Scott: Doctor, can you talk about vitamin D and how that possibly relates to possibly cancer prevention?
Dr. Murray Susser: Vitamin D, if you decide what's a low vitamin D level in your body... if you're low in vitamin D according to conventional levels, which I think are far too conservative... but if you're low in vitamin D, the statistic that seems to come around are 55 percent increase in cancer and fifty-some percent increase in death from all causes, if you're low in vitamin D.
So, when I... many years ago when vitamin D came under fire by the FDA and other government agencies, they said vitamin D over 400 units a day will calcify your brain, calcify your kidney, calcify everything inside, you'll just turn into a calcified mummy. I didn't feel right about it, I just knew there was something wrong. I'd read enough about vitamin D... first of all, they lumped vitamin D into one vitamin D. They forgot to mention there's vitamin D-2, which is pretty toxic and not very effective. And there's vitamin D-3 which has very low to zero toxicity and is very effective. So there's vitamin D-2 and vitamin D-3.
If you take... if you measure vitamin D-3... Oh... the FDA said that anything over 400 units was too much. So people went crazy. They were making products with no vitamin D in it. In fact, I think I lost a good friend to cancer because she produced a vitamin line, and none of her vitamins had any vitamin D at all. She produced it at this time it was coming under fire from authorities. She took this vitamin for 25 years, and she was otherwise in perfect health. She exercised, she didn't drink any coffee, she didn't drink alcohol, she didn't eat sugar. She was in incredibly good shape. But she didn't have any vitamin D in her life. Because vitamin D is not readily in many food supplies. It's hard to get vitamin D from food supply. They have vitamin D enforced milk, but a lot of that is vitamin D-2 and it not very good.
So my friend, about five years ago, she came down with pancreatic cancer. She was in her late 60's. She wasn't unusual, statistically. But given her lifestyle and the way she took care of herself, she should not have come down with cancer. And I tend to blame the vitamin D levels. Now, in those days, vitamin D level was considered low if it was below 20. Now it's been raised to 30. Most of the experts and smart people I see, evaluating vitamin D, say it should be at least 60, probably 80 and maybe 100. You now the Baywatch babes? The bikini....
Scott: I'm familiar.
Susser: You watched that, huh? I watched it a little... the Baywatch babes had vitamin D levels at 150. So you can get that much from natural sunlight.
But vitamin D has been shown to be important in preventing colds, simple things, preventing cancer, complex, dangerous things. And for years, we didn't get enough vitamin D. I measure now in virtually every patient. And I learned that from Michael Holick, who wrote a book called The UV Advantage. And his book about six or seven years ago, blew the whistle on the vitamin D mistake. He blew the whistle showing that we were being much too conservative and calling, and saying how much vitamin D we should have. We should probably have, at least 5 thousand units a day. Of the good vitamin D, D-3
Scott: And you can find that out with a simple blood test right? Where your levels are.
Susser: Yeah, just a simple blood test.
Dr. Murray Susser explains the importance of vitamin D in the body and how some research correlates levels in the blood and cancer risk as well as all cause death. Find out the difference between what the recommended levels are by the FDA and what Dr. Susser says we really think you should be getting!
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