By now, we all know that vitamin D is naturally found in sunlight. Many of us take supplements during the dark winter months in an effort to suppress depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it turns out that those supplements may do more than just lift spirits.
A new study published in Anticancer Research by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood may be more likely to survive than those with lower levels. The comprehensive study analyzed 4,443 breast cancer patients, and studied each woman for an average period of nine years. Researchers concluded that the women who possessed high levels of vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to survive breast cancer than their counterparts with low levels of the nutrient, in addition to regular self examinations.
The reason for this increased survival rate is due to the increased communication between cells catalyzed by vitamin D. Researchers believe that the vitamin switches on a protein that helps to prevent rapid cell division. Cedric F. Garland, author of the study and professor in the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine at UC San Diego, reports, “as long as vitamin D receptors are present, tumor growth is prevented and kept from expanding its blood supply. This is the reason for better survival in patients whose vitamin D blood levels are high.” Garland suggests that physicians should consider adding vitamin D into breast cancer patient’s standard regimens immediately even though more controlled clinical trails are needed to confirm the findings.
However, with so many major (but necessary) preventative measures being taken – such as in Angelina Jolie’s recent battle – knowing to include something as simple as Vitamin D in your diet could be one of the easiest yet more fruitful ways you could take care of yourself.
What do you think of the new study?
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