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Sunshine and vitamin D needed to reduce risk for breast cancer

A recent study conducted at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research suggests simply taking vitamin D supplements is not enough to reduce risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

However, the study found that those living in regions with the highest ultraviolet radiation exposure whom were already on a supplementary vitamin D regimen were 32 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those with the lowest vitamin D intake.

"Our results suggest that a threshold of vitamin D exposure from both sun and diet is required to prevent breast cancer and this threshold is particularly difficult to reach in postmenopausal women at northern latitudes where quality of sunlight is too poor for adequate vitamin D production," the researchers concluded.

The findings don't dispel vitamin D as a means of preventing breast cancer, as the effects are dependent on the dosage. Low doses of vitamin D have a nominal impact in preventing breast cancer, thus the supplements by themselves may not be enough to make a difference.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is most common among women, accounting for nearly one in four cancers diagnosed in females in the United States. 
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