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Dietary Vitamin D and Calcium: No Link to Breast Cancer Risk

Milk in clear Jug next to 3 Brown EggsThe largest study to date investigating whether dietary vitamin D and calcium intake reduces breast cancer risk has found what earlier evidence has also concluded: It doesn’t.

The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

The researchers analyzed data from 320,000 women who were participants of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). When they entered the study, the women reported the foods they typically consumed for the prior year. After an average of nine years, approximately 8,000 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

When comparing the women who consumed the highest to lowest amounts of calcium and vitamin D, there was no link to breast cancer risk for either pre- or postmenopausal women. (The Swedish population had the highest vitamin D intake, while Denmark and the Netherlands consumed the most calcium.)

To reduce breast cancer risk (post-menopausal), AICR’s expert report and its continuous updates have found drinking alcohol and having excess body fat increase risk; physical activity and breastfeeding lowers risk.

Source: Abbas S et al. "Dietary Intake of Vitamin D and Calcium and Breast Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition." Nutr Cancer. 2013 Feb;65(2):178-87.

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