The study of blood levels of 1,200 healthy women found that women whose serum vitamin D level was low during the three-month period just before diagnosis had approximately three times the risk of breast cancer as women in the highest vitamin D group. The study is currently published online in advance of the print edition of the journal Cancer Causes and Control.
Several previous studies have shown that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer. "While the mechanisms by which vitamin D could prevent breast cancer are not fully understood, this study suggests that the association with low vitamin D in the blood is strongest late in the development of the cancer, "said principal investigator Cedric Garland, DrPH, FACE, professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego.
Analyses of vitamin D levels measured more than 90 days before diagnosis have not conclusively established a relationship between serum levels and risk of premenopausal breast cancer in the present cohort. However, this new study points to the possibility of a relevant window of time for cancer prevention in the last three months preceding tumor diagnosis –a time physiologically critical to the growth of the tumor.
According to Garland, this is likely to be the point at which the tumor may be most actively recruiting blood vessels required for tumor growth. "Based on these data, further investigation of the role of vitamin D in reducing incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, particularly during the late phases of its development, is warranted," he said.
The new study drew upon 9 million blood serum specimens frozen by the Department of Defense Serum Repository for routine disease surveillance. The researchers thawed and analyzed pre-diagnostic samples of serum from 1,200 women whose blood was drawn in the same time frame – samples from 600 women who later developed breast cancer, and from 600 women who remained healthy.
A 2011 meta-analysis by Garland and colleagues estimated that a serum level of 50 ng/ml is associated with 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer. While there are some variations in absorption, those who consume 4000 IU per day of vitamin D from food or a supplement normally would reach a serum level of 50 ng/ml.
Garland added that a consensus of all available data has shown no known risk associated with this concentration of vitamin D, which is measured as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. But he urges patients to ask their health care provider to measure their serum 25(OH)D before substantially increasing vitamin D intake.
"Reliance should not be placed on different forms of vitamin D, such as vitamin D2, and megadoses should be avoided except those ordered by a doctor for short-term use," Garland added.
Contributors to this study include first author Sharif B. Mohr, PhD, and Edward Gorham, PhD, Naval Health Research Center and UC San Diego; Christopher Kane, MD, J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, and Deborah L. Wingard, PhD, UC San Diego; John E. Alcaraz, PhD and Carolyn Macera, PhD, San Diego State University; and Ronald Horst, PhD, Heartland Assays, Ames, Iowa.
Debra Kain | Source: EurekAlert!
Further information: www.ucsd.edu
More articles from Health and Medicine:
Answers to Sleep Disorder and new paradigm for treatment and mechanism of neurodegenerative disease
21.05.2013 | Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)
Child maltreatment increases risk of adult obesity
21.05.2013 | King's College London
University of Würzburg physicists have succeeded in creating a new type of laser.
Its operation principle is completely different from conventional devices, which opens up the possibility of a significantly reduced energy input requirement. The researchers report their work in the current issue of Nature.
It also emits light the waves of which are in phase with one another: the polariton laser, developed ...
Innsbruck physicists led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller experimentally gained a deep insight into the nature of quantum mechanical phase transitions.
They are the first scientists that simulated the competition between two rival dynamical processes at a novel type of transition between two quantum mechanical orders. They have published the results of their work in the journal Nature Physics.
“When water boils, its molecules are released as vapor. We call this ...
Researchers have shown that, by using global positioning systems (GPS) to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can provide accurate warning of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset.
For the devastating Japan 2011 event, the team reveals that the analysis of the GPS data and issue of a detailed tsunami alert would have taken no more than three minutes. The results are published on 17 May in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, an open access journal of ...
A new study of glaciers worldwide using observations from two NASA satellites has helped resolve differences in estimates of how fast glaciers are disappearing and contributing to sea level rise.
The new research found glaciers outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, repositories of 1 percent of all land ice, lost an average of 571 trillion pounds (259 trillion kilograms) of mass every year during the six-year study period, making the oceans rise 0.03 inches (0.7 mm) per year. ...
About 99% of the world’s land ice is stored in the huge ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, while only 1% is contained in glaciers.
However, the meltwater of glaciers contributed almost as much to the rise in sea level in the period 2003 to 2009 as the two ice sheets: about one third. This is one of the results of an international study with the involvement of geographers from the University of Zurich.
21.05.2013 | Studies and Analyses
21.05.2013 | Life Sciences
21.05.2013 | Studies and Analyses
17.05.2013 | Event News
15.05.2013 | Event News
08.05.2013 | Event News