(NaturalNews) In findings just published in the journal Anticancer Research, scientists at the University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha have reported that most people need a much higher intake of vitamin D. And that simple step added to your life could slash your risk of developing serious diseases -- including cancer -- by about 50 percent.
The new study involved a survey of several thousand volunteers who took supplements containing 1000 to 10,000 IU per day. The researchers ran blood tests to measure the level of 25-vitamin D, which is the form of almost all vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream.
"We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4000 to 8000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases -- breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes," Dr. Cedric Garland, professor of family and preventive medicine at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, said in a statement to media.
He added that the amount of vitamin D needed for disease prevention is far higher than the minimal dosage of 400 IU per day that was originally prescribed in the 20th century to treat and prevent rickets. However, upping vitamin D intake into the 4000 IU daily range and higher appears to be safe, according to a December 2010 report from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.
"Most scientists who are actively working with vitamin D now believe that 40 to 60 ng/ml is the appropriate target concentration of 25-vitamin D in the blood for preventing the major vitamin D-deficiency related diseases, and have joined in a letter on this topic," Dr. Garland stated. "Unfortunately, according to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, only 10 percent of the US population has levels in this range, mainly people who work outdoors."
Robert P. Heaney, MD, of Creighton University, a distinguished biomedical scientist, said he was not surprised by the new study's results based on his decades of research into the health benefits of vitamin D. "Now is the time for virtually everyone to take more vitamin D to help prevent some major types of cancer, several other serious illnesses, and fractures," Dr. Heaney said a statement to the press.