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Vitamin D's Link to Breast Cancer
If you have yet to realize the benefits of a bit of sunshine, then maybe this will hit home: A new study has found breast cancer patients with low levels of vitamin D—a key nutrient that is derived from the sun, in addition to several foods—were much more likely to die or have the disease spread than patients receiving ample amounts of the mineral.
This is the first time vitamin D has been linked to breast cancer. Researchers found women who were under supplied were nearly twice as likely to have their cancer come back or spread over the next 10 years, and 73% more likely to die of the disease.
But the study, which was released Thursday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, is met with resistance. Doctors will not recommend people begin seeking out the supplement because they have yet to agree on how much vitamin D people need or the best way to get it. They also do not know how much of the nutrient can cause harm, or if it can help people who already have cancer.
The federal government recommends as much as 2,000 international units of vitamin D a day to live healthier. And people will see a difference in general health if they take about 800 units pre day.
And regardless of where doctors fall on the debate scale, they do advise breast cancer patients get their vitamin D levels checked to see whether they are deficient. [MSNBC]