Can a Simple Vitamin Prevent Breast Cancer, Or Its Return?

Worried about getting breast cancer?  Or, have it, and worry it will come back?  An astonishingly simple way to prevent both may be taking Vitamin D.

 Many research studies have focused on whether Vitamin D is helpful in preventing cancer, according to Sheryl Wood at health.yahoo.com. But few studies have looked at whether vitamin D helps to increase survival in women who have had breast cancer, she writes.
Recently published research showed that higher amounts of Vitamin D in the blood were associated with an increased chance of survival in breast cancer patients.
Vitamin D - a fat-soluble vitamin - is important for regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones, according to Medical News Today. Past studies revealed an association between low Vitamin D levels and an increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

The body's main source of the vitamin is from the sun, but some foods - such as oily fish, eggs and fortified fat spreads - contain the vitamin in very small amounts. Supplements are also available to boost vitamin D intake.  
   
Five studies that were reviewed to get to this conclusion showed that vitamin D concentrations over a certain level decreased the risk of death by about 50 percent.
It may turn out, however, that vitamin D "could be an indicator for severity of cancer, instead of a factor that caused longer survival." 
Study author Prof. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, says that vitamin D metabolites increase communication between cells by activating a protein that halts aggressive cell division. "As long as vitamin D receptors are present, tumor growth is prevented and kept from expanding its blood supply," he tells Medical News Daily.  "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."
He suggests that those who died of the disease may have had reduced levels of Vitamin D in their blood.
Now, this does not mean everyone should rush out and take Vitamin D.  As always, talk to your doctor before starting a new medication or supplement.  But it's increasingly good news for women who want to avoid this disease, or its return.

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