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 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D 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 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D 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 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D 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.