Vitamin D Supplements May Prevent Cancer Deaths

    March 15, 2014
    Chris Tepedino
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According to a new study published in the March issue of Anticancer Research, the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, higher concentrations of vitamin D could help reduce mortality rates among breast cancer patients.

In their study, titled “Meta-analysis of Vitamin D Sufficiency for Improving Survival of Patients with Breast Cancer,” researchers analyzed five different studies whose results were already known to discover a link between the presence of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and breast cancer mortality rates. The five studies reported hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality of breast cancer by concentrations of serum 25-hydroxvyvitamin D, which the researchers could then analyze.

Researchers used a series of statistical methods elaborated more on in their study to compare low concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and high concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to breast cancer mortality rates. In three of the studies, the rates of mortality were much lower in the high concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D compared to the low concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. In the other two studies, there was a trend in that direction as well.

In the discussion section, the researchers write, “Patients with the highest concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D had approximately half the fatality rate of those with the lowest concentration.”

What does this mean for breast cancer patients and their doctors?

Sharif B. Mohr told Medscape Medical News, “Doctors should emphasize the importance of maintaining adequate serum vitamin D levels, which would be 40 to 60 ng/mL for cancer prevention, and encourage their patients to have their vitamin D status regularly checked, especially in winter, to ensure that adequate serum levels are being maintained.”

And how does this relate to vitamin D supplements?

While being in the sun naturally produces vitamin D in the human body, many work indoors, in cubicles where the most natural light is fluorescent, and time in the sun can vary according to the season. Vitamin D supplements can act as a stop-gap for anyone at risk of the variety of problems caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, the study noted, with 1.7 million new cases worldwide and 500,000 deaths. The study notes that more research needs to be done to solidify the relationship between concentrations of vitamin D and breast cancer mortality rates, including a clinical trial to rule out other variables.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • Bill388

    OK then, will I soon here of this study on NBC or other main stream news? Because I frequently see reports where vitamins are useless, rarely when they are helpful as in this report. Why do you suppose that is?

    • roundthings

      Big Pharma and the AMA don’t want people using cheap supplements, they want them dependent on their toxic expensive crap and ineffective doctors.
      The media for the most part is corporate owned and sponsored

    • bobbygers

      I believe people talking about vitamins being ineffective are referring to popular multivitamins. Like Centrum, etc… But specific vitamins and supplements such as D3 or omega-3 are supposed to be good.

  • roundthings

    The truth comes out once again.
    Everytime I see a bogus report on the lamestream news that vitamins are useless comes a real study showing that they’re not.

  • Patsy

    The medical world does not want “vitamins” and “supplements” to cure cancer because how will they make those billions of dollars off the suffering of cancer patients? This is not news that Vitamin D fights cancer. I have stage 4 and my holistic practitioner has had me on large doses of quality Vitamin D for 7 months now.

    • Chris Silverman

      How is that going, Patsy? I hope well.

    • roundthings

      Patsy, look into medicinal mushrooms as well (Chaga, Maitake, etc).
      In addition google Cannabis Oil. (Rick Simpson Oil) Pretty great results from that

  • http://www.dexplained.com Sherman Morrison

    You will often be able to find studies that seem to “prove” opposite things. Part of the problem is how we respond to the way such stories are presented in the media. This one takes the right approach in saying vitamin D “may” play a role in breast cancer survival. The fact is we’re not sure yet. Yes, vitamin D levels do correlate with cancer survival, but that doesn’t prove causation, although we can hope that is the case. One place to learn more about vitamin D research and join discussions about it is a new forum I write for called Vitamin D Explained. It’s non-commercial and a great way to learn more and form your own opinion at http://www.dexplained.com