RALEIGH: Dr. Campbell - Vitamin D and breast cancer survival - WNCN: News, Weather

WNCN News

Dr. Campbell: Vitamin D and breast cancer survival

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Past studies have claimed that Vitamin D may reduce the risk of heart disease, bone fractures and even depression. Now, new research suggests that it may even have an impact on breast cancer survival.

New research shows that cancer patients with high levels of the vitamin in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease than patients with low levels.

So what is Vitamin D? Well, it’s a fat-soluble vitamin that’s important for regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in our bones.

The body’s main source of the vitamin is from the sun, but some foods such as oil fish, eggs and fortified fat spreads contain the vitamin in very small amounts. Supplements are also available.

Past studies revealed an association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of breast cancer. Based on these findings, researchers at University of California, San Diego decided to lan ook at the link between 25-hydroxyvitamin D - a metabolite that the body produces from vitamin D ingestion - and survival rates of breast cancer.

Researchers pooled data from multiple studies. These studies included a total of 4,443 patients with breast cancer and were performed between 1966 and 2010. All patients were followed for an average of nine years. Patients were divided into groups dependent on the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood.

Women in the "high" group had an average of 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood, while women in the "low" group had an average of 17 ng/ml in their blood. The average blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for breast cancer patients in the U.S. is 17 ng/ml.

The team found that women who had high levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood had around a 50 percent lower fatality rate compared with women who had low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood.

Researchers believe vitamin D decreases fatality rates for breast cancer patients because vitamin D metabolites increase communication between cells by activating a protein that halts aggressive cell division. Cancer is due to the rapid and uncontrolled growth of cells—therefore by halting growth, the vitamin D actually inhibits the tumor cells from dividing, developing a blood supply and spreading to other parts of the body.

The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults up to the age of 70 should have a vitamin D intake of 600 IU each day, while those over 70 should have 800 IU each day. More research is needed to confirm and further explain these finding but there is no reason we shouldn’t go ahead and treat cancer patients with vitamin D—there is no harm.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Dr. Campbell: The role of vaccines in school

    Dr. Campbell: The role of vaccines in school

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:28 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:28:00 GMT
    Infectious diseases account for millions of school days lost each year for kindergarten through 12th-grade public school students in the United States. Forty percent of children aged five to 17 years missed three or more school days in the past year because of illness or injury.
    Infectious diseases account for millions of school days lost each year for kindergarten through 12th-grade public school students in the United States. Forty percent of children aged five to 17 years missed three or more school days in the past year because of illness or injury.
  • RALEIGH: 'Active shooter' drill to take place at Ligon Middle in Raleigh

    'Active shooter' drill to take place at Ligon Middle in Raleigh

    'Active shooter' drill to take place at Ligon Middle in Raleigh

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:52:53 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    The Wake County Sheriff's Office will hold an “active shooter” training exercise at Ligon GT Magnet School Friday morning.
    The Wake County Sheriff's Office will hold an “active shooter” training exercise at Ligon GT Magnet School Friday morning.
  • Public meeting on fracking to be held in Sanford

    Public meeting on fracking to be held in Sanford

    File photoFile photo
    Residents in Sanford will get a chance to voice their opinions on hydraulic fracturing drilling at a public meeting that is the second of four such gatherings planned by the state Mining and Energy Commission.
    Residents in Sanford will get a chance to voice their opinions on hydraulic fracturing drilling at a public meeting that is the second of four such gatherings planned by the state Mining and Energy Commission.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.