Canadian women invited to join global Vitamin D study to help prevent breast cancer

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2011 /CNW/ - At a time when more and more evidence is pointing to a direct link between increased vitamin D levels and a reduction in breast cancer, a new study announced today by GrassrootsHealth is seeking to find some answers for Canadian women.

The GrassrootsHealth Breast Cancer Prevention Study in Canada will seek to prospectively examine the occurrence of breast cancer among Canadian women 60 and over who achieve and maintain a targeted vitamin D serum level in the bloodstream.

Participants will be monitored and will be able to attain optimal vitamin D levels through their choice of UVB exposure, fortified foods or supplements. In addition to breast cancer prevention, short-term effects of vitamin D on hypertension, falls, colds and flu will also be tracked. The study aims to enroll 1000 women to rapidly demonstrate the health outcomes. "We have been provided seed funding to get the project started immediately and will be actively looking for more sources of funding to continue its support," said Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth.

"We are hoping the study will solidify and quantify the case that vitamin D experts have been building for years: that increased vitamin D levels in women will significantly reduce breast cancer," states Dr. Robert Banner, President Ontario Society of Physicians for Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

"It is essential Canadian women be included in our drive to demonstrate the medical benefits of vitamin D. When you can project that fully 75% of breast cancer cases could be prevented with higher optimal vitamin D serum levels, there is no justification for waiting to take preventive measures," said GrassrootsHealth founder Carole Baggerly, herself a breast cancer survivor. "Ultimately we want women to know how they can proactively help prevent breast cancer before it is discovered at a screening clinic," she added.

Canadian women over 60 years old are invited to join women across the world in the five-year Breast Cancer Prevention Study initiated by GrassrootsHealth. To be eligible to enroll, women must be at least 60 and have no current cancer or current cancer treatment.

The study aims to fully demonstrate health outcomes of vitamin D serum levels in the range of 100-150 nmol/L, natural biological levels and will examine the occurrence of breast cancer among a population of women 60 and over who achieve and maintain a targeted vitamin D serum level in the bloodstream.

"The more women who participate in this study, the greater the chance that we will defeat breast cancer within our lifetimes," Baggerly said.

GrassrootsHealth welcomes Canadian health organizations interested in contributing to the study and seeing the effects vitamin D can have on preventing breast cancer.

About Grassroots Health

GrassrootsHealth (GRH), a non-profit public health research organization, works to quickly elevate public health messages from science into practice. GRH joins with vitamin D scientists to aggregate knowledge and best practices and then spread the word to medical practitioners and individuals in order to change public opinion and create healthier life choices and prevent disease. More information on the breast cancer study can be found at: grassrootshealth.net.

For further information:
Carole Baggerly    or   Jessica Patriquin
carole@grassrootshealth.org         PUNCH Canada
www.grassrootshealth.net         416-360-6522 ext. 245        
      jessica@punchcanada.com