The vitamin that's cancer's 'master regulator'

Vitamin D can slash your risk of cancer -- that's a fact -- and now with new research of vitamin D and c-MYC problems, we may finally know why.

Turns out it's not just that this nutrient is great for the immune system, giving your body the power it needs to fight off disease (although that's certainly true as well).

No, there's more to it than that -- because new research shows that the sunshine vitamin may actually be the "master regulator" of the very process that allows precancerous cells to turn into malignant tumors.

It's a process marked by out-of-control cell division, which is the very definition of cancer. The sparkplug of this process is a protein called c-MYC -- and high levels of it are found in half of all cancers, especially cancers of the colon and digestive tract as well as leukemia.

When you don't have enough vitamin D, c-MYC can operate unchecked -- and cancer cells can divide, grow, and spread -- and you end up sick or even dead.

And sadly, most people don't have nearly enough of this critical nutrient.

But there's a bright side to this -- because the new study finds that increased levels of the "master regulator," vitamin D, could keep c-MYC in line and cause the tumor-making process to grind to a halt.

In a series of experiments in mice, vitamin D applied to the skin caused c-MYC levels to plunge and decreased the function of the protein. And in a second set of experiments on mice missing vitamin D receptors, c-MYC levels shot up, especially in skin and colon tissue.

Of course, we'll need more research before anyone can say for sure whether the process works the same way in humans -- and, if it does, we'll need more studies to figure out the best way to use D against c-MYC.

But we already know from dozens of studies that vitamin D can protect against cancer in humans -- and since you need vitamin D for so many other reasons, make sure you're getting plenty of it. I recommend a D3 supplement of between 2,000 IU and 5,000 IU a day.