Low vitamin D levels increase breast, colorectal cancer risks

cancer

Monday, February 25, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes

NaturalNews) More evidence from a new study shows that lower vitamin D levels  could be more hazardous to women because it leads to a higher risk of breast  cancer.
The latest research, conducted by scientists at the Westmead  Breast Cancer Institute, Westmead Hospital, in New South Wales, Australia,  followed 214 women who had been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. According to  a summary of the findings, women with lower-than-normal vitamin D “levels were  found be inversely associated with the odds ratio of breast cancer.”
The  lower level “was associated with a significantly higher risk of breast cancer,”  said the summary. “These results support previous research which has shown that  lower [vitamin D] concentrations are associated with increased risk of breast  cancer.”
The findings correspond with earlier studies conducted by  researchers around the world, which were confirmed recently by U.S. scientists  conducting a review of breast cancer data.
‘High vitamin D levels  reduce the risk of breast cancer and other diseases’
“Epidemiological  and laboratory studies have long established that high vitamin D levels can  reduce the risk of breast cancer,” says a report by The Press  Association. That said, the report added, a previous study of more than  67,000 French women, which was led by Pierre Engel, an epidemiology manager at  Quintiles-Outcome, a top research firm, “showed the importance of a minimum  vitamin D level in preventing breast cancer.”
Vitamin D is available in  many forms, via foods like fruits and vegetables, and through sunlight, the  latter of which can prove to be a problem for women who just happen to live in  northern climes where sunlight is a premium, researchers said, noting that  western women in particular lead busy lifestyles and may spend far too little  time in the sun.
“High vitamin  D levels reduce the risk of breast cancer and also offer protection against  many other diseases,” Ad Brand of the Sunlight Research Forum (SRF)  said.
“In the Northern Hemisphere, the level of sunlight from September  to May is often insufficient for the body to produce enough essential vitamin  D,” said Brand. “”It might therefore be sensible to undergo moderate artificial  UV exposure on a regular basis.”
Two studies completed in 2010 by  researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center found the  same link between lower levels of vitamin D and increased breast  cancer risk.
“The research adds to mounting evidence that some  connection exists between vitamin D and cancer, although it is not yet known how  vitamin D modifies or contributes to cancer risk,” said a press release from the  school.
“Our data certainly suggests that it is important to test  patients for serum vitamin D levels, and if necessary, treat the deficiency  along with the disease,” said Alissa Huston, M.D., assistant professor of  Medicine at URMC, who presented the findings. “In some cases, weekly high doses  of vitamin D are needed to bring the patient up to sufficient  levels.”
Blacks may be at higher risk
“Currently,  we recommend a minimum 1000 IU of vitamin D3 daily (in addition to calcium) to  our patients,” Huston said, “but in most instances this dose needs to be  individualized to the patient’s specific level.”
A second study, led by  Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H., found that “vitamin D deficiency among African  Americans may explain a persistent mystery in colorectal cancer:  why black people die of this disease far more often than whites,” said the press  release.
Researchers have found that simply being African-American  doubled the risk of dying from colorectal cancer.
Earlier, scientists  using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that  a vitamin D deficiency may also contribute to a higher number of heart and  stroke-related deaths among blacks.
Sources:
http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/40517
http://www.nursingtimes.net
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3013
Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/039246_vitamin_D_breast_cancer_risks.html#ixzz2M0vcFJDr

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