Project: Research project

Project Details


The estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2009-2010) are that 32.2% of adults in the U.S. are obese, and 17.1% of children and adolescents are overweight (10). Because it is also estimated that obesity costs more than $100 billion annually, it is critical to identify strategies that may be used to prevent the development of obesity. Further, there is strong evidence that obesity is associated with increased risk for breast cancer (11, 12). Breast cancer is currently the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with an estimated 232,670 new breast cancer cases expected in 2014 (13). The incidence of breast cancer is slowly declining, but there is great promise in preventing the incidence and deaths from breast cancer if effective preventive strategies can be designed. Preventing the development of breast cancer not only prevents death, but also the devastating consequences of the disease on patients and their families. Vitamin D status is inversely related to obesity, and one of the most promising potential preventive agents for breast cancer is vitamin D as substantial literature supports that vitamin D status is associated with reduced risk for breast cancer (14). Our results show that vitamin D regulates insulin sensitivity, adipose cell differentiation, breast epithelial cell energy metabolism and metastasis. Further, our preliminary results show vitamin D regulates lipid metabolism and metastasis of breast epithelial cells. The research proposed in this application is therefore significant because it has been designed specifically to identify underlying biochemical mechanisms responsible for vitamin D mediated regulation of adipose cell differentiation, energy metabolism and breast cancer progression. The proposed studies will contribute to the important scientific foundation that will ultimately allow the design of public health recommendations to promote attainment of optimal fat mass and weight, achievement of optimal energy utilization in normal growth and development and to prevent breast cancer progression, preventing the devastating consequences of obesity and breast cancer, as well as promoting optimal health.

Effective start/end date6/15/109/30/19


  • National Science Foundation: $11,765.00


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