Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk

Boosting levels of vitamin D and calcium in post-menopausal women did not help them reduce their breast cancer risk.  This is the first real test on whether vitamin D actually causes poor health as opposed to just being a marker for poor health, and it failed.  So far, we have a few good studies to show that people with low vitamin D levels are more prone to illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, but there is no evidence yet that giving people vitamin D supplements will reduce their disease risk.  In a study of more than 36,000 post-menopausal women, those taking vitamin D and calcium supplements for seven years did not have any lower risk for breast cancer than those taking a placebo.  However, the door isn't closed on vitamin D and breast cancer just yet.  It is possible women need to take the supplements when they're younger to get benefits, or perhaps they'll even need higher doses. 

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