Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher risk of breast cancer

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Scientists from Sault Area Hospital in Canada and elsewhere confirmed that vitamin D deficiency is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys that help to control the concentration of calcium in the blood and is vital for the development of strong bones.

Vitamin D exerts its actions through the ligation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR).

VDR has not only physiologic actions in calcium metabolism but also several other cellular effects through extensive binding to the DNA and modification of genome expression.

In cancer, its mechanisms of action mediating cancer cell inhibition have been studied.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. A role of the vitamin once the disease has been diagnosed is also possible.

In the current study, researchers did a systematic review of studies that report on vitamin D levels (in the form of its main circulating metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-OHD]) in people with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

The study reviewed a total of 25 studies. Populations from all continents, besides Australia, were represented in the studies.

The level of vitamin D in people with breast cancer was lower than the level of vitamin D in people without breast cancer.

Of the people with breast cancer, 45% had levels of vitamin D below 20 ng/mL, whereas this percentage was about 34% in people without breast cancer.

Similarly, about 2 in 3 of patients with breast cancer had a level of vitamin D below 30 ng/mL before the cancer diagnosis, whereas this percentage was only 1 in 3 in people without breast cancer.

Based on these findings, the team concludes that a high level of vitamin D insufficiency is found in people with newly diagnosed breast cancer and may be linked with breast cancer development.

They also suggest that changing the vitamin D pathway in breast cancer may provide health benefits.

The research was published in Hematology Oncology and Stem Cell Therapy and conducted by Ioannis A Voutsadakis.

If you care about cancer, please read studies that artificial sweeteners are linked to higher cancer risk, and how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and results showing vitamin D supplements strongly reduces cancer death.

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