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Vitamin D, calcium and vitamins help women avoid breast cancer

Several new studies reveal vitamin D, calcium, alpha- and beta-carotene, and vitamin supplements lowered the chances of breast cancer in women.

Doctors analyzed 21 studies on vitamin D and breast cancer and found that women who consumed the most vitamin D from diet and supplements were 9 percent less likely to have breast cancer than women who consumed the least. When researchers looked at levels of vitamin D reserves in the body, women with the highest levels were 45 percent less likely to have breast cancer than women with the lowest reserves.

In analyzing 15 calcium studies, doctors found that women who consumed the most calcium were 19 percent less likely to have breast cancer compared to women who consumed the least.

In a carotenoid study, doctors measured the diets of 36,664 women and followed up for over nine years. While there was no link to overall chances of breast cancer, female smokers who consumed the most alpha- and beta-carotene were 60 percent less likely to have hormone-sensitive breast cancer than women who consumed the least.

At the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 2010, in Washington, D.C., researchers reported that, compared to women who did not take vitamin supplements, women who did were 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer, and those who took calcium supplements were 40 percent less likely. The study involved 268 women with breast cancer and 457 healthy women. Women who took vitamins had a greater capacity to repair damaged DNA than those who did not. The vitamins and calcium supplements were not high-dose, “So this is definitely one way to reduce risk,” doctors concluded.

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