Vitamin D for Breast Cancer
There has been much investigation into the effects of vitamin D3 on health. Between the years 2000 and 2012, there were nearly 34,000 studies published on the effects of vitamin D3. There are also approximately 800 references showing vitamin D3’s ability to fight against cancer. In the spirit of Breast Awareness month we want to educate our readers on the important role of Vitamin D3 to fight of Breast Cancer. According to Grassroots Health founder, Carole Baggerly, as much as 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer may in fact be related to vitamin D3 deficiency.
Vitamin D has a number of anticancer effects, including the promotion of cancer cell death, known as apoptosis, and the inhibition of angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor).
An analysis of 5 studies published in the Journal of Anticancer Research showed that patients diagnosed with breast cancer who had high vitamin D levels were twice as likely to survive compared to women with low levels. This meta-analysis study was co-authored by Prof. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and several others.
According to Dr. Garland:
“As long as vitamin D receptors were present, tumor growth was prevented and kept from expanding its blood supply. Vitamin D receptors are not lost until a tumor is very advanced. This is the reason for better survival in patients whose vitamin D blood levels are high.”
In 2011, Dr. Garland’s team found that a vitamin D level of 50 ng/ml is associated with a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer. In 2007, another study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that a vitamin D level of more than 33 ng/mL was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer.
How Much Vitamin D Is Required for Breast Cancer Prevention?
According to an interview with Dr Garland, to reach a minimum protective level of 40 ng/ml of vitamin D3, study participants had to take anywhere from 1,000 IUs to as much as 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day. In order to achieve a serum 25(OH)D of at least 40 ng/mL, 97.5% of study participants had to take 9,600IU/day! This study also concluded that intake of up to 40,000 IUs per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D3 toxicity.
Dr Sharif Mohr, from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego recommended that “women already diagnosed with breast cancer, vitamin D3 levels could go as high as 80 ng/mL, according to Medscape Medical News.
“Doctors should emphasize the importance of maintaining adequate serum vitamin D3 levels, which would be 40 to 60 ng/mL for cancer prevention, and encourage their patients to have their vitamin D3 status regularly checked, especially in winter, to ensure that adequate serum levels are being maintained,” said first author Dr Mohr, MD.
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