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Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of cancer

Vitamin D deficiency is too common today affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide or 90 percent of the world’s population. Dr. Michael Holick, a leading authority on Vitamin D research, predicts Vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition worldwide. (5)

Increasing concern for sunscreen use, reduced intake of Vitamin D in food and the increase in people working and playing indoors continues to contribute to the continued epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency. Any insufficiency in Vitamin D absorption is hazardous to health and associated with the risk of disease, cancer, and disorders like osteoporosis. (1)

Essential for Brain Health

Research has shown that Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the central nervous system including the hippocampus region of the brain responsible for both memory and emotion (2). Vitamin D is responsible for the regulation of enzymes located in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid which aid in:

  • Nerve growth
  • Neurotransmitter production
  • Synaptic density

It also protects nervous tissue from oxidative stress, controls the immune system response and is involved in the homeostatic processes of maintaining intracellular calcium and phosphorus levels. Vitamin D deficiency, especially during neonatal development, is believed to increase the risk of schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the central nervous system. (2, 3)

Dr. David Jockers

David Jockers DNM, DC, MS is a doctor of natural medicine, functional nutritionist, and corrective care chiropractor. He owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Dr. Jockers on Cancer Tutor

Loss of Neurological Protection

Substantial cognitive decline is an epidemic health problem and a major health concern that is evident in patients with dementia, Parkinson disease and other neurological degenerative diseases. One clinical study showed that individuals with low levels of the active form of Vitamin D showed loss of brain development and neuroprotection. The loss of Vitamin D results in reduced detoxification processes, lower levels of the antioxidant glutathione, increased nitric oxide levels in the brain and the overall lack of cellular survival abilities. (4)

A 2010 study found that individuals who were categorized as deficient had a 42 percent increased risk for cognitive impairment. Individuals categorized with a severe deficiency were at an increased risk of 394 percent to present with symptoms of cognitive decline. Another study analyzing the cognitive performance of more than 3,100 men in eight different countries throughout Europe found that men with low levels had impaired thought processing speed. (6, 4)

Vitamin D Kills Cancer Stem Cells

The body generates roughly 10,000 cancer cells every day. (7) Vitamin D3 deficiency is one of the most common factors contributing for the ability of these cancer cells to proliferate and invade new tissue. A variety of influencing concerns weaken the body’s capacity to naturally absorb Vitamin D from the sun and diet.

High dose pharmaceutical drugs interact and inhibit Vitamin D conversion. When combined with increased time spent indoors, reduced oxygen to cells, increased sugar consumption, poor nutrition lacking amino acids and trace minerals, and chronic stress cancer stem cells have a favorable environment to thrive.

Vitamin D Vital to GcMAF

Supplementing 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily may be an effective therapy to inhibit the progression of cancer and decrease systemic inflammation. (8) A powerful immune supporting protein that requires a steady intake of Vitamin D3 is GcMAF. GcMAF production is vital to a healthy immune response and can aid in the eradication of tumors entirely. (7)

In fact, optimal Vitamin D levels are one of the most important nutrients beneficial to the health of a baby during a woman’s pregnancy. Cancer is a multifactorial disease and Vitamin D deficiency increases autoimmune complications. During pregnancy, Vitamin D3 supplementation aids in: (9)

  • Anatomical growth and development of the fetus
  • Neurogenesis (development of new brain cells)
  • Neuroplasticity (cognitive thought and emotional pathways)
  • Neuroprotection (protection of the central nervous system)
  • Reducing inflammatory secretions by natural killer cells

GcMAF Reduces Risk of Numerous Cancers

Epidemiological studies suggest that individuals who have inadequate Vitamin D levels are at an increased likelihood to develop an immune-related disorder such as chronic infections, autoimmune diseases and metabolic complications associated with type 1 diabetes. (3)

Maintaining a steady supply of Vitamin D for the synthesis of GcMAF is a powerful strategy to inhibit tumors relating to prostate cancer cell growth. Tumor metastasisThe spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form a new tumor in other organs or tissues of the body. The new, metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. is shown to result from the presence of a receptor known as urokinase plasminogen activator (uPAR). (10) GcMAF has been evidenced to show that it reduces the receptor and therefore results in anti-cancer activity.

GcMAF is also responsible for reducing levels of nagalase. Nagalase is an enzymeA protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body. produced by cancer cells that stimulates viral infections and inhibits activated macrophages from engulfing infected cells. Patients with melanoma, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), prostate, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer have elevated concentrations of nagalase. GcMAF increases the natural defenses of the immune system by suppressing nagalase synthesis and thereby stimulating macrophage activity. (10)

GcMAF Treatment Destroys Cancer

Not until recent years did scientists and physicians understand the role and benefits that adequate Vitamin D levels have on human physiology and pathology. Since 2007 the importance of Vitamin D to regulate GcMAF activity and its role in cancer has been reported suggesting zero evidence for toxicity concerns. To date, the effects of Vitamin D to boost GcMAF levels is associated with the following cancer prevention mechanisms: (11)

  • 25 percent reduction in tumor size in less than one week
  • Increase in lymphocytes to normal levels
  • Increased platelet and red blood cell count
  • Boost macrophage activity
  • Stimulate cancer cell apoptosisA type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell lead to its death. This is one method the body uses to get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called programmed cell death. (“cell death”)

Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in North American men who have failed to respond to radiation therapy. Biologically active Vitamin D is not only important in regulating the mineral balance of calcium in bones but also exhibits anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells in glands like the prostate. Multiple studies validate that calcitriol both inhibits the growth of prostate cancer and its progression. (11)

Although all mechanisms for its anti-cancer role remain unclear, calcitriol stops cancerous cell growth, promotes apoptosis and reduces the anti-apoptotic genes and their pathways that account for the rapid generation and expression of prostate cancer cells.

Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer

A study analyzing 1,000,000 participants concluded that the association between calcitriol and the incidence of colorectal cancer are inversely related. In other words, low Vitamin D levels are associated with the highest risk for colon and rectal cancer. Researchers found that the slight increase of 10 ng/ml of Vitamin D in an individual’s blood significantly paralleled with a decrease in risk of colorectal cancer. (12)

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer

Research that directly treats breast cancer cells has shown a 100 percent reduction in cancerous cell growth following a short 7 day incubation period. Such evidence of in vitro studies suggests that Vitamin D supports the ability of GcMAF to attack breast cancer cells in humans. Scientists suggest that there is an interaction between amino acids which allows GcMAF receptors to bind and promote the invasion of macrophages around cancer cells. This form of “cellular eating” is likely responsible for the destruction of breast cancer cells. (13)

Evidence using the Swiss Protocol for cancer therapy even shows that Vitamin D and GcMAF may be responsible for the removal of an oncogene (Her-2) that activates breast cancer (7).

Healthy Sun Exposure

Healthy sun exposure is vital to the production of Vitamin D3 in the body. Ultraviolet rays trigger a stress response on the skin’s layers to convert a molecule known as 7-dehydrocholesterol into an active Vitamin D3 form useable by the body. Calcitriol is active Vitamin D which responds more like a hormone than a vitamin. Scientists argue that calcitriol is, in fact, the most powerful hormone in the human body responsible for stimulating more than 1,000 genes or about 5 percent of the human genome. (1)

The amount of sun you should expose your skin to is dependent on the portion of body parts exposed, the color of skin and the strength of the sun’s rays. Ideally, individuals should seek to receive 10,000 to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3 from sun exposure when 60 percent of the body is exposed. Protect your skin with antioxidantsProtects cells from damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of aging. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, Vitamins A, C, and E, and other natural and manufactured substances. from moisturizing with coconut oil, green tea extract and aloe vera before and after sun exposure.

Consider your skin color and intentionally sunbath no less than three times weekly according to the following time recommendation.

  • Light skin = 15-20 minutes daily
  • Medium Skin = 25-30 minutes daily
  • Dark Skin = 40-45 minutes daily

Supplementation Recommendations

If you are unable to receive proper amounts of sunlight, consider taking a supplementA product, generally taken orally, that contains one or more ingredients (such as vitamins or amino acids) that are intended to supplement one's diet and are not considered food. containing 8,000 to 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily. Generally, practitioners recommend taking 1,000-2,000 IU’s Vitamin D3 for every 25 pounds of body weight. The optimal range for Vitamin D3 is between 80-100 ng/ml in order to prevent and slow cancer growth.


  1. Tulane University: Genetic and epigenetic studies on Vitamin D Source
  2. Wrzosek M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Wrzosek M, Jakubczyk A, Matsumoto H, Piątkiewicz P, Radziwoń-Zaleska M, Wojnar M, Nowicka G. Vitamin D and the central nervous system. Pharmacol Rep. 2013; 65 (2):271-8. PMID: 23744412
  3. Baeke F, Takiishi T, Korf H, Gysemans C, Mathieu C. Vitamin D: modulator of the immune system. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2010 Aug;10(4):482-96. PMID: 20427238
  4. Llewellyn DJ, et al. Vitamin D and Risk of Cognitive Decline in Elderly Persons. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2010 Jul; 170(13): 1135-1141. DOI: 1001/archinternmed.2010.173
  5. Holick MF. Vitamin D Deficiency. New Eng J Med. 2007; 357: 266-281. DOI: 1056/NEJMra070553
  6. The University of Manchester: Vitamin D may lessen age-related cognitive decline Source
  7. FIRST iMMUNE Source
  8. How GcMAF works Source
  9. Siniscalco, et al. The in vitro GcMAF effects onendocannabinoid system transcriptionomics, receptor formation, and cell activity of autism-derived macrophages. J Neuroinflammation. 2014 Apr; 11:78. PMCID: PMC3996516
  10. Gregory KJ, et al. Vitamin D binding protein-macrophage activating factor directly inhibits proliferation, migration, and uPAR expression of prostate cancer cells. PLoS One. 2010 Oct; 5(10):e13428. PMID: 20976141
  11. Moreno J, Krishnan AV, Feldman D. Molecular mechanisms mediating the antiproliferative effects of Vitamin D in prostate cancer. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology2005; 97(1–2):31–36. Source
  12. Ma Y, Zhang P, Wang F, et al. Association between Vitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer: a systematic review of prospective studies. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2011;29(28):3775-3782. PMID: 21876081
  13. Thyer, et al. A Novel Role for a Major Component of the Vitamin D Axis: Vitamin D Binding Protein-Derived Macrophage Activating Factor Induces Human Breast Cancer Cell Apoptosis through Stimulation of Macrophages. Nutrients. 2013 Jul; 5(7):2577-2589. PMCID: 3738989

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