Vitamin D linked to decreased colorectal cancer risk

By Karen Mullins

LONDON – Researchers say people with higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood appear to have decreased chances of getting colorectal cancer.

A study published Sunday in the British Medical Journal shows that people with the highest levels of blood vitamin D concentration had a nearly 40% decrease in colorectal cancer risk than those with lower levels of vitamin D.

The study is the largest ever on the subject with 1248-cases. Funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, Lyon, France) and Imperial College of London (London, UK) worked together to confirm the findings of smaller studies.

The findings were that patients with blood vitamin D levels of 50-75 nmol/l appear to be the optimim level when it comes to colorectal cancer prevention. Levels under 50 nmol/l showed an increased risk of cancer while levels over 75 nmol/l did not show any additional reduction of the cancer.

“Our results support a role for vitamin D in the etiology of colorectal cancer, but this must be balanced with caution regarding the potential toxic effects of too much vitamin D and the fact that very little is known about the association of vitamin D with either increased or reduced risk of other cancers,” Dr. Mazda Jenab (IARC) was quoted by Medical News Today.

Because previous trials have proved to be inconsistent, the authors of the study stressed the need for new trials.

“Currently, the best recommendation to reduce one’s risk of colorectal cancer is to stop smoking, increase physical activity, reduce obesity and abdominal fat, and limit intake of alcohol and red and processed meats,” concluded Dr. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

Only breast cancer is more common worldwide than colorectal cancer with over 1 million new cases a year.The majority of cancers occurring in the colon and rectum are adenocarcinomas, which account for more than 90% of all large bowel tumours.

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Posted by on Jan 24 2010. Filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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