Vitamin D & Breast Cancer
Breast cancer continues to occur at a high incidence in Western women. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last summer indicated a surprisingly high incidence of Vitamin D deficiency in breast cancer survivors. It is difficult to take conclusions from the study, as we are not told what the incidence was in those who succumbed to breast cancer, nor are we told the incidence in a control group of individuals.
Vitamin D influences pathways related to cancer development, but little is currently known about vitamin D status in breast cancer survivors. Recent data taken from the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL) study showed a correlation between vitamin D status and breast cancer survivors. Vitamin D concentrations from 790 female breast cancer survivors were obtained and vitamin D insufficiency was found in 597 individuals – or 75% of participants. Average vitamin D concentrations were even lower among African American and Hispanic women.
Controlling for various factors such as body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, geography, season, physical activity, diet, and cancer treatments showed that stage of disease independently predicted vitamin D levels.
In this group of breast cancer survivors the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency was abnormally high. Based on these results, health professionals and clinicians might consider monitoring vitamin D status in breast cancer patients in addition to administering appropriate cancer treatments.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 1, 133-139, July 2008
Alison Grimston is a holistic doctor who works with complementary therapies and
nutritional supplements. She only recommends the best, pharmaceutical grade
nutritional supplements, such as those on www.holisticdoctor.usana.com.
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