Vitamin D and Breast Cancer

Studies have shown that vitamin D has anticarcinogenic properties, including inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and induction of cell differentiation and apoptosis. 

Observational studies have provided evidence that vitamin D may protect against some chronic diseases, including breast cancer. 

Black/African American women and Hispanic/Latina women tend to have lower circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels than non-Hispanic White women. In one study of the US population, 62% of non-Hispanic Black women and 36% of Hispanic women had concentrations below the clinical cut point for sufficiency (<20 ng/mL). 

In a recently published study, researchers evaluated the link between vitamin D levels and the risk of breast cancer in Black and Hispanic women. The study results appear in the journal Cancer. 

The Sister Study

The study examined Black and Hispanic women using data from the Sister Study, a breast cancer study that follows the sisters of people who have had breast cancer, it has identified 1,300 Black women and 562 Hispanic and Latina women after their analysis. The study included 290 Black participants and 125 Hispanic and Latina participants that developed breast cancer. 

Over a mean follow-up of 9.2 years, women with circulating 25(OH)D concentrations above the clinical cut point of deficiency had lower breast cancer rates than women with concentrations over or equal to 20 ng/mL. 

The results from the study support the hypothesis that vitamin D may be protective against breast cancer incidence in women, including non-Black Hispanic/Latina and Black/African American women. 


Katie M. O’Brien, et al. Vitamin D concentrations and breast cancer incidence among Black/African American and non-Black Hispanic/Latina women. 2022. Cancer. 

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