A study published in the Anticancer Research journal has revealed that breast cancer patients who have high vitamin D levels in their bloodstreams have a likelihood of survival that is twice that of women whose levels are low. The report was written by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
Lead author of the study(i), Department of Family and Preventive Medicine professor, Cedric F. Garland, Dr.Ph, had shown in previous research that there was a higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer when low vitamin D levels were present. This pushed the researcher to discover a link between a metabolite the body produces when it uses vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D – and the survival rates for breast cancer patients.
Garland and the research team conducted a statistical analysis of five studies that recorded 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis and that tracked the patients with follow-up research over the span of the nine years that followed. This involved the data from a combined 4,443 breast cancer patients.
What was determined was that the vitamin D metabolite switches on a protein vital to cell communication and that functions to stop aggressive cellular division. Therefore, provided that vitamin D levels are maintained at an adequate level, the prevention of tumor growth occurs and the cancer’s spread to the bloodstream is inhibited. It isn’t until the later stages of a tumor that vitamin D receptors are shut down, which also helps to explain why there is a higher survival rate among breast cancer patients who have higher blood levels of vitamin D.
According to the study’s co-author, Department of Medicine Associate Professor Heather Hofflich, DO, UC San Diego, this research provides a foundation upon which vitamin D treatments to be developed to be used as an adjuvant to current typical breast cancer therapies. Further study is required before such treatments could be developed.
- (i) Meta-analysis of Vitamin D Sufficiency for Improving Survival of Patients with Breast Cancer. http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/34/3/1163.abstract
Please visit this article to learn more about Vitamin D deficiency and what you can do about it.