From promoting weight loss to improving mood, there truly is no shortage of research pointing to the benefits of vitamin D. In some of the latest, exciting research, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University Susana Gonzalo, Ph.D., found that vitamin D could be a possible treatment for women suffering from a deadly form of breast cancer.
In the research, published in the Jan. 21 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology, Gonzalo made some notable discoveries. She not only found a molecular pathway that contributes to triple-negative breast cancer, but also numerous possible new therapies for the condition – one of which includes vitamin D. The breakthrough discovery is especially good news for younger women, whom this type of cancer often strikes.
As stated in a Saint Louis University post outlining the research:
“Experiments performed in Gonzalo’s laboratory…showed that activation of this novel pathway not only allows tumor cells to grow unchecked, but also explains the reduced sensitivity of these types of tumors to current therapeutic strategies. Importantly, vitamin D plays a role in turning off this pathway, providing a safe and cost-effective strategy to fight these types of tumors. … In the future, women with triple-negative breast cancer may benefit from a treatment that includes vitamin D. As with all laboratory research, vitamin D therapy will have to be studied in a clinical trial before doctors know how safe or effective it will be.”
Other Research Concerning Vitamin D and Cancer
Of course this isn’t the only research to date linking vitamin D with cancer prevention and treatment. In another study, researchers found that women who consumed vitamin D in a pill had a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
But those who got their vitamin D in their food didn’t see the same results. While they don’t say why they think this is, it could be because those using supplements are simply getting more of the vitamin on a daily basis.
Joan Lappe, a professor of medicine at Creighton University in Nebraska, also noticed a strong link between vitamin D and cancer. After conducting a 4 year, randomized study involving 1,179 postmenopausal women, he found that those taking calcium and vitamin D3 at 3x the governments recommended daily value showed a 60% greater reduction in cancer risk than women not taking the vitamin.