Chemoprevention of Breast Cancer With Vitamins and Micronutrients: A Concise Review

In Vivo. Jul-Aug 2019;33(4):983-997. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11568.


Numerous dietary components and vitamins have been found to inhibit the molecular events and signalling pathways associated with various stages of breast cancer development. To identify the vitamins and dietary micronutrients that exert protective effects against breast cancer and define their mechanism of action, we performed a literature review of in vitro, animal and epidemiological studies and selected the in vitro and animal studies with robust molecular evidence and the epidemiological studies reporting statistically significant inverse associations for a breast cancer-specific protective effect. There is sufficient evidence from in vitro, animal and epidemiological human studies that certain vitamins, such as vitamin D3, folate, vitamin B6, and beta carotene as well as dietary micronutrients, such as curcumin, piperine, sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, quercetin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), display an antitumoral activity against breast cancer and have the potential to offer a natural strategy for breast cancer chemoprevention and reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Therefore, a supplement that contains these micronutrients, using the safest form and dosage should be investigated in future breast cancer chemoprevention studies and as part of standard breast cancer therapy.

Keywords: Vitamins; breast cancer; chemoprevention; cruciferous vegetables; diet; micronutrient; phytochemicals; review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Chemoprevention* / methods
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Risk
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamins