Vitamin D and Breast Cancer

breast cancer vitamind d

The link between Breast Cancer and missing Vitamin D

 

Just about everyone knows how important Vitamin D is for good health.  It can be found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or cheese.  Most people are able to synthesize adequate amounts of Vitamin D from simple exposure to the sun.  Vitamin D helps to build strong bones as well as assisting the body to fight off infections.  But, did you know that several recent studies have shown a possible link between reducing the risk of breast cancer and Vitamin D?

 

Cancer researchers have discovered some risk factors for developing breast cancer, such as lifestyle choices, activities, or genetics, but the exact reason for why normal healthy cells will begin to develop into cancerous cells is still unknown.   While performing clinical trials in an attempt to determine the causes of breast cancer, it was unintentionally discovered that women who suffer from breast cancer have lower levels of Vitamin D in their systems when compared to their counterparts who are cancer free.  In short, women who had high levels of Vitamin D in their bodies were free of breast cancer, and they were nearly risk free for developing breast cancer.

 

All of these recent clinical trials which have been conducted are still in the early stages.  Researchers cannot absolutely conclude that Vitamin D prevents or cures breast cancer, but early evidence has observed positive results for those who may be at risk for developing breast cancer.

 

Vitamin D’s potential role in breast cancer prevention is possible, because Vitamin D receptors, located on cells’ surfaces (this is where the cells receive chemical signals, directing the cells to act in a certain way –  to grow, die, divide) can tell the breast cells what to do.  Simply, the idea is that Vitamin D helps protect cells against breast cancer, by simply making the breast cells smarter, actually telling them what NOT to do (directing healthy, normal cells to NOT mutate into cancer cells).  To reiterate, these studies are still in the investigative stages and no direct correlation between Vitamin D and prevention/cure of breast cancer has yet been proven – but there is sufficient evidence to suggest a positive relationship.

 

For those who are unfortunately plagued by breast cancer, it is not known if taking Vitamin D will improve your current health or not; however, as long as you take no more than 10,000 IU/day, it surely can’t hurt.  As with any change in your health (prescriptions, medications, supplements), it is strongly recommended that you consult with your primary care doctor before taking anything different.  Also, do not substitute Vitamin D for your usual medications.

 

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