Toronto researchers are reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that taking vitamin D in supplement form may offer some protection against developing breast cancer.
While women's dietary intake of vitamin D and calcium didn't seem to influence their risk of breast cancer, before or after menopause, women taking a vitamin D supplement did experience a slightly lower risk.
Researchers surveyed more than 3,000 breast cancer patients and 3,400 healthy controls about their intake of food and supplements.
The researchers found no relationship between overall vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk; nor was there any association between overall calcium intake and risk of the disease.
However, women who reported taking at least 400 international units of vitamin D every day were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease.
Past studies have found a link between low levels of vitamin D and higher rates of breast cancer. Researchers note that further research is needed to investigate the relationship between large doses of vitamin D and calcium and breast cancer risk.
For more information on how to add vitamin-D rich foods to your diet, and how to choose the best supplement, check out Leslie Beck's book, Foods that Fight Disease.
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