About 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. This puts them at greater risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions.1
Now, a new study shows lack of vitamin D may be the reason many women get breast cancer.
Researchers at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, looked at the health records of more than 5,000 women over age 55. The data included vitamin D levels for each woman and whether they had ever had breast cancer.
The study found a striking correlation…
Women with high levels of vitamin D were less than half as likely to get breast cancer as those with low levels.
More specifically, subjects with vitamin D blood levels over 60 ng/mL were 80% less likely to have had breast cancer than those with levels of 20 ng/mL or less.2
Dr. Joan Lappe is a professor of nursing at Creighton University. She was the principal investigator.
“This study provides strong support that vitamin D plays an important role in breast cancer prevention,” she said.4
The study was recently published in the journal PlosONE.
Vitamin D Is Strong Medicine Against Cancer
The breast cancer study is just the latest research showing that vitamin D is a major factor in cancer prevention.
In a previous study, Dr. Lappe found that women could reduce their risk for all types of cancer by 35% by going from a moderate level of vitamin D (30 ng/mL) to a high level (55 ng/mL or higher).4
A recent study in Japan looked at cancer risk in over 30,000 people. It found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a 20% lower chance of getting any type of cancer.5
They found that liver cancer, in particular, was affected by vitamin D. People with higher levels cut their risk in half, according to the study.
Vitamin D: ‘The First Priority for Cancer Prevention’
Carole Baggerly is a breast cancer survivor. She is director of GrassrootsHealth, a group that sponsors cancer research.
She believes that having healthy levels of vitamin D is one of the best things you can do reduce your chances of getting cancer.
“Getting a vitamin D blood level to 60 ng/mL becomes the first priority for cancer prevention,” she said.6
The next time you have a checkup, be sure to get a vitamin D test. It can be done along with your other blood work.
If your reading is less than 40 ng/mL, consider taking one or more of the following steps to increase your levels:
- Spend 15 minutes a day outside in the sun with your arms and legs exposed.
- Add vitamin D to your diet. The best sources are pasture-raised eggs and oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel.
- Take a quality vitamin D supplement. We recommend a dose of 5,000 IUs a day.
And make sure that your supplement is D3, not D2. Researchers have found that D3 increases your blood level of D twice as much as D2.
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