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Vitamin D Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

Vitamin D Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

A new study published in the British Medical Journal, said to be the largest of its kind to date, has found that increased blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 40%.

In the study, researchers used dietary and lifestyle data and collected blood samples from over half a million people participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer Study (EPIC).

The researchers found that blood levels below 50 – 75 nanomoles per litre were associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The association was stronger for colon cancer than rectal cancer.

The researchers also found that,

“Additionally, higher consumption of dietary calcium, but not dietary vitamin D, was found to be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer”.

They concluded,
“However, before any public health recommendations can be made for vitamin D supplementation, new randomised trials are needed to test the hypothesis that increases in circulating 25-(OH)D concentration are effective in reducing colorectal cancer risk without inducing serious adverse events”.

Colorectal cancer accounts for 9% of new cancer cases every year and remains one of the most curable cancers if an early diagnosis is made.

British Medical Journal
2010; 340: b5500, doi:10.1136/bmj.b5500
Jenab, Bueno-de-Mesquita et al. “Association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in European populations: a nested case-control study.”

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