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Meta-Analysis Confirms Importance of Vitamin D for Breast Cancer

Posted May 14 2010 7:14am
Research continues to demonstrate the potential benefits of vitamin D for breast cancer risk reduction.  Previous studies have reported that women deficient in vitamin D (less than 30 ng/ml) are at a 3-fold increased risk for breast cancer and increasing blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with decreasing breast cancer risk.  Additionally, 75% of breast cancer patients have been reported to be deficient in vitamin D .  While blood levels of vitamin D above 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) are typically considered 'sufficient', differences between studies have left the optimum blood levels of vitamin D open for debate.

A new meta-analysis study explored the current research on vitamin D and breast cancer (as well as colorectal cancer).  For this meta-analysis, data from multiple studies were pulled together and analyzed as a whole group in an attempt to determine a dose-response relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer risk.  Compared to the lowest blood levels of vitamin D measured, vitamin D levels of about 31 ng/ml (78 nmol/L) reduced breast cancer risk by 50%.  Dose-response analysis further suggested that an optimum blood level of vitamin D was above 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L).  However, the dose-response relationship was not linear, instead showing a slowing in benefit.  For example, while higher blood levels continued to show a greater breast cancer risk reduction, doubling the blood levels of vitamin D did not double breast cancer risk reduction.

This new meta-analysis continues to shed a positive light on the benefits of vitamin D for reducing breast cancer risk.  Average blood levels in most U.S. populations are typically insufficient, so improved awareness and education regarding the potential health benefits of vitamin D are important.  Based on current information, the greatest breast cancer risk reducing benefits can be obtained by targeting vitamin D blood levels of 30 - 60 ng/ml (75 - 150 nmol/L).

To learn more about the importance of vitamin D for reducing breast cancer risk, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer .
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