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Effect of High-Dose Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Colorectal Cancer (jamanetwork.com)
113 points by howard941 40 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments



If you care about avoiding cancer, in addition to Vit D you should be aware of this interesting study finding cancer fighting foods using machine learning: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45349-y

Figure 4 shows the foods and you can download the data from there as well for your own analysis.


The figure's largest circle is tea. What kind? Any kind?


Most people don't realize that most varieties of tea come from the same plant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camellia_sinensis

Your question is still a good one, but hoping the above context makes the "so tea as a blanket category just... works?" less absurd.


We don't know if the processing steps for green tea vs black tea removes or adds to the beneficial quantities.


Accidentally took a workshop on this at a tea festival a number of years back.

Turns out the “fermenting” of tea is mostly self contained. Autolysis, I think might be the word?

If you recall that caffeine is an insecticide this makes sense. The caffeine is stored as a time bomb waiting for some insect to chew. Mastication mixes the caffeine crystals and the enzymes already present in the leaf, which then render it soluble and bang, dead insect. To process tea you just need to activate the enzymes the right amount at the right temperatures, and then dry the leaves before they can rot.

If you get a proper oolong loose leaf, and let it steep long enough, you will find what looks like whole leaves in your cup. Not unlike those little dinosaur sponges they sell to kids. Just add water.


You can also grow it yourself. Just bought 2 plants


Interesting, can you realistically get good results from that when growing it in mild climate like US or Europe? Indoor? Greenhouse?


Yes. There are now a small number of tea plantations in the UK from Cornwall to Scotland. All outdoors

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/tea-...

Even one in Sweden -

https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&ar...

It takes about 3-5 years to first harvest though


Don't have any links handy but apparently keto and lowcarb increases survival odds.


yea...no[1]

The newest diet fad has not been around nearly long enough to even begin to determine its effect on longevity.

1. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2...


There’s some specific targeted use when it comes to enhancing outcomes of chemotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842847/


Just a guess, but keto diets are usually devoid of processed foods. I would wager less processed, pre-packaged foods would probably decrease cancer rates.


I've never been able to get a single definition of what a "processed" food is. What is it to you?


Something with additional sugar and preservatives added so it can be packaged and kept on the shelf for a long time.


the parent is saying keto may help survivability for cancer. The study you posted is about overall longevity, and specifically excludes people with cancer. Depending on the type of cancer, there is growing evidence that keto, or elimination of carbs, does reduce tumor growth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842847/


> Figure 4 shows the foods

This figure literally talks to me: "You should drink more tea!"


Well that's fascinating...


My entirely vague understanding was that the Orthomolecular Medicine folk were semi-quacks (the same ones who brought us Vitamin C Megatherapy). I'm not terribly familiar with the field though, is there any real reason to be suspect of this research? It looks like it might be cherry-picking studies.


Gee I really don't consider Linus Pauling to be a semi-quack, and considering he's the guy who coined the phrase.... http://orthomolecular.org/hof/2004/lpauling.html

I know the pharma industry has been trying to destroy his reputation regarding his vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) L-lysine protocol as a way to prevent and revers heart disease. But so far it seem that everything Dr. Pauling proposed has been panning out. Frankly I'd blindly trust Dr. Pauling over basically anyone else, especial if the anyone else has a financial stake in their position, which is everyone, except Dr. Pauling.

It's too bad he was prevented from traveling due to his protesting the Vietnam War, because if he hadn't be prevented from traveling he would have stayed ahead of Watson and Crick and Dr. Pauling would have "discovered" the double-helix, and won his 3rd solo Nobel Prize.


Well, Linus Pauling did some things right and some things very wrong. He, personally, is responsible for delaying research into quasi-crystals, by personally attacking Shechtman ("There are no quasi crystals, only quasi scientists") and applying all his might to discredit Shechtman in particular and quasi crystal research in general. Shortly after he died, quasi-crystals became an accepted field, and Shechtman later got a Nobel for that.

With respect to his mega vit-C protocols - they have been shown to have some beneficial effect, especially with respect to cold and the flu, but not his general claims AFAIK despite various attempts by people with favorable attitudes.

He was not a god; He was a smart, successful, but also imperfect human being.


"The rate of diarrhea was 12% in the low-dose group, but only 1% in the high-dose group."

That alone seems like a good reason to administer high-dose Vitamin D!


>In the analysis of the entire 25,000-person group, the risk of cancer was not significantly reduced. However, evidently higher vitamin D levels take time to have an effect, because when the data from the first one or two years were omitted, there was a 25% significant reduction in the all-cancer mortality rate.

The original article [0] mentions the "exclude early years" analysis was post hoc. This wasn't a formal result, but it is a good idea for a new experiment. Same with the first study mentioned. It would be cool if the hazard decrease showed up in a larger study, but a confidence interval of 0% to 90% isn't much to rely on.

[0] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1809944?url_ver=...


The body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

This article indicates that specifically _supplements_ do not significantly reduce cancer rates: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2018...


Although it should be noted in that article:

"Over the follow-up period, there were 341 deaths from cancer: 154 among participants who took vitamin D (1.1%) and 187 among those who took the placebo (1.4%). Although this difference was not statistically significant, the difference in cancer deaths between the groups started to widen over time, the researchers reported.

The researchers plan to follow the participants for another 2 to 5 years, to see if a statistically significant difference in cancer deaths emerges. Laboratory studies have suggested that high blood levels of vitamin D may decrease the aggressiveness of cancer cells and the likelihood of metastasis, explained Dr. Manson. If so, longer follow-up will be needed to assess its effects on the risk of death from cancer, she added. Other studies have suggested that regular use of vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of dying from cancer, she said."

So they're still continuing to follow that up long term to see if it has a longer term effect.


This doesn't seem all that surprising. Search the web for the Coimbra Protocol (for autoimmune diseases.) For now it seems like mainstream medicine (in the US at least) treats this as quackery, but there are thousands of people all over the world doing this.


As a data point, I underwent cancer treatment a few years ago in the US at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and there high-ish dose vitamin D (can't remember the actual dosage) was encouraged, though it wasn't part of the treatment they provided. The doctors and other staff all seemed to take it vitamin D as a preventative measure as well.


The article seems to start from the premise that a high daily intake of Vitamin D helps cancer patients fight cancer (based on the linked studies), and from that it concludes that all of us should also increase our daily intake of vitamin D.

But I do not have cancer.

The studies do not explain the effects of high doses of vitamin D on an otherwise healthy person, let alone one that gets enough UVB exposure to produce sufficient vitamin D (essentially anyone near the equator) and already "[reduces their] risk for cancer by not smoking and by avoiding alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating an excellent diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains".


> But I do not have cancer.

From my limited understanding, cancer comes from an unlucky combination of particular kinds of cell damages. Based on that, I'd say we all have some level of cancer-inclination that is non-zero and increasing in susceptibility. I wouldn't consider cancer a boolean.

But that's a great point. What impact does this have on those factors that lead to cancer?


Thanks for the reply

> I wouldn't consider cancer a boolean.

I consider having cancer a boolean and the propensity to develop cancer a probability. The studies linked in the article don't suggest a high dose of Vitamin D reduces that probability at all. They only tested whether it helps those for which has_cancer is set to True


Correct, the study wasn't about prevention


Related to this, you may find many of the youtube videos by Dr. Eric Berg interesting. He covers many topics related to this, including many of the things to avoid and to include to minimize risk of cancer and numerous other poorly understood chronic issues.

I have been super-dosing vit D, K2-MK7 and magnesium chelate to reverse calcification of the arteries. It is slowly working. My BP is slowly coming down.


If you're looking into reducing BP, the strongest correlation is with body mass. If you have the margin to lose weight, that should be the primary approach. The correlation is roughly 1mmHg per Kg in systolic BP. Diastolic BP drops less per Kg, but is also affected.

There is also a strong correlation with height, but I don't advise losing height :-)


For many people that is true. I have significantly reduced my BMI and my BP actually went up. I do Keto+IF+Berberine and do 2 day FMD, soon to try 5 day FMD. My BP issues are likely due to calcification and inflammation related to metabolic syndrome. I have a blog where I am tracking this if you are curious. [1]

[1] - https://ohblog.org/Metabolic-Syndrome-Hypertension-My-Journe...


If I'm already at a healthy but low BMI, should I increase my body mass so that in case of high blood pressure, I have weight to lose?


You could look into building muscle mass. I would avoid eating junk food and drinking beer until you get a belly, for instance.

A bit of both would probably be okay, though.


What dosage do you use? Over what period have you seen BP reduce?


I started with 4000 IU's D3 + 200 mcg K2-MK7 per fatty meal or snack. I am now up to 12000 IU D3 + 200mcg K2 per fatty meal or snack. This took about a year. My goal is to reach 40,000 IU's per fatty meal, but I can't do that yet, as too much calcium is released into the blood stream and causes muscle pain.


Looking at the paper, I count 45 doctors and editors from across the world, who you've associated with what you regard as a 3rd rate website. It may be such but it behoves you to show that it is, by providing at least some credible evidence aside from the meaningless throwaway '3rd rate'.



Why are we posting selected shorts from a 3rd rate medical-related website? Orthomolecular.org?

Care to visit their list of "orthomolecular" doctors? http://orthomolecular.org/resources/pract.shtml

This is one step away from homeopathy. Get this shit off HN please.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthomolecular_medicine

> Orthomolecular medicine,[1][2] a form of alternative medicine, aims to maintain human health through nutritional supplementation.

Seconded. If this is what HN becomes, I want no part of it.


Just something to note the company Ortho Molecular is a company that sells high end vitamin supplements, probiotics and other similar things.

Not that it undermines the findings, or makes it less true just something to keep in mind.


It's always important to know about authors' conflicts of interest. However, in this case the results align with a lot of others related to vitamin D's effects on cancer and the immune system in general. (I believe it's possible for the raw number of studies supporting a position to also be a misleading figure, but in this case I don't sense that's what's going on.)

Fun fact, vitamin D was a treatment for tuberculosis before antibiotics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29804293


Instead of flagging this, why not replace it with the original article?

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/27301...


Thanks, we've updated the link from http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v15n12.shtml and turned off the flags.


Recently came across an interesting book about cancer.

How to Starve Cancer by Jane McLelland

This woman claims to have reversed her cancer by using a combination of off label drugs and supplements to starve the cancer.


It's hard to establish much causation from a single sample - her cancer could have gone into remission due to other causes, and without clinical trials, her story is simply survival bias at work.


I'd be very wary. Without a controlled study, efforts such as that amount to witchcraft - random coincidence interpreted as cause-and-effect. Is it replicable?




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