Breast cancer may be slowed by vitamin D

A small study from the Journal of Clinical Pathology has shown that serum vitamin D may influence the progression of early stage breast cancer.

Breast cancer
Serum vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and calcium levels were measured in 279 women; 204 women had early stage breast cancer and the disease was advanced in the remainder.

The results showed that vitamin D levels were significantly higher and parathyroid hormone levels were significantly lower in the women with early stage breast cancer compared with women who had advanced breast cancer. Calcium levels were not significantly different between the two groups.

The authors are unclear why there should be a difference in vitamin D levels between the two groups and cannot say whether lower levels are a cause or consequence of advanced breast cancer.

However, vitamin D is known to reduce the activity of p21, a gene which has an important role in controlling the cell cycle. Laboratory studies have also shown that vitamin D stops cancer cells from dividing and enhances cell death.

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