Latest News » Study: Breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D twice as likely to survive

A recent study reveals that breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to survive as those who have low levels of this nutrient.

A recent study reveals that breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to survive as those who have low levels of this nutrient.

On Thursday, March 6, the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) published a press release announcing the results of a recent study that links vitamin D with breast cancer patient survival. According to the source, researchers studied 4,443 breast cancer patients for an average of nine years and found that those who had high levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive the disease than those with lower levels of the nutrient.

“Vitamin D metabolites increase communication between cells by switching on a protein that blocks aggressive cell division,” said Dr. Cedric Garland, a professor in UC​SD’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, in a press statement. “As long as vitamin D receptors are present, tumor growth is 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.”

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. In 2014 alone, the health organization estimates that 40,000 women will die from this disease.

Dr. Garland noted that further research is needed to confirm the link between vitamin D and breast cancer patient survival that he and his team recently established. However, he added that there’s no need for doctors to wait to begin prescribing this nutrient to women who have been diagnosed with this disease, as prior studies corroborate this connection.

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