Vitamin D Better than Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on October 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

Pretty much every medical journal has posted research associating high vitamin D levels with a reduced risk of many cancers. Recent research, however, takes things a step further by showing that vitamin D actually reduces circulating estrogen levels, which has been found to reduce breast cancer risk and the progression of the dis-ease.  Excitingly, this may offer women an safer alternative to aromatase inhibitors.

Research done in 2016 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those with the greatest increase in vitamin D blood levels had the greatest reductions in blood estrogens. The randomized, controlled, clinical trial involved over 200 women who had insufficient D levels.  At the end of the year-long study, those whose D levels rose the highest had a corresponding reduction in estrogen levels. This study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be a practical alternative to estrogen-lowering drugs, such as aromatase inhibitors.

Studies also show that natural progesterone offsets the effects of estrogen, and in doing so, reduces cancer risk. This is because progesterone hinders the growth of cancer cells, sort of putting the brakes on estrogen. However, it has been found that a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone.

Importantly, both progesterone and vitamin D regulate gene expression, and both have a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Therefore, it is important to maintain adequate levels of both progesterone and vitamin D.

Unfortunately, while natural progesterone has an anticancer effect, synthetic progesterone (found in birth control pills and hormone replacement supplements) does not. This is because unlike natural progesterone, synthetic versions do not stimulate activation of the P53 gene [i] (which is the tumor-suppressor gene involved that protects cells from becoming cancerous and orders damaged cells to self-destruct)), and as such, have not been found to inhibit cancer development.

If present, synthetic progesterone will occupy the progesterone receptors, preventing natural progesterone from occupying those receptors. In order for natural progesterone to facilitate the production of P53, it must attach itself to progesterone receptors. If synthetic progesterone (again, which does not stimulate the production of P53) is present on the receptors, natural progesterone will not be able to occupy the receptors. For more information on P53, please click HERE. For a deeper understanding of progesterone, please read my article The Truth About Progesterone and Breast Cancer.

Recent research shows (and this author believes) that blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml  and not the 30ng/ml most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose required may well be 5000iu’s per day, although the latest research indicates it could be more like 10,000iu’s per day (I personally require even more than that).

Some doctors warn of toxicity risk but studies have found that even an intake of up to 40,000iu’s vitamin D per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity. [ii]  Just be sure to drink plenty of clean water and consume a healthy diet, which I recommend anyway. Despite the fact that more people are now taking vitamin D supplements, it’s rare to find someone with very high blood levels of this vitamin.

Cholesterol’s Role

Both progesterone and vitamin D3 are manufactured from cholesterol. Progesterone is primarily produced by the adrenals and ovaries. Vitamin D3 is made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our skin—assuming you have not doused yourself with chemical or even non-chemical sunscreen. The moral of the story, as they say, is not to be so aggressive in reducing healthy cholesterol, and you might consider leaving the sunscreen home.

While vitamin D shows promise in the efforts to lower estrogen, please know that there are many natural substances that can be employed. It would be my recommendation not to rely solely on vitamin D, but rather to devise a comprehensive plan.  This is especially true as many people don’t actually have high estrogen levels, but rather are deficient in progesterone (and therefore are still estrogen dominant). For more information on natural approaches to anti-hormone therapy, please click HERE.


~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21378345

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882298/

  1. I have had but have been clear for 8 years estrogenic receptive breast cancer. As I get constipation occasionally I started to take a little flaxseed but the consultant told me to stop it.,I recently fell over and badly broke my ankle and lower leg bones. The orthopaedic surgeon said I may have bone thinning as it seemed too much damage To cause the injury that j sustained. I had two ops and cannot weight bear in the leg. I am taking Vit D and K now. I have to take painkillers which I rarely do usually. I have had so much stress and trauma. I was really trying to look after myself since the breast cancer but now have to rely on others to feel me regularly and with the healthy foods I like. This isn’t always possible. I am struggling financially too and already had anxiety and depression. I do some meditation which helps. I don’t know wher wro turn even though my family have been so good they don’t understand my news for healthy food, regular meals and plenty of sleep. I am really in their hands rhough and don’t know what I would have done without them.

  2. Hi Elyn. Do you advocate the use of usp progesterone in creams to raise progesterone? Is that a natural progesterone that will raise P53?

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