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Higher vitamin D levels linked with improved breast cancer survival

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 11 2016. On November 10, 2016 in JAMA Oncology reported the outcome of a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente and Roswell Park Cancer Institute which found improved overall survival in breast cancer patients whose serum vitamin D levels were highest.

The study included 1,666 women with invasive breast cancer who enrolled in the Pathways Study of breast cancer survivors beginning in 2006. Blood samples collected after diagnosis were analyzed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Follow-ups conducted at 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 months provided information on health outcomes.

"With the extremely rich data sources from a large sample size, we were able to prospectively analyze three major breast cancer outcomes — recurrence, second primary cancer and death," noted lead author Song Yao, PhD, of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "We were also able to adjust for multiple possible contributing factors that could influence vitamin D levels, such as age, obesity, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and several tumor characteristics that are known to influence breast cancer outcomes — to ensure that the effects we observed were independent of these factors.”

"We found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D levels had about a 30 percent better likelihood of survival than women with the lowest levels of vitamin D," reported lead investigator Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research." The effect was even stronger among premenopausal women.

"The more we know about vitamin D, the more we understand that it may play a key role in cancer prevention and prognosis," Dr. Kushi added. “This study adds to the evidence that vitamin D is an important nutrient."

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One thought on “Higher vitamin D levels linked with improved breast cancer survival”

  1. Marc73 says:

    Great article, but more should be said about sun exposure, which is the natural way to produce vitamin D. 20 minutes of whole-body exposure can stimulate the production of 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes. Sun exposure also produces other vitally important photoproducts such as nitric oxide, endorphin and serotonin. Here are some scientifically-documented facts about the remarkable healthful effects of the sun:

    • As sun exposure in the U.S. has DECREASED by 90% during the last century, melanoma incidence has INCREASED BY 3,000%.
    • A 20-year Swedish study shows that sun avoidance is as bad for the health as cigarette smoking.
    • A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
    • Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
    • Women who totally avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
    • Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
    • Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart attack risk.
    • Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to human survival, and sun exposure is the only natural way to obtain it. Sunbathing can produce 20,000 units of vitamin D in 20 minutes of whole-body exposure.
    • Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
    • Beyond vitamin D, sun exposure also stimulates the production of endorphin, nitric oxide and BDNF, all of which are vital to human health.
    • Regular sun exposure also reduces high blood pressure, heart disease, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis (MS).
    • As sunscreen use has increased dramatically, melanoma has INCREASED exponentially.
    For the scientific references and articles for the above statements, visit

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