While there are many factors that cause cancer, one of the main ones is nutrient deficiency in the body. Certain nutrients help the body perform certain functions such as blood production, immune system function, and hormone stability. Below are the most common vitamin deficiencies that can be directly linked to the development of your cancer.
Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because sun is needed to synthesize or absorb the vitamin. While you might link vitamin D absorption with the sun, it can also be found in foods. Vitamin D affects over 100 genes in your body. It boosts your body’s immune functions and encourages T-cells to mobilize, attack and eliminate cancer cells. Your body converts Vitamin D in the bloodstream into calcitriol. Our organs use calcitriol to repair cellular damage, including that from cancer cells. It also triggers cancer cell death or apoptosis.
So when our bodies are deficient in Vitamin D, they are unable to produce T-cells and repair damaged cells.
Vitamin K is often called the ‘krucial vitamin’. This is because it is essential for Vitamin D and calcium absorption in your body. Vitamin D and Vitamin K work together to keep the body healthy and cancer-free. Many proteins are dependent on the presence of Vitamin K in the body, which is essential in boosting your immune system, strengthening your bones, balancing your body’s hormones, and improving heart health and performance.
Without adequate vitamin K levels in the body, you may bleed excessively, bruise easily, and even have blood in your stool because of an inability to form blood clots.
Iodine is needed by every cell in the body to function properly. Iodine is also the key element involved in the development of the thyroid hormone. The thyroid is integral to growth, brain development, metabolism, and your body’s healing processes. Iodine deficiency leads to the enlargement of the thyroid and hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid swells and gets too large, it can prevent people from swallowing and breathing correctly. Hyperthyroidism limits the body’s ability to promote thyroid function and regulate hormones.
Most of the world’s iodine comes from the ocean so the most iodine rich foods are seafood and sea vegetables like nori, kombu, and kelp. However, most people in the Western World do not regularly consume high volumes of these foods.
Low iodine and low oxygenation of tissues are directly related. In the same way, higher rates of iodine deficiency correlate with higher rates of cancer mortality. Iodine is an anti-carcinogenic agent with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cysts, which are precursors to cancer, can also start to form when iodine is deficient.
Magnesium is a co factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.
Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. Magnesium deficiency leads to a breakdown in many of these basic functions which is responsible for the development of different types of diseases, including cancer. This mineral is essential in RNA and DNA synthesis, as well as DNA replication and repair. It also facilitates nerve and muscle functions, balances hormones, improves sleep cycles, regulates inflammation, and synthesizes iodine and Vitamins C.
Selenium is an extremely vital mineral for the human body. As it boosts your immune system it takes part in antioxidant defense against free radical damage and inflammation, and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Selenium neutralizes the NGK2D ligand, which cancer cells use to disarm immune cells. It also affects the mechanisms that allow tumors to grow.
Selenium is currently recognized by the FDA as an anti-cancer nutrient. It works closely with beta-carotene, Vitamins C, and Vitamin E in blocking free radicals that damage the DNA and cause degenerative diseases like cancer. Being deficient in this mineral can contribute directly to the development of cancer.
There are eight different types of B Vitamins and each of them plays an important role in cancer prevention. Vitamin B1 helps with energy conversion while Vitamin B2 is a very powerful antioxidant. Vitamins B3 and B5 maintain the health of the hormones of the reproductive system. Vitamin B9 helps in the creation of genetic materials while Vitamin B6 can directly reduce the risk of cancer. All of them playing a role in your bodies ability to maintain healthy function.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is essential in maintaining the health of the immune system and cardiovascular system. Oxidation triggers the death of cancer cells. Vitamin C also converts into DHA when it encounters a cancer cell. Cancer cells recognize DHA as something it can consume. Once inside the cell, DHA transforms back into Vitamin C and cause rapid cell death. This is why Vitamin C deficiency puts one at a higher risk of cancer.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, which is the substance in the blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen. Iron deficiency also called “anemia” increases the risk of cancer because, without the proper levels of iron, red blood cells won’t form or function. Low oxygen in the blood is a precursor to the development of cancer. Low iron in the cells accelerates the aging process and causes the mitochondria to malfunction. On the other hand, high levels of iron in the blood may also contribute to cancer because it raises the rate of free radicals. It is essential to keep just the right amount of iron in the body.
Glutathione produced by the liver, is the body’s master antioxidant. It assists in many functions of the body. Toxic lifestyle choices coupled with aging, the natural production of this antioxidant decreases. Deficiency leads to increased oxidative stress, reduced ability to detoxify, accumulation of heavy metals/toxins, inability to repair DNA, cellular mutations, weakened cell membranes, and reduced supply of nutrients/oxygen in the cells. All of these issues play a significant role in the cancer process.
With the healthy balance of pancreatic enzymes, cancer cells have lower chances of finding a place to nest and multiply. Digestive enzymes help the body break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates so that the body can use the nutrients in the food that we eat. They also have a second function of assisting the immune system in identifying cancer cells and eliminating them before they begin to multiply. Enzyme deficiency is directly related to cancer and autoimmune conditions.
Hydrochloric Acid or HCL is necessary in the digestive function and absorption of nutrients. Its deficiency can lead to bacterial growth and cancer proliferation. HCL creates an environment in which digestion begins. Without this nutrient, digestion fails and you lose essential nutrients like iron, iodine, Vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals. The deficiency of all these nutrients compromises the functions of the immune system.
In humans, Melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of sleep cycles (i.e., circadian rhythm). Its production is influenced by the detection of light and dark by the retina of the eye and has strong anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant effects. It also prevents the initiation, promotion, and progression of tumors. Melatonin serves as a protector of the cells. Its mechanisms are associated with increased antioxidant activities and cancer immunity.
Omega 3 can be found in 3 different forms, DHA and EPA which can be found in fish oil, and APA which is found in plants like Flax seed. Omega 3 has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also lowers the risk of developing cancer while reducing its severity. Deficiency in Omega 3 puts one at a greater risk of diseases. On the other hand, the intake of Omega-3 supplements may possibly prevent chronic diseases and reduce the risk of cancer.
Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s defensive (immune) system to properly work. Zinc is also needed for the senses of smell and taste. Zinc is an essential trace element, deficiency makes a person susceptible to diseases and can also impair the immune system. Zinc controls and regulates the responses of the immune system. The body needs zinc to activate the T-cells, which are responsible in controlling and regulating the body’s immune responses. T-cells also attack infected and cancerous cells. It also plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Trace minerals keep the immune system healthy in many ways. There are at least 18 trace minerals that are needed by the body to maintain our health and well being. Some of them are manganese, copper, molybdenum, phosphorus, chromium, sodium, sulfate, boron, and chloride. Each of these minerals have certain functions in the body, but generally they regulate the growth of cellular tissues, provide functional and structural support for the body’s vital organs and systems, improve cellular communication, and facilitate countless other metabolic processes.
Vitamin E prevents free radical damage. Free radicals fight and break down healthy cells in the body, which can lead to heart diseases and cancer. Vitamin E is required to aid in the proper functions of many organs, as well as certain neurological processes and enzymatic activities. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage.
The role of nutrients is essential in maintaining healthy function in the body. In the same way, the deficiency of essential nutrients may affect the body’s overall health leading to disease. When the digestive system is compromised, or you have an inadequate diet, filled with processed foods, over time a broad range of deficiencies will occur ultimately playing a major role in failing health. These specific deficiencies listed here have been identified as playing a major role in the cancer process.