According to a new study that was highlighted at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 virtual annual meeting, having sufficient vitamin D levels is associated with an increased likelihood of surviving breast cancer.
Researchers measured vitamin D levels at the time of breast cancer diagnosis in nearly 4,000 people and then survival outcomes a decade later.
"Our study shows that patients who had sufficient vitamin D levels at the time of diagnosis—blood concentration of at least 20 nanograms per milliliter—had a lower risk of death or cancer recurrence," Song Yao, PhD, a molecular epidemiologist and professor of oncology with the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and one of the lead study authors told Eat This, Not That.
The study also revealed that Black women had the lowest vitamin D levels, which Williams says may partially explain why they're are at higher risk of poorer outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis.
"Our study is an observational study, which means that we cannot prove definitively that increasing vitamin D levels by supplementation after breast cancer diagnosis will improve patients' survival outlook," says Yao.