Vitamin D: Why do You Need High Serum Levels?
Do you know what your Vitamin D level is? It’s important for your health. Many studies have shown significant health benefits to your body if you have a higher level of Vitamin D. We recommend you maintain a serum level of greater than 50 ng/ml of Vitamin D3 in your blood. Heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancers are less when you do this.
A recent article in Plos one demonstrated this remarkable effect of Vitamin D. Researchers at GrassrootsHealth in Encinitas, California evaluated 5038 people in a randomized clinical trial from 2000 to the present to see what the incidence of breast cancer was at different serum levels of Vitamin D. There results were eye-opening.
They found there was an 82% lower incidence rate of breast cancer for women if their Vitamin D levels were > 60 ng/ml vs those whose levels were < 20 ng/ml. Those with levels >60 ngm/l had the lowest proportion of breast cancer-free intervals, 78% lower than the group with Vitamin D < 20 ng/ml.
Thus, in essence, those with Vitamin D levels >60 ng/ml had around an 80% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those women with concentrations of Vitamin D < 20 ng/ml. In other words, those with high levels of Vitamin D had around 1/5th the risk of developing a breast cancer compared to those with low levels. Although this is not definitive proof of protection from Vitamin D, the data is very impressive.
Other studies have demonstrated significant decreases in breast cancer incidence with Vitamin D levels boosted to > 50 ng/l. One study in England demonstrated a 7 times increased risk of breast cancer when Vitamin D levels were > 50 ng/ml compared to lower levels. Another study in San Diego showed that women with levels >50 ng/ml had a 50% decreased risk of breast cancer compared to those with lower levels (< 13 ng/ml).
In addition, many other studies have shown a significant decrease in the risk of you developing many other cancers if your Vitamin D level is elevated.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. It really isn’t a vitamin at all because your body can make Vitamin D. In fact, its molecular structure looks very similar to the structure of the steroid hormones of your body, including your sex hormones estradiol and testosterone. Consequently, many people classify Vitamin D as a hormone for, like other hormones, it signals reactions to occur in your body that affect its metabolism.
If you lived on the equator you would make thousands of units of Vitamin D every hour. Toxicity from these high levels is rare. Unfortunately, the further north and south of the equator you go the less your body makes Vitamin D. The result is that we in the United States generally don’t produce enough Vitamin D.
Labs usually give normal values up to 30 ng/ml. However, especially in light of this new data, we highly recommend you increase levels to at least 50 ng/ml, but > 60 ng/ml may be even better since this is the level that gave the best protection from breast cancer in this study. You can get your levels done at any lab and you don’t even need a doctor’s prescription in some locations.
Because, in the U.S., it is thus normally difficult to increase your levels naturally, it is best to just take a supplement. Get a good quality one since there are some that are of questionable quality. Most of the time, stay away from the cheap ones. But Vitamin D is indeed cheap. To get your levels up, consider taking around 5,000 units a day. Then recheck your levels in a few months.
In conclusion, increase your levels of Vitamin D to “Protection” levels. By doing so, you may be potentially decreasing your risk of getting breast cancer if you just take a pill every day.
 Sharon L. McDonnell , Carole A. Baggerly, Christine B. French, Leo L. Baggerly, Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Bruce W. Hollis, Donald L. Trump, Joan M. Lappe. Breast cancer risk markedly lower with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations ≥60 vs <20 ng/ml (150 vs 50 nmol/L): Pooled analysis of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort. June 15, 2018https: doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199265
 Lowe LC, Guy M, Mansi JL, Peckitt C, B.liss J, Wilson RG, et al. Plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D concentrations, vitamin D receptor genotype and breast cancer risk in a UK Caucasian population. Eur J Cancer. 2005;41:1164–1169. pmid:15911240. doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2005.01.017
 Garland CF, et al. Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis. J of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 103(3–5), March 2007: 708-711. doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2006.12.007