Research Finds Vitamin D Deficiencies in Breast Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

Researchers at Columbia University found vitamin D deficiency was a prevalent factor among women with breast cancer.

Investigators conducted the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, because vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for increased breast cancer risk and decreased survival rates from the disease. Study authors noted the purpose of their research was to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women at the beginning of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer compared to vitamin D supplementation after one year.

Study participants included 103 premenopausal women in breast cancer stages I, II and III who received adjuvant chemotherapy and participated in a one-year zoledronate intervention trial. All patients were prescribed 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate daily. Bone mineral density measurements and blood tests were taken at the baseline of months 6 and 12.  Vitamin D deficiency was defined when blood tests revealed serum 25-OHD less than 20 ng/mL.

Researchers found 74% of women were vitamin D deficient; it was slightly less common in white women (66%) as compared with black (80%) and Hispanic (84%) women. After one year of vitamin D supplementation, less than 15% of white and Hispanic women, and no black women had sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Study authors concluded the current dietary recommendations for vitamin D are too low and that optimal dosing has yet to be determined.

Discover what breast cancer patients are saying about vitamin D on our Breast Cancer Discussion Board and the Supplements Discussion Board.