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News - Vitamins and calcium may help prevent breast cancer

By Holly Taylor BSc(Hons) DipCNM MBANT NTCC

New findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting indicate that vitamin and calcium supplements may be useful in preventing breast cancer. According to the lead researcher: “It is not an immediate effect. You don’t take a vitamin today and your breast cancer risk is reduced tomorrow. However, we did see a long-term effect in terms of breast cancer reduction.”

The study compared the family history, lifestyle and DNA repair capacity of 268 women with breast cancer and 457 healthy controls.

When studying the data, the scientists found that women were more likely to have breast cancer if they were older, had a relative with breast cancer, had never breastfed or had inefficient DNA repair mechanisms.

In terms of positive factors, the results also indicated that taking vitamin supplements could reduce breast cancer risk by 30%, while regular consumption of calcium supplements may lower the risk by up to 40%. For calcium supplementation, the benefits were greatest in those cases where DNA repair was compromised. This suggests that calcium may play an important role in the biological pathways that keep DNA stable, helping to prevent the detrimental changes that can lead to cancer. The protective effect from vitamin supplements was more universal, benefiting all the women, regardless of their DNA repair capacity.  

Article References

Source: American Association for Cancer Research. Vitamin and Calcium Supplements May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk April 17-21: (202) 249-4098

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