Study: Vitamin D May Reduce Breast Cancer In Black Women

While previous studies have suggested that vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may even be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing, new research by a team from Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and four other institutions, shows that vitamin D supplementation may benefit black women the most.

For the study, which was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, scientists compared levels of vitamin D in the blood of women without breast cancer and found that severe vitamin D deficiency in African-American women was almost six times more common than in European-American women. Because low levels of vitamin D can also be caused by disease or by treatment, however, the researchers decided to focus their studies on genetic variations in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the enzymes responsible for breaking down vitamin D in the body.

What they found: African-American women with the highest levels of vitamin D also had a specific variation in VDR that cut their breast cancer risk in half, compared to women without it.