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Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis *

Background

Inadequate photosynthesis or oral intake of Vitamin D are associated with high incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer in ecological and observational studies, but the dose–response relationship in individuals has not been adequately studied.

Methods

A literature search for all studies that reported risk by of breast cancer by quantiles of 25(OH)D identified two studies with 1760 individuals. Data were pooled to assess the dose–response association between serum 25(OH)D and risk of breast cancer.

Results

The medians of the pooled quintiles of serum 25(OH)D were 6, 18, 29, 37 and 48 ng/ml. Pooled odds ratios for breast cancer from lowest to highest quintile, were 1.00, 0.90, 0.70, 0.70 and 0.50 (p trend < 0.001). According to the pooled analysis, individuals with serum 25(OH)D of approximately 52 ng/ml had 50% lower risk of breast cancer than those with serum <13 ng/ml. This serum level corresponds to intake of 4000 IU/day. This exceeds the National Academy of Sciences upper limit of 2000 IU/day. A 25(OH)D level of 52 ng/ml could be maintained by intake of 2000 IU/day and, when appropriate, about 12 min/day in the sun, equivalent to oral intake of 3000 IU of Vitamin D3.

Conclusions

Intake of 2000 IU/day of Vitamin D3, and, when possible, very moderate exposure to sunlight, could raise serum 25(OH)D to 52 ng/ml, a level associated with reduction by 50% in incidence of breast cancer, according to observational studies.

Keywords

  • Breast cancer;
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D;
  • Dose–response gradient;
  • Incidence;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Serum;
  • Pooled analysis;
  • Diet

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Published on 09-13-2012