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Please Read! Check Vit. D, 25-Hydroxy Levels

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bestbird
bestbird Member Posts: 232

New research suggests that breast cancer patients with high levels of the vitamin in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease than patients with low levels...

The studies included a total of 4,443 patients with breast cancer and were performed between 1966 and 2010. All patients were followed for an average of 9 years. Patients were divided into groups dependent on the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood. Women in the "high" group had an average of 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood, while women in the "low" group had an average of 17 ng/ml in their blood.

The investigators note that the average blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for breast cancer patients in the US is 17 ng/ml.

The team found that women who had high levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood had around a 50% lower fatality rate, compared with women who had low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood.

Explaining why he believes vitamin D decreases fatality rates for breast cancer patients, Prof. Garland says that vitamin D metabolites increase communication between cells by activating a protein that halts aggressive cell division.  "As long as vitamin D receptors are present, tumor growth is prevented and kept from expanding its blood supply," he adds...

Prof. Garland says further research is needed to confirms the team's findings, he believes there is no reason why people should not increase their vitamin D intake now, after confirming with their health care provider that it is safe to do so. He refers to a study he conducted in 2011, which found that a 50 ng/ml level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood - a level that can be reached with an intake of 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day - reduces breast cancer risk by 50%.

From: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273728.php

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Comments

  • AmyQ
    AmyQ Member Posts: 821
    edited March 2014
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    Thank you for sharing this Bestbird.  As much as I dislike taking my vitamins (mostly they upset my stomach) it's worth the discomfort.

  • JeninMichigan
    JeninMichigan Member Posts: 51
    edited March 2014
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    Thank you for sharing this BestBird.  My vitamin D levels were very low which was so surprising to me as I spent so much time out in the sun living on a farm.   After the mega boost I got via script, I have taken 4800 ius daily now for the last several years.  I had my levels checked last year and they were good to high.   So I keep taking my supplements.  I also believe it really helps my overall general health.

    Jen

  • heidihill
    heidihill Member Posts: 1,856
    edited March 2014
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    Five years ago my level was just 7, now it is 50. I hope they are right about 50 reducing mortality by 50 percent. I don't take daily supplements but get a dose of 150,000 iu at my doctor's office as needed.

  • brandall
    brandall Member Posts: 97
    edited March 2014
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    I absolutely believe there is a link here.  When I was first diagnosed my levels were 12, which is very low.  I started taking medication and very slowly got my levels to 57.  While I continued to take my vitamin D pills, I did not have my levels checked for two months.  I recently had progression to a gastric lymph node and we checked my levels after the progression and my vitamin D had decreased for the first time since taking medication (for well over a year) to 40!  It is an easy blood test and a pill, so well worth checking it out!

  • kebab
    kebab Member Posts: 98
    edited March 2014
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    Interesting! One of the first things my new onc suggested when I started seeing her was to start taking a vitamin D supplement. I never questioned why, but I'm glad I listened!

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,937
    edited March 2014
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    yep. I was at 14 when dx. I am at 30 after a year of 5000 a day. Will keep on taking it to try to get up to 50. 

  • Ohmydarlin
    Ohmydarlin Member Posts: 43
    edited March 2014
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    Is this a test that is done with our routine labs or do you have to request that it be checked?   

  • bestbird
    bestbird Member Posts: 232
    edited March 2014
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    Ohmydarlin, some doctors routinely order the Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy tests and others don't.  It might be recommended to bring a copy of the article to your MO for discussion, and have him/her test your levels on an ongoing basis.

  • Ohmydarlin
    Ohmydarlin Member Posts: 43
    edited March 2014
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    Thanks, Bestbird!  I've already printed the article and will ask when I see my MO next. 

  • raro
    raro Member Posts: 78
    edited March 2014
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    My onc tests for it about every 3 months. The last test was low, so he put me on rx-strength, 50 thousand IU per week. If your onc hasn't mentioned it, I would bring it up. 

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,151
    edited March 2014
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    For those of you who purchase Vitamin D at a health food store or drugstore, I would appreciate if you recommend a brand and how much you take a day.

  • Brendatrue
    Brendatrue Member Posts: 487
    edited March 2014
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    Thanks, BB, for sharing this! My Vit D level was abysmally low after cancer go round number 2 (in 2006). Neither my internist nor my MO recommended injections, so I started taking 5000iu per day. I tried various brands, still had a heck of a time getting the level to rise, then started the KAL brand of Ultra D-3 (chewable) 5000iu. My level is good--high now, and I remain a firm believer in the value of this supplement, given all the reports I've read.

  • Catesmom
    Catesmom Member Posts: 45
    edited March 2014
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    Bestbird, thanks for sharing.  I too think there is truth in this,  my levels were very low also and it took me 50,000IU twice a week for about 6 months to get me up to normal levels, and I still take 50,000IU every week to maintain.  Kelly

  • heidihill
    heidihill Member Posts: 1,856
    edited March 2014
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    http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/34/3/1163.full

    According to this hypothesis, the growth of a tumor may be arrested at almost any point in the DINOMIT model by restoring a high serum 25(OH)D concentration in the organism, resulting in up-regulation of E-cadherin and restoration of a well-differentiated state (16).

    They still need to do a clinical trial but it seems worth monitoring and boosting D levels for anyone with mets.  

  • WinningSoFar
    WinningSoFar Member Posts: 126
    edited March 2014
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    Seems like the first thing my oncologist did was get me on 4000 iu per day and my Vit D level is just now short of 50.  My cousin, a primary care doc, says she tries to get all her patients to 50-70 range. 

  • bestbird
    bestbird Member Posts: 232
    edited March 2014
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    Heidihill, thank you for the informative link!

    Divine, I think any reputable vitamin company would be fine - we get ours from Life Extension, and I also like Puritans Pride at www.puritan.com 

    All - just a quick heads-up that after a point, too much Vitamin D can be toxic.  Barring unusual health issues, working with your doctor to bring your Vitamin D 25-hydroxy levels to the higher end of the normal range is probably a viable way to start.  Then you'd want to maintain that level once it has been reached.

    Tossing my crystal ball into the air, I think that Vitamin D and Androgen Blocking for AR+ tumors will eventually become part of the standard of care for bc treatments in the years to come!

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,151
    edited March 2014
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    I know some of you have said you got a lot of sun and still had low vitamin D.  Maybe some people are better able to convert the sun's rays to vitamin D better than others.  I'm no scientist, but I think of different scenarios.  I've heard about this possible Vit D link to bc before, and that got me to wondering.  When we had whole house air conditioning installed in our house maybe ten years ao, I think I spent more time indoors than before. I just didn't have that option to sit in a cool house before that, and got out more.  It may sound odd, but it makes me wonder if such a modern convenience as whole house a/c can alter a person's lifestyle enough to cause a depletion of vit D for some of us, making us more susceptible to bc.  Anyway, my mind drifts along those lines sometimes.

    Bestbird, thanks for the link.  I've been taking a calcium/vit D supplement for several years but guess what? I recently looked at the serving size, and it says to take 6 of them a day to get the percentage of vitamins listed on bottle. I've only been taking one a day!  To get 1000 iu of vit D I'd have to take 6 pills!  Reading up on the Vit D issue, seems the recommendation is to take 4000 iu of Vit D a day, so I am going to revisit my vitamin list and make some changes.  

     

  • MiracleMileM
    MiracleMileM Member Posts: 15
    edited March 2014
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    I'm one of those that had low D at diagnosis and think that was a contributing factor in my getting BC.  I take 3-4 mg a day and now range a little below and above 50.  Look at the various vitamin D posts under alternative  above.

  • DancingVeggie
    DancingVeggie Member Posts: 47
    edited March 2014
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    BESTBIRD!  THANK YOU!  This is something I can do... Always love the news you share.

  • kayrnic
    kayrnic Member Posts: 111
    edited March 2014
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    I emailed my oncologist about this and asked him what level of vitamin D is safe and are there any risks involved in high doses. He said he would not recommend more than 4,000 IU's daily and he would want to keep an eye on my calcium levels as some people experience a spike. I guess too much calcium in the blood can be dangerous. I just wanted to share the information and encourage others to talk to their oncologists about the study. 

    He also told me that the last time he did a vitamin D test on me it came back mid-range (35).  So I guess I wasn't super low, but I am going to work on getting the level to at least 50. Doesn't sound like it will hurt anything. 

  • bhd1
    bhd1 Member Posts: 173
    edited March 2014
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    thank you bb for the info

  • KellyMSM
    KellyMSM Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2019
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    I see this topic is a few years old, but I saw my oncologist for first time on Monday and my Vit. D, 25 Hydroxy Level came back as 12.6 which I see is very low. I saw this on My Chart have not yet discussed with doc. Seeing a lot of info on lows scores and breast cancer. If anyone sees this, does anyone have any newer information on this topic? Thank you.

  • cure-ious
    cure-ious Member Posts: 2,756
    edited May 2019
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    Thanks for the reminder, BestBird! I have really been slacking off on the daily the VitD/Ca++ supplementation lately...

  • chicagoan
    chicagoan Member Posts: 991
    edited May 2019
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    Bestbird-Thanks for this information. My Vitamin D levels have not been tracked so I asked them to add this test to my bloodwork next Monday. This seems like a fairly simple way to keep the cancer in check. Also-you book came today-looking forward to reading it!

  • steph512
    steph512 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2019
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    My levels are low as well and my onc has prescribed 50,000 umits twice a week

  • sandibeach57
    sandibeach57 Member Posts: 1,387
    edited May 2019
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    Hi Bestbird.

    Good reminder about Vitamin D levels

    My only suggestion is to have your Vitamin D levels checked before increasing your dose. My MO said you can get Vitamin D toxicty if too much is taken. I have no idea what a toxic level is and/or symptoms.

    I have osteoporosis, worsened with Letrozole (aromatase inhibitor). I have a Prolia injection every 6 months. I also walk, get lots of sunshine and consume foods with Calcium.

    Sadly, I still got a fractured rib while coughing this past winter. In 2016, I had widespread liver mets with a questionable T12 met, but it was never conclusive. I also had tumor cells in lung arterioles..microtumor emboli syndrome.

    I take Citracal (calcium) time release and 2000 units of Vitamin D (D3).

    My latest Calcium level is 10 mg/dL (normal is 8.5-10.5) and Vitamin D is 48.6 ng/ml (normal >=30).

    S

  • toyamjj
    toyamjj Member Posts: 41
    edited May 2019
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    Wow interesting stuff, makes me one to run out and get some vitamin D vitamins from the store. Do you think I really need to run it by my DR first though?

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,025
    edited May 2019
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    I would definitely say to ask either your MO or your primary care doc to test you and prescribe the vitamin D if you need it. I was already on over the counter Calcium and D3 upon the instructions of my onc. but after 9 months I still tested Vitamin D deficient. I was given prescription D2 liquigel caps and that raised my levels to a low normal. However, I am still not at 50 like the OP advises. I might talk to my doctor again.

  • butterfly1234
    butterfly1234 Member Posts: 2,038
    edited May 2019
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    What are optimal Vitamin D3 supplement levels?My PCP thought I was too high at 77. I then went to 65. My MO said 2000 iu vitamin D with 1200 calcium, now I’m at 50. The research I read is that optimal level should be around 60. What are your thoughts? I’m going to speak with both docs about upping to 3000 iu.

  • bestbird
    bestbird Member Posts: 232
    edited May 2019
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    Here's a recent study from 2018: Vitamin D concentrations of 60 ng/mL or higher in blood plasma significantly reduced the risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal women. From: https://www.healio.com/internal-medicine/oncology/news/online/%7B23bbe444-a832-4197-8839-f398cc01ced4%7D/higher-levels-of-vitamin-d-may-lower-breast-cancer-risk