A new study from Brazil corroborates the evidence gathered by previous research, suggesting that women with low levels of vitamin D after menopause onset have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) note that “approximately 12.4 percent of women will be diagnosed with female breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.”
Worldwide, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in women.
Some of the main risk factors for breast cancer include being a woman, advancing age, and obesity after menopause.
Over the past few years, many studies have also been discussing the importance and potential impact of vitamin D in relation to breast cancer risk.
For instance, one such study — covered by Medical News Today earlier this year — that worked with a cohort of participants from Japan found that the women with the highest levels of vitamin D in their system had a significantly lower risk of cancer, compared with those with the lowest vitamin D levels.
Now, researchers at the Sao Paulo State University in Brazil have reached similar conclusions after analyzing the medical data of 627 Brazilian women aged 45–75.
Their findings are reported in a study paper — the first author of which is Dr. Murilo Renato Matos Machado — that appears in the journal Menopause, of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
‘Vitamin D may stop cancer cell growth’
These participants consisted of two groups of women: 209 diagosed with breast cancer, plus 418 cancer-free women who acted as the control group. All the participants had to have stopped menstruating for at least 12 months.
Comparing the medical information collected from the two groups of women, the researchers note that, at the time of diagnosis, the women with breast cancer had higher rates of low or very low serum (blood) vitamin D, compared with their cancer-free counterparts.