Thursday, 3 July 2008

Is it exercise or vitamin d that helps fight cancer?

I've just been reading a fascintaing article at which in part makes a case for low levels of vitamin d being linked with higher incidence of cancer.

Other vitamins and disease links are also put forward. I can't help wondering though at our insistence that diet must be a fundamental cause of our problems. A show I watched last night hinted that this attitude seems to date right back through human history.

Anyway I feel strongly that our bodies are designed to be used in a certain way as well as being fed and watered in a certain way. The thing is our bodies are also used to adapting to all sorts of situations and they have inbuilt mechanisms to protect against misuse. given that they're so complex I think we don't even have sufficient models to map all the data we have about the body so we just end up speculating all the time.

In this case with vitamin D it seems easy to suggest that those people with higher vitamin D concentrations may have got their vitamin D from being outside in the sun. It could take things further to suggest those people who exercise regularly, and enjoy the outside world would have much higher levels of vitamin D than those who don't. I undertand research on women who cover themselves from head to toe shows they have a low level of vitamin D and that exposure to sun light is key in this area. I wonder whether these women have a higher incidence of cancer?

Anyway being active is what humans are designed for. It helps stimulate the body to maintain itself. I would argue that the results of the activity are what actually reduce cancer risk. Maybe vitamin D is involved since most if not all vitamins are involved in repairing the body. However I wouldn't expect vitamin D to be the sole link in the chain. I would expect it to reflect a common link such as exercise or other aspect of the individuals way of life.

Learn more about battling cancer through exercise

1 comment:

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi ColChambers,

Most of the studies I mentioned are nothing more than associations, so exercise could definitely be a factor. More intervention trials with D supplementation will settle that.