New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HarvardMedicalSchool shows that premenopausal women who consume higher amounts of calcium and vitamin D may significantly lower their risk of developing breast cancer. Among the premenopausal women in the study, higher calcium and vitamin D intake were associated with a 35 percent to 39 percent lower risk for breast cancer respectively.

However, no difference was seen in breast cancer risk for post-menopausal women. The researchers theorize that the difference may be related to the joint relationship among calcium, vitamin D, and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and change in the level of IGFs compounds as people age.

The authors note some limitations with the study, but say the results add to the growing body of research that links vitamin D status with incidence and risk of various cancers. The study results appear in the May 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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