Stuart’s Dr. True Explores Vitamin D’s Relationship To Breast Cancer
Q: Can vitamin D prevent breast cancer?
A: There are many research studies that have confirmed a vitamin D deficiency in women with breast cancer. Although as many as 90 percent of breast cancer patients in one study had a documented vitamin D deficit, the debate over how much to supplement and its effect on cancer prevention is not over.
The difficulty in studying vitamin D and its relationship to breast cancer is partly because breast cancer does not have a single causation. Rather, it is divided into many molecular subtypes. Vitamin D has been shown in studies to stop the growth, spread and invasive properties of cancer cells. This evidence, as well as the fact that vitamin D is required for healthy bone formation, is sufficient to recommend adequate vitamin D intake for everyone.
Vitamin D is found in oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines and salmon. Many foods, such as soy milk and cow’s milk, may have vitamin D added. Some dried mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, are good sources of vitamin D. The easiest way to improve vitamin D levels is through regular short-duration exposure to the sun’s UVB rays. Clinical evidence suggests that vitamin D levels should be tested in all postmenopausal women. Your health care professional may need to increase your vitamin D supplementation to normalize a documented deficiency.
Dr. Jerry True
(Image via Flickr/Guy Montag)