Wed, Dec 4th, 2013

Top surgeon calls for ALL women to be given Vitamin D to cut breast cancer… as ballet dancers reveal they use pills to keep them strong

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  • Professor Kefah Mokbel thinks 1,000 lives a year could be saved
  • He is handing the supplements to women at his clinic in London
  • The pills would cost the NHS 12p per woman per day
  • Studies show vitamin is effective at fighting and preventing the disease

All women over the age of 20 should take a daily dose of Vitamin D to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer, an expert claims.

Professor Kefah Mokbel is writing to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to argue that making the ‘sunshine vitamin’ free on the NHS would save 1,000 lives a year.

He has already started handing out the pills to female patients at his private clinic. But he believes all women should get them – even those who have not been diagnosed with the disease.

Prof Mokbel said the measure would cost the NHS just 12p per woman per day – and claims it would spare thousands the agony of developing the condition.

‘I am calling for all women from the age of 20 to be given free Vitamin D supplements on the NHS because it is effective in protecting against breast cancer,’ he said.

‘It is established science that women who have higher Vitamin D levels have a better chance of beating the disease.

‘Studies also show that women with higher Vitamin D levels are significantly less likely to develop breast cancer in the first place.’

Every year 50,000 women in Britain are diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disease claims almost 12,000 lives annually.

Prof Mokbel, a surgeon at the private London Breast Institute, said: ‘My estimate is that at least 1,000 lives could be saved by supplementation a year.’

Vitamin D is best known for its role in helping build and maintain healthy bones. But scientists have discovered it is also essential for the immune system and regulating how cells divide. Both are key to fighting cancer.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States, ‘being “D-ficient’’ may increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases – including osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers and multiple sclerosis – and infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even seasonal flu’.

Prof Mokbel said his tests showed that half his private patients were Vitamin D deficient, and a third were severely deficient.

‘I give Vitamin D to all my women patients at the clinic because the higher the levels, then the greater the protection from breast cancer,’ he added.

‘Vitamin D works by encouraging cancer cells to change to normal cells, and it also enhances the immune system. Another benefit is that it promotes the death of breast-cancer cells.’

Evidence that Vitamin D supplements may combat breast cancer has been building. In 2008, a Canadian study showed breast cancer patients with good Vitamin D levels were about half as likely to die from the disease as those with a serious deficiency. Norwegian and German studies have reached similar conclusions.

However, Jessica Kirby, of  Cancer Research UK, disagrees with Prof Mokbel’s analysis.

She said: ‘There have been a large number of studies about Vitamin D and breast cancer and it looks as if people’s Vitamin D levels don’t affect breast cancer risk. Trials in which people took Vitamin D supplements have shown no effect.’

Prof Mokbel, who is also an honorary consultant surgeon at  St George’s Hospital in South London, compared the situation  to the evidence on smoking and claimed action was needed now.

He said: ‘This is a low-cost, cheap intervention and there’s  no toxicity from taking it.’

However, NHS chiefs remain worried about the cost. NHS spending on Vitamin D supplements now tops £100 million a year, up from £28 million in 2004.

The Health Department and Public Health England were asked to comment but failed to respond.

read more: www.dailymail.co.uk

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