Higher Vitamin D Levels May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer
Obesity, not having children, being older than 60, heavy drinking have all been identified as risk factors for breast cancer. A recent study suggests that higher levels of vitamin D may be associated with a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
For this study, researchers examined data from two randomized clinical trials that included a total of 3,325 people. They also looked at a prospective study that involved 1,713 people. All of the participants were age 55 or older, with an average age of 63. The data was collected between 2002 and 2017 and all of the participants were free of cancer at the beginning of the study. The researchers followed the participants for a mean period of four years.
Over the course of the study periods, 77 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed, for an age-adjusted incidence rate of 512 cases per 100,000 person years.
They found that participants with blood levels that were higher than 60 ng/ml were at one-fifth the risk of developing breast cancer, when compared with those whose levels were less than 20 ng/ml. This is substantially higher than the 20 ng/ml recommended in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, conducted the study. It was published on June 15, 2018, in PLOS ONE.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun, but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.