Vitamin D can prevent BREAST CANCER: Women with high levels are a FIFTH less likely to develop the disease, study finds
- Those with 60ng/ml are a fifth less at risk than women with just 20ng/ml
- Past research suggests vitamin D reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
- Further studies are required to determine if the effects occur pre menopause
- Breast cancer affects around one in eight women in the US and UK at some point
Women with high levels of vitamin D are less likely to develop breast cancer, new research suggests.
Those with 60ng/ml are a fifth less likely to suffer from the condition than those with just 20ng/ml, which is the recommended amount, a study found.
Lead author Sharon McDonnell, from the non-profit organisation GrassrootsHealth, San Diego, California, said: ‘Increasing vitamin D blood levels substantially above 20ng/ml appears to be important for the prevention of breast cancer.’
Previous research suggests the sunshine supplement reduces inflammation and boosts people’s immune systems, which both help to prevent cancer.
Breast cancer affects around one in eight women in the US and UK at some point in their lives.
Women with high levels of vitamin D are less likely to develop breast cancer (stock)
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DOES VITAMIN D REDUCE THE RISK OF AN EARLY MENOPAUSE?
Women can cut their risk of an early menopause by eating oily fish and eggs, research suggested in May 2017.
A high vitamin D intake via food and supplements lowers the risk by 17 percent, a study found.
Vitamin D is thought to slow the ageing of women’s ovaries.
Calcium-rich foods make women 13 percent less likely to suffer, the research adds.
Around one in 10 women go through the menopause before the age of 45, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, and reducing their chances of conceiving.
The researchers analysed 116,430 female health workers over two decades.
Their diet was recorded in food questionnaires five times over that period, during which 2,041 women entered the menopause.
Lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, from the University of Massachusetts, said: ‘Scientists are looking for anything that can reduce the risk of early menopause and things like diet, which can be easily altered, have wide-ranging implications for women.’
The main natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, it also appears in oily fish, egg yolks and fortified cereals.
Dairy products are not fortified with the vitamin in the UK.
How the research was carried out
The researchers, which also included scientists from University of California, analysed three studies with a total of 5,038 female participants who were over 55.
The women, who did not have cancer at the start of the studies, were followed for around four years.
Their vitamin D levels were assessed during study visits.
The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE, claim further studies are required that analyse vitamin D’s breast-cancer effects in pre-menopausal women.
Vitamin D is an ‘inexpensive solution’ to heart drugs
This comes after researchers claimed last January vitamin D is an ‘inexpensive solution’ to heart drugs.
The sunshine supplement stimulates the production of nitric acid, which is involved in regulating blood flow and preventing the formation of blood clots, according to the first study of its kind.
It also reduces ‘internal stress’ in the cardiovascular system, which could avoid heart-related incidents, the research adds.
Study author Dr Tadeusz Malinski, from Ohio University, said: ‘There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D can do it.
‘This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system.
‘We don’t have to develop a new drug. We already have it.’
Heart disease, which is any disorder affecting the organ or blood vessels, is the leading cause of death in adults in the US, resulting in one in four fatalities.
More than 1.6 million men and one million women live with the condition in the UK.
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