What is the role of vitamin D in bone health management of breast cancer?

Updated: Nov 06, 2019
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Vitamin D supplementation may be indicated in women treated for breast cancer, to aid with bone mineral density. [6] A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized phase II trial by Restelli et al found that high-dose vitamin D supplements improved aromatase inhibitor–induced musculoskeletal symptoms in women on adjuvant anastrozole for breast cancer. [7] Vitamin D also appeared to have a positive effect on bone loss on these patients.

Vitamin D supplementation may offer benefits beyond bone health. Some evidence suggests that low vitamin D status enhances the risk for development or progression of breast cancer. [8]  A study from Thailand reported that vitamin D deficiency (25[OH]D concentration below 16 ng/mL was independently associated with poor survival in breast cancer patients. [9] A study from Ireland determined that all-cause mortality was lower in women who began vitamin D supplementation after breast cancer diagnosis, compared with nonusers of vitamin D (hazard ratio= 0.84 [95% CI: 0.73, 0.99]). [10]

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