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Specific Carotenoids and Vitamin C Decrease the Risk of Stomach Cancer

Dec 10, 2004

In a cohort study of 18,244 middle-aged to older men followed for 12 years in Shanghai, China, 191 cases of gastric cancer (stomach cancer) developed. The nutritional intake of these patients was compared to 570 matched controls within the study group. The intake of different forms of vitamin E, vitamin C, and a number of carotenoids was established. It was found that 3 carotenoids and vitamin C greatly reduced the risk of developing gastric cancer. Alpha-Carotene cut the risk by 62%, Beta-Carotene cut the risk by 46%, Lycopene cut the risk by 45%. Vitamin C cut the risk dramatically if you didn't smoke or have more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day. People with the highest serum levels of vitamin C had a 64% decrease in the risk of gastric cancer. The study is publishd in the November 2004 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.

Vitamin D is not just for Bone Health

The suns ultraviolet B radiation releases photons that are absorbed into 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, this creates previtamin D which is quickly transformed into vitamin D3*. As it turns out limiting exposure to solar radiation is wreaking havoc in the populations vitamin D levels. Shorter winter days, having greater skin pigment, aging, using a sunscreen, and glass all decrease the ability to create vitamin D from sun exposure.

Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic among both adults and children in the United States. This deficiency causes rickets in children, and osteoporosis and even the painful bone disease osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes. The avoidance of sunlight to prevent melanoma skin cancer and aging of the skin increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency.Sensible sun exposure (5-10 minutes of exposure of the arms and legs, or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) along with increased Vitamin D as a supplement are reasonable approaches to prevent vitamin D deficiency. The study is published in the December 2004 issue of The Amercan Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Low serum levels of vitamin D are tied into the following additional conditions:

  • Weaker muscles in the elderly
  • Severe periodontal disease
  • Worsening osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of developing diabetes
  • Increased risk of dangerous cancers
  • Increased inflammation in MS
  • Increased risk and intensityof seasonal depression (winter depression)
  • Decreased colon cancer protection from calcium