Upping the vitamin D ante

Usually when I hear about products flying off stores shelves, it has something to do with Tickle-me-Elmo, or the latest videogame that turns kids into vegetables and turns seemingly normal, responsible parents into raving lunatics.

But not in this case. This time the culprit is much less trivial. It's a product that consumers found out could prolong their lives by reducing their risk of cancer. Now if anything is worth raiding a store's shelves, it's THAT.

Yesterday I told you that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study showing that vitamin D reduces the risk of ANY KIND OF CANCER in postmenopausal women. And it wasn't just your run-of-the-mill, epidemiological, mish mash of statistics and food frequency questionnaires, either. It was, according to some, the most reliable study on vitamin D to date.

So what's the American Cancer Society going to do about it? If nothing's coming to mind, you've hit the nail on the head. The ACS isn't going to do a darn thing. But another country's cancer society is putting its money where its mouth is

Shortly after the AJCN published the study, the Canadian Cancer Society announced its recommendation that all Canadian adults supplement with vitamin D to reduce their risk of developing cancer. (What a novel idea)

They're recommending that all adults should take 1,000 IU of vitamin D during the fall and winter, and that adults who are more likely to be vitamin D deficient should take 1,000 IU of vitamin D ALL YEAR LONG. It's about time someone got it right!

Even better news is that the people are actually responding. In just the first two days after the CCS issued its vitamin D recommendation, one major vitamin retailer doubled its usual amount of sales. Another company reportedly experienced a spike that was 8 times higher than usual.

Now, if we could only get people south of that border to take this natural medicine business a bit more seriously, maybe we could put the brakes on skyrocketing cancer rates - and a third of children born today wouldn't still get cancer in their lifetime.

I won't be holding my breath.