For more information, call: 877-CENTEGRA

News: Physicians discuss role of vitamin D

With all the buzz about vitamin D, many people are confused about the importance of this vitamin in their lifestyles. To raise community awareness about vitamin D and its role in the lives of people with cancer and chronic disease, Centegra Health System will sponsor a program at McHenry County College from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6.

To begin the program, Dr. Geoffrey Smoron, director of radiation oncology at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center, will present a general update on the county’s top cancers. Dr. Terrence Bugno, radiation oncologist at the center, will then present and discuss the impact of Vitamin D on cancer rates as well as present other news in integrative cancer care. Dr. Syed Zahir, independent oncologist on the medical staff at Centegra, will join these physicians for a question and answer session. To register for this event, call 877-CENTEGRA or go to

”Many reports about vitamin D have had conflicting recommendations,”  Bugno said. “Recommended daily allowance (RDA) values are for disease prevention, however we also aim to teach people about optimal levels of vitamin D so people can reap its complete benefits.” Bugno said whole foods with intact nutritional value are always the best way to supply vitamins, however it would be virtually impossible to get enough vitamin D through foods alone. While most people in greater McHenry County are vitamin D deficient, people with cancer and chronic diseases have special vitamin D needs.

”Researchers have recognized a link between the oral intake of vitamin D and cancer rates since the 1970s, when there was a study that hypothesized that vitamin D and calcium are protective against cancer,”  Bugno said. “The 19-year historical cohort study, which was in Chicago, revealed that people who had vitamin D and calcium intakes in the top 20 percent had half the colon cancer rates as those in the bottom 20 percent.” Bugno also talks about the Chicago Blackhawks’ successes after players began vitamin D supplementation and cites a Centegra Health System study of the vitamin D levels of Associates, which showed that 43 percent of participants were below the recommended range for the vitamin and only 28 percent had optimal vitamin D levels.”Vitamins are essential for metabolism, and most enter our bodies through our diets,”  Bugno said. “Vitamin D is unique because it enters our bodies through sunshine. It acts both as a vitamin and as a hormone, and many people are not yet aware of its potential to help our bodies enjoy optimal health and wellness.” 