically lower among the women taking the vitamin supplement. Other cancers linked to lower incidence include rectal cancer, breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, and multiple myeloma cancers.

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