Vitamin D, Outdoor Exercise, and Breast Cancer
by Moving For Life Blog on December 1st, 2013

Vitamin D Lowers Breast Cancer Risk for Women
A new  study adds evidence to the suggestion that  vitamin D is important for preventing breast cancer. The  study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that  women with low blood levels of  vitamin D are at increased risk of breast cancer.  Since sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D,  the next time you think about exercise, why not take it outdoors? 

Specifically:
Women who had blood vitamin D levels less than 10 ng/mL (defined as "vitamin D deficient" by the Institute of Medicine) were at 6.1 times  higher risk for invasive breast cancer than women with normal levels (20+ ng/mL).
 
Women who were in the "insufficient" vitamin D range were at 4.0 times higher risk for invasive breast cancer. 

The study was done in in Saudi Arabia and people in Saudi Arabia have the opportunity to get a lot of sunshine for their bodies to use in producing  vitamin D, but Saudi women are often indoors and when out are fully covered, making it difficult to absorb sufficient vitamin D. (Sound familiar?) 
 
It's been estimated that 70 percent of children and adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. 
Ask your doctor for a simple blood test to determine your vitamin D level. It's called the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.  It can tell you how deficient you might be in vitamin D. 
 
You might be interested in vitamin D for additional reasons... for example, did you know that Vitamin D can strengthen bones and lift moods? Since vitamin D plays a crucial role in the absorption of calcium,  it can stave off osteoporosis And, if you are susceptible to seasonal affective disorder it can help prevent you from becoming depressed.
 
Did you knw that Vitamin D could also help you manage chronic pain? It's common for people who live with chronic pain to have a vitamin D deficiency, so if you have pain, talk to your doctor about including vitamin D supplements as part of your treatment plan.



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