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Women who take aromatase inhibitors to reduce their breast cancer often experience significant musculoskeletal pain. New research suggests that vitamin D testing may help individuals determine if supplements could prevent this discomfort.
Researchers reported in the journal Breast Cancer Treatment and Research that women who were given high doses of vitamin D for a period of eight weeks were significantly less likely to report pain associated with treatment with aromatase inhibitors.
Women in the study were given larger than normal doses of vitamin D on a weekly basis. These contained up to 50,000 international units of the nutrient. Most health authorities recommend that people in normal health consume between 600 and 800 international units per day.
The only problem was that women treated with vitamin D experienced little long-term benefit. Follow up surveys given four and six months after treatment stopped many participants reported experiencing pain again.
Still the findings are significant, as a high percentage of women with breast cancer who are treated with aromatase inhibitors also have vitamin D deficiency. Supplementing the nutrient in these patients could lead to positive results.
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