San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 25, 2009
Coming on the heels of the publishing in the Annals of Epidemiology of a new study led by Dr. Cedric Garland, on the preventive measures of vitamin D, GrassrootsHealth D*action Project is calling on physicians, health clinics and groups throughout the country to recognize the need for determining vitamin D levels and to ensure the public have their blood levels of vitamin D tested.
According to research from the newly published study by Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., FACE, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and Moores Cancer Center of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), "It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three quarters of deaths from these diseases, in the US and Canada."
Led by Dr. Garland, one of the GrassrootsHealth D*action panel of 30 scientists, the new study proposes a new model of cancer development that hinges on a loss of cancer cells' ability to stick together. The model, dubbed DINOMIT, differs substantially from the current model of cancer development, which suggests genetic mutations as the earliest driving forces behind cancer.
"This new research study in the Annals of Epidemiology, shows the vital nature that vitamin D deficiency can play in the development of cancer," said D*action's Carole Baggerly. "There is no question that many of these cancers can be prevented with adequate intake of vitamin D3 and calcium. Our mission at the D*action Project has been to get individuals to know and increase their blood levels of vitamin D. We feel this study will put a greater emphasis on medical clinics and groups to embrace this campaign and ensure that their patients attain proper levels of vitamin D."
In December of 2008, GrassrootsHealth announced the establishment of the D*Action Project to monitor, for five years, the health outcomes of individuals who get their vitamin D levels to the recommended levels of 40-60 ng/ml. Dr. Garland is the lead investigator of this project. Elements of the program include:
Getting participants to join D*action, complete a health questionnaire and have a blood spot test.
Receive test results and take action as necessary, ideally in consultation with their health care professional
Encourage other people to join D*action
"We will be tracking the incidence of many diseases, from cancer to diabetes and muscular function as well as pain levels to see what effect the higher vitamin D levels may have," says Baggerly. "We expect to see a significant reduction in the incidence of breast cancer (and its recurrence), colon cancer, diabetes and myocardial infarction, compared with the general population. With the expansion of the project by individuals, we could substantially reduce this epidemic in a few years!" Physicians, medical institutions and groups are encouraged to contact Baggerly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how they can participate with their health plan participants.
Garland, an epidemiologist and a professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine attributes the first event in cancer to a loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels.
"In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over," said Garland in a press release on the study issued by the University of California, San Diego.
According to the study, such cellular disruption could account for the earliest stages of many cancers. Garland says previous theories linking low levels of vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.
"While more scientific studies need to be made, proper supplementation with vitamin D3 and diet can provide major assistance in preventing cancer development," said Baggerly.
Garland and his colleagues have published epidemiological studies about the potential preventive effects of vitamin D for two decades. As early as 1990, his team showed an association between deficiency in sunlight exposure, low vitamin D and breast cancer. In previous work, they showed associations between increased levels of vitamin D3 or markers of vitamin D and lower risk for breast, colon, ovarian and kidney cancers.
Other authors on the study include Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr and Frank C. Garland, all of UC San Diego.
GrassrootsHealth, a non-profit public health promotion organization which launched the D*action Project to solve the vitamin D deficiency crisis is based in San Diego. The D*action Project is a consortium of scientists, institutions and individuals committed to solving the worldwide vitamin D deficiency epidemic. More information is available at http://www.grassrootshealth.net (http://www.grassrootshealth.net).