Do Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Cancer or Heart Disease?

Do Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Cancer or Heart Disease?


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. Let’s discuss if supplementing with vitamin
D can decrease the incidence or your chances of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Now, we’ve all probably heard something about
the health benefits of vitamin D supplementation. And there is evidence to support that, yes,
supplementing with vitamin D can improve your health. However, it does appear that the health benefits
of vitamin D supplementation have been over-exaggerated. This study helps reinforce that conclusion,
which is essentially that vitamin D supplementation may not lead to all the benefits you’ve been
told it will. This is a large study entitled, “Vitamin D
Supplements and Prevention of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease.” They tracked over 25,000 patients for a number
of years, looking at incidence of cancers and cardiovascular disease over time in those
supplementing with vitamin D compared to placebos. This is a placebo-controlled trial. People were randomly assigned to either take
vitamin D supplementation and tracked, or a placebo and tracked. So this is very high-quality data. It’s not your typical association or observational
data which we see in much of the vitamin D research. Their conclusion, to quote: “Supplementation
with vitamin D did not result in the lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular
events than placebo.” In summary, vitamin D supplementation does
not appear to decrease cancers or cardiovascular disease. However, there is one important clarification
I should make here: sun exposure has been somewhat tightly correlated with reducing
most types of cancers and cardiovascular disease. So sun exposure may vector the benefit that
vitamin D has been purported to garner. If you’re trying to optimize your health,
if you’re trying to reduce or mitigate the risk of cardiovascular and/or cancer incidence,
then maintaining a healthy level of sun exposure is an excellent practice toward that end point. I’ll link here to a couple interviews we’ve
conducted with vitamin D researchers that also provide guidelines. But essentially, getting into the sun for
at least 15 minutes a few days a week without protection is a great place to start. So two to three days per week, at least 15
minutes, middle of the day, direct sun exposure, no sunblock, exposing as much of your body
as you can. The darker your skin is, the more exposure
you may need. So that 10 to 15 minutes may need to be more,
anywhere from perhaps 15 to 25 minutes. However, sun exposure is certainly something
that has been shown to have a number of health benefits. If you’re looking for more specifics, in my
book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, I lay out very specific dosing guidelines, depending
on if you’re vitamin D sufficient or vitamin D insufficient. Meaning, if you’ve had a blood test and your
levels are low compared to normal, how much vitamin D do you need to maintain the normal,
or to bring the low up into the normal range. In summary, vitamin D supplementation, at
least in what I feel to be the best study to date, does not prevent cancer and cardiovascular
disease. However, there is an impressive amount of
literature showing that regular, safe sun exposure—not burning, but getting regular
sun exposure—does protect you against multiple forms of cancers and cardiovascular disease. This is Dr. Ruscio, and I hope this information
helps you get healthy and get back to your life. Thanks.