Calcium and vitamins lower breast cancer risk

According to a new study, taking calcium and vitamin supplements may reduce a woman's risk for breast cancer. Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010, the research looked at 268 women with breast cancer and 457 healthy controls; over the long term, calcium and vitamin supplements reduced breast cancer risk by as much as 30 to 40 percent.

Calcium's ability to prevent breast cancer might be linked to its role in the DNA repair process, say researchers. DNA that does not repair properly can potentially lead to cancer.

Vitamin D and folic acid supplements have also been recognized as key to breast health. And smart food choices—including eating nuts, drinking tea, and getting ample fiber—have also been shown in studies to lower risk for breast cancer.

Study author Jaime Matta, PhD, clarified in the American Association for Cancer Research press release: “It is not an immediate effect. You don’t take a vitamin today and your breast cancer risk is reduced tomorrow. However, we did see a long-term effect in terms of breast cancer reduction.”

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