Vit D reduces breast cancer risk and mortality in women with low BMI
A new study finds that Vitamin D reduces cancer risk as well as breast cancer mortality, especially in women with a lower body mass index. The results of the study results have been published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women worldwide and is the leading cause of death from cancer in women. Reproductive risk factors such as early onset of puberty, late menopause, later age at first pregnancy, never having been pregnant, obesity, and a family history have all been shown to be associated with breast cancer development. The role of Vit. D concentration in the development of breast cancer, however, continues to be debated.
This study involving more than 600 Brazilian women suggests that Vit D may reduce cancer risk by inhibiting cell proliferation. Study results appear in the article "Low pretreatment serum concentration of vitamin D at breast cancer diagnosis in postmenopausal women."
Researchers involved in the study concluded that postmenopausal women had an increased risk of Vit. D deficiency at the time of their breast cancer diagnoses, associated with higher rates of obesity, than women of the same age group without cancer. Similar studies also have previously demonstrated a relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer mortality. Women in the highest quartile of Vit. D concentrations, in fact, had a 50% lower death rate from breast cancer than those in the lower quartile, suggesting that Vit. D levels should be restored to a normal range in all women with breast cancer.
"Although the published literature is inconsistent about the benefits of Vit. D levels and breast cancer, this study and others suggest that higher levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with lowered breast cancer risk," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS. "Vitamin D may play a role in controlling breast cancer cells or stopping them from growing. Vitamin D comes from direct sunlight exposure, vitamin D3 supplements, or foods rich in vitamin D."