Breast cancer patients who have higher vitamin D blood levels are more likely to survive breast cancer than those with lower levels, according to a recent study.
The major role of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which forms and maintains strong bones. It is used alone or together with calcium to improve bone health and decrease fractures. Many studies have looked at the effects of vitamin D on cancer. Positive results have been reported with the use of vitamin D alone or with calcium. Vitamin D intake with or without calcium has been studied for colorectal, cervical, breast, and prostate cancer.
Researchers recently analyzed data from five studies to assess the relationship between vitamin D blood levels and breast cancer survival rates. Data was assessed based on death rates following the diagnosis of breast cancer.
The researchers found that patients with the highest vitamin D blood levels had about half the risk of death from breast cancer when compared to the patients with the lowest vitamin D levels. The authors noted that vitamin D levels should be monitored to ensure levels are maintained within a normal range of 30-80 nanograms per milliliter of blood.
The authors concluded that breast cancer patients who have high vitamin D levels are almost twice as likely to survive compared to patients with low levels. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
Mohr SB, Gorham ED, Kim J, Hofflich H, Garland CF. "Meta-analysis of Vitamin D Sufficiency for Improving Survival of Patients with Breast Cancer" Anticancer Research. 2014 Mar;34(3):1163-6