2 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk
If you are interested in taking steps to support your overall good health and at the same time reduce your cancer risk (like we all are), try adding Vitamin D and an apple to your life. It’s simple, cheap and can help in BIG ways towards cancer prevention.
Here’s the scoop
- Higher Vitamin D level
Higher serum levels of Vitamin D were found to reduce your risk of many cancers. A study by GrassrootsHealth showed that it will help reduce your risk of Breast Cancer by 80%.
In that prospective study of 844 female participants aged 60+ years, GrasrootsHeatlh examined the relationship between Vitamin D levels and the incidence of breast cancer. Those with concentrations above 50 ng/ml had an 80% lower risk of breast cancer than those with concentrations below 50 ng/ml. These findings suggest that Vitamin D levels above 50 ng/ml may provide additional benefits in the prevention of breast cancer.
In another analysis of a randomized clinical trial with 25,871 patients, it showed that Vitamin D supplementation reduced the incidence of advanced (metastatic or fatal) cancer, with strongest risk reduction in individuals with normal weight.
WOW! Vitamin D! Right!!
The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunshine. Sunlight not only affects your cancer risk but your overall good health in many different ways. Spending 10 – 20 minutes in the sunshine, two times a week, while wearing as little clothing as possible, is the best way get your weekly dose of Vitamin D.
Unfortunately for many of us living north of the equator, we may not be able to get what we need from the sun. Supplementing is your best bet.
The good news: Vitamin D supplements are cheap.
The next question is always, how much do I take? Well, that depends.
How much Vitamin D you take depends on what your current Vitamin D level is and the only way to know that is to do a blood test. Ask your doctor to run a test for you. Once you know your level, you can figure out the right dose to take, if any.
Remember, it’s less about what specific dose you should take and more about what specific dose you need to take to get your blood serum Vitamin D level at the optimum range.
So, what is the optimum blood serum range?
To maintain good health, the optimum range suggested by many studies is 40-60 ng/ml. However, if you are dealing with a chronic condition, other studies and health providers suggest the optimum range is nearer 60-80 ng/ml. You will want to discuss what level is best for optimizing your health situation with a trusted Nutritionist or health care professional.
2. Eat at least one apple a day
In the 2010 EPIC study (European Perspective Investigation into Cancer), researchers found that increasing fruits and vegetables by 150g a day could prevent 36,000 new cancer cases annually in the United States and could prevent 300,000 new cancer cases worldwide.
An easy way to achieve that level is by eating one small apple a day. Yes, our mothers and grandmothers had it right: An apple a day can keep the doctor away.
“A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risk of 15 types of cancer, among them, colon, breast, cervix and lung.” – Andrew Weil, MD
Just think about the impact we could make on breast cancer if every woman decided to include one small apple a day into their diet.
When choosing your apple, be sure to invest in organic apples. Conventionally grown apples are highly sprayed with harmful chemicals and pesticides so it’s best to choose organic.
The science is clear, both Vitamin D and fruits and vegetables have been linked to reducing cancer risk. Both are super easy to incorporate into your daily routine, and starting today is a good day to start on the path of cancer prevention.
If you have cancer or are trying to take steps to prevent a cancer recurrence, working with a functional nutrition counselor experienced in optimizing diet and lifestyle for beating the odds of cancer is a good investment. They will be able to help you create a detailed cancer battle plan.
Utilizing a battle plan can give you a 10,000-foot view of the situation. It can be used as a guide or an outline to help organize all the information and help you understand what (on a high level) needs to be done to help you beat cancer odds.
I have discovered that if you approach cancer with a battle plan, it helps reduce the fear and bring clarity to the process of healing.
Remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out to get started and make an impact on your health. The battle plan can help you move from “analysis paralysis” to taking the first step with a little less fear and more confidence.
Chandler PD, Chen WY, Ajala ON, et al. Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplements on Development of Advanced Cancer: A Secondary Analysis of the VITAL Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(11):e2025850. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25850
Vaughan-Shaw, P.G., Buijs, L.F., Blackmur, J.P. et al. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on survival in patients with colorectal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Cancer 123, 1705–1712 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01060-8
GrassrootsHealth.net. Reduction Breast Cancer risk document