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Researchers looked at more than 5,000 women, 55 and older, and found that those with vitamin D blood levels of 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or more had an 80 percent lower risk for breast cancer than those with levels of 20 ng/mL or less.
Data from clinical trials conducted at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and from GrassrootsHealth, a California-based nonprofit, were included in the study.
A vitamin D blood level of 20 ng/mL or above is adequate for bone health, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth, said, "With roughly an 80 percent reduction in the incidence of breast cancer, getting a vitamin D blood level to 60 ng/mL becomes the first priority for cancer prevention."
According to Baggerly, "Nutrition and lifestyle factors are certainly important for overall health, but they can't replace the value of vitamin D level. The safety of this level has been demonstrated within this study as well as others."
The study was published online recently in the journal PLoS One.
-- Robert Preidt
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