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When does vitamin D best protect against breast cancer?

Vitamin D can protect you from breast cancer, but only if you get enough of it at the right time. We know from past studies that low blood levels of vitamin D can raise your risk for breast cancer. But just how high should these amounts be? And how does timing matter?

As you may recall my saying from previous articles, mainstream doctors insist that vitamin D levels of 30-40 ng/ml are high enough to be beneficial. But a meta-analysis conducted in 2011 disagrees. It found that 30 ng/ml is actually much too low. When serum D is at least 50 ng/ml it can cut your risk of breast cancer by 50%. I've been saying that your vitamin D should be at least this high for maximum protection from numerous health problems for years. Now we know this applies to breast cancer as well.

A 2011 analysis of multiple studies found that women who had blood levels of 50 ng/ml had a 50% lower risk for getting breast cancer.

A new study out of UC San Diego is even more specific. It discovered when vitamin D offers the greatest protection for breast cancer--three months before a cancer diagnosis. The researchers believe this is the time when a tumor is most actively seeking out blood vessels needed for its growth. So it looks like there may be a window of time when vitamin D is most protective.

This study looked at the blood levels of 1,200 healthy premenopausal women. Those whose vitamin D was low for three months before a cancer diagnosis had three times the risk as women with the highest amounts.

Just how can you know when it's three months before a cancer diagnosis? This study doesn't say. But it makes sense that if your vitamin D levels are 50-80 ng/ml at all times, you're getting its protective qualities.

The best way to know how much vitamin D you need is to get a blood test. But if you can't for any reason, taking at least 4,000 IU/day should boost your level to 50 ng/ml. I take 5,000 IU/day of D3 (the best absorbable form) from Advanced Bionutritionals (800-791-3395) and it keeps my vitamin D levels where I want them.

Although vitamin D may reduce the risk of breast cancer three months before diagnosis in premenopausal women, past studies have found it's also protective in postmenopausal women. Again, it may be most protective when levels are high months before a diagnosis. That's why I'm suggesting you take it now.

I consider high amounts of vitamin D3 to be among the most important nutrients you can take at any age. There's no way you can get enough of this vitamin through exposure to sunlight--even on sunny days. So make sure you add it to your daily vitamin regime.

University of California--San Diego. "Low Vitamin D Levels Linked To High Risk Of Premenopausal Breast Cancer." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 January 2013.
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Publication:Women's Health Letter
Date:Jul 1, 2013
Words:503
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