High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Pre-Menopausal Women with Breast Cancer
In my book on vitamin D, I discuss the importance of vitamin D as observed from retrospective and epidemiologic studies in helping to prevent breast cancer and the recurrence of breast cancer.
I also mention in my book that as of the date of publication and even to this date I have not seen one breast cancer patient come to my office for immune support as an adjunct to their traditional breast cancer therapy who have had a vitamin D blood level measured by their oncologists.
Now a recently published study by KD Crew and colleagues looked at the frequency of vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant therapy means therapy that is in addition to the primary chemotherapy that a woman would receive after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
In the study, insufficiency of vitamin D was defined as a blood level less than 20 ng/ml. Blood levels from 20 to 30 ng/ml were defined as insufficient. And levels over 30 ng/ml are defined as normal. No mention was made in the article about getting women's levels over 40 ng/ml, which I have recommended.
These women were given 400 units of vitamin D every day with 1000 mg of calcium and followed for 12 months. At the beginning of the study 74% of the women were vitamin D deficient. After taking 400 unit vitamin D pills for one year, less than 15% of the women achievef normal vitamin D levels. The authors concluded that "the current recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is too low to increase serum 25-OHD greater than 30 ng/ml. Optimal dosing for bone health and possibly improved survival has yet to be determined."
For me this was a very surprising conclusion. The medical literature is clear that 400 units which is the RDA of vitamin D is totally insufficient to normalize most people's vitamin D levels, unless they are getting a significant amount of sun on a regular basis. I was surprised that the authors were not apparently current on the medical literature. Had they been, I would have expected that they would give the women 2000 IU of vitamin D per day for the duration of that year. Even with that amount of vitamin D however not all women would get their levels normal if they were starting with an especially low level.
Once again I say to you, my readers, for all your near and dear and friends who have had breast cancer please ask them to get their vitamin D levels checked,and have them normalize or better yet optimize their levels of vitamin D after the diagnosis.
Please let me know if you have any experience with vitamin D levels and friends and loved ones after a diagnosis of breast cancer and how they are doing with normalizing their levels.