High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Pre-Menopausal Women with Breast Cancer

pre menopausal breast ca 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.



About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: