Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 469–477 | Cite as

Meta-analysis of vitamin D, calcium and the prevention of breast cancer

  • Peizhan Chen
  • Pingting Hu
  • Dong Xie
  • Ying Qin
  • Fudi Wang
  • Hui Wang


Vitamin D and calcium intake have been suggested to have protective effects against breast cancer; however, the data have been inconclusive. The present meta-analysis examined the overall effects of vitamin D intake, circulating 25(OH)D and 1α,25(OH)2D levels, and calcium intake on breast cancer risk. Data from 11 studies on vitamin D intake, 7 studies on circulating 25(OH)D levels, 3 studies of circulating 1α,25(OH)2D levels, and 15 studies on calcium intake and breast cancer risk were included in this analysis. From the meta-analysis, there was a significant inverse relationship between vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk, with an overall relative risk (RR) of high versus low vitamin D intake for breast cancer of 0.91 (95% CI = 0.85–0.97). The highest quantile of circulating 25(OH)D was found to be associated with a 45% (OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.38–0.80) decrease in breast cancer when compared with the lowest quantile. No significant association for the circulating 1α,25(OH)2D level and breast cancer was found (OR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.68–1.44). For calcium, a 19% (RR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.72–0.90) decrease in breast cancer risk was found for those with highest quantile of calcium intake compared to the lowest quantile. These results provide strong evidence that vitamin D and calcium have a chemopreventive effect against breast cancer.


Vitamin D 25(OH)D 1α,25(OH)2Calcium Breast cancer Meta-analysis 



This study was supported by a grant from One Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a grant from the National Nature Science Foundation (30870513), a grant (2007CB947100) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, a grant (08391910800) from the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality and the Food Safety Research Center and Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism. We thank Dr. Elizabeth R. Rayburn for assistance in editing this manuscript.

Supplementary material

10549_2009_593_MOESM1_ESM.xlsm (14 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Studies included in the comparison of the high versus low quantiles of vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk. (XLSM 13 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM2_ESM.xlsm (16 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSM 15 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (XLSM 14 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM4_ESM.xlsm (16 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 Studies included for meta-analysis of circulating 25(OH)D levels and breast cancer risk. (XLSM 15 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM5_ESM.xlsm (13 kb)
Supplementary Table 3 Studies included for meta-analysis of circulating 1α,25(OH)2D levels and breast cancer risk. (XLSM 12 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM6_ESM.xlsm (14 kb)
Supplementary Table 4 Included studies of high versus low quantiles of calcium intake and breast cancer risk. (XLSM 14 kb)
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Supplementary material 7 (XLSM 15 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM8_ESM.xlsm (16 kb)
Supplementary material 8 (XLSM 16 kb)
10549_2009_593_MOESM9_ESM.xlsm (14 kb)
Supplementary material 9 (XLSM 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peizhan Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pingting Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dong Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ying Qin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fudi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hui Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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