ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vitamin D May Prevent Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Recurrence

Updated on December 28, 2015

Sunshine Vitamin May Help Prevent Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer Prevention and Vitamin D

The Lancet medical journal reported in 1989 that the most active form of vitamin D calcitriol, significantly slowed the growth of breast cancer in animals. Calcitriol stopped the growth of breast cancer by regulating cell cycles. Vitamin D may contribute to apoptosis (cell death) by helping cells resist signals from substances that cause cancer cells to grow, inhibiting invasion into normal tissue and preventing metastasis. D may also prevent the formation of excessive blood vessel growth around the cancerous tumor, a process referred to as anti-angiogenesis.

Researchers from St. Georges Hospital Medical School in London found women with tumors receptive to vitamin D went longer without a disease recurrence than women with tumors without receptors for vitamin D.

A crucial chain of vitamin D events must however, occur to decrease breast cancer cell growth. The vitamin D receptor is only present in breast tissue if calcitriol has been present, which occurs if vitamin D's less-active form, calcidiol, has also been present. Breast cancer patients, some scientists believe, likely have very few vitamin D receptors, as such, treating D deficiency may increase the D receptors in their body and inhibit breast cancer cell growth.

Possible 75% cancer mortality reduction with Vitamin D

Vitamin D from Sunshine or Supplementation

Vitamin D comes from sunshine or supplementation.
Vitamin D comes from sunshine or supplementation. | Source

Vitamin D Deficiency and Raising Levels

Despite the name, vitamin D isn't a vitamin; it's a secosteroidhormone that targets over 2000 genes in the body. D, research suggests, may exhibit a positive effect on bone health, immunity, cancer prevention and inflammation. Vitamin D however, isn't readily available in most foods; it's made in large quantities when sunlight strikes bare skin.

A deficiency is more common in the winter months when sunlight is less available and is more prevalent today due to the increased use of suncreen in the last several decades due the public's concern over skin cancer.

Vitamin D deficiency in American teens is common. One study indicates that only 25 percent of more than 3,500 teenagers ages 12 to 19 had levels higher than 26 ng/ml, and 25 percent had levels lower than 15 ng/ml which is severely deficient. The Vitamin D Council recommends an getting vitamin D levels between 50-65 ng/ml, substantially higher than the conventional recommendation of 30 ng/m.

“If you use suntan parlors once a week,” says Dr. Cannell, MD, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, “or if you live in Florida and sunbathe once a week, year-round, do nothing.” However, if you receive very little UVB exposure the Council recommends supplementing to achieve optimal dosing which they suggest is higher than the Food and Nutrition Board and Endocrine Council.

Optimal Vitamin D Level by Organization

Vitamin D Council
Endocrine Society
Food and Nutrition Board
Testing Laboratories
0-30 ng/ml
0-20 ng/ml
0-11 ng/ml
0-31 ng/ml
31-39 ng/ml
21-29 ng/ml
12-20 ng/ml
40-80 ng/ml
30-100 ng/ml
>20 ng/ml
32-100 ng/ml
>150 ng/ml

Source: Vitamin D Council

The recommendations for the optimal vitamin D blood serum levels have changed and there's no world wide consensus, most D experts argue that levels should be higher than the current Food and Board recommendation.

Dr. Mercola, a leading natural health advocate, writes:

"There are currently 40 leading vitamin D experts from around the world on the GrassrootsHealth panel, and everyone agrees that the most important factor is the vitamin D serum level. There's no specific dosage level at which "magic" happens. So while I will convey the recommended dosages in a moment, the most important message is that you need to take whatever dosage required to obtain a therapeutic level of vitamin D in your blood. At the time (in 2007) the recommended level was between 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Since then, the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml, and when treating cancer or heart disease, as high as 70-100 ng/ml."

Optimal vitamin D levels to treat cancer.
Optimal vitamin D levels to treat cancer. | Source

Have you had your vitamin D level checked?

See results

Vitamin D Deficiency, Disease and Dosing

Vitamin D continues to make health science headlines as some researchers link widespread deficiency to a long list of syndromes and diseases. The Vitamin D council website writes that VDDS, or Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome, is "the aggregate of symptoms and signs associated with the morbid process of vitamin D deficiency, and constitute together the picture of the disease. " While researchers don't suggest a D deficiency directly causes the following or that elevating levels is a cure, an association between vitamin D deficiency and the following has been shown:

  • osteoporosis
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • autoimmune diseases
  • certain cancers
  • depression
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain

Vitamin D Dosing

Vitamin D Council
Endocrine Council
Food and Nutrition Board
1,000 IU/day
400-1,000 IU/day
400 IU/day
1,000 IU/day per 25 lbs of body weight
600-1,000 IU/day
600 IU/day
5,000 IU/day
1,500-2,000 IU/day
600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors

Source: Vitamin D Council

It's difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods.
It's difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods. | Source

As scientists continue to study the effects of vitamin D on breast cancer patients, a growing body of research suggests elevating vitamin D levels may assist in treating breast cancer and decrease the likelihood of a recurrence.

Findings may also lead to the development of new anticancer drugs. While further research needs to be conducted support the use of vitamin D for breast cancer prevention and relapse, findings indicate that elevating vitamin D to optimal levels may prevent breast cancer in some healthy women.


University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) (2009, February 5), "Vitamin D Found To Stimulate A Protein That Inhibits The Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells," ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 12, 2010.

Colston KW, Berger U, Coombes RC, "Possible role for vitamin D in controlling breast cancer cell proliferation," Lancet, Jan 28, 1989.

Dhawan P, Wieder, R, Christakos, S,"CCAAT enhancer-binding protein alpha is a molecular target of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells," Journal of Biological Chemistry, Jan 30, 2009.

Dr. J.J. Cannell, Executive Director Vitamin D Council, "Vitamin D and Breast Cancer," June 4, 2006.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)