More Vitamin D, Less Risk for Colon Cancer

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Latest findings regarding colon cancer have shown that more intake of vitamin D rich foods and higher amounts of the active form of such vitamin in the blood stream leads to lower risks of colon and rectal cancer.

The entire research involved 18 studies which took about 10,000 participants. Researchers of the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported that in those people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D, the risk for colon and rectal cancer is lower by 33%. Similarly, those who have the highest intake of vitamin D showed a 12 % lower risk than those who eat vitamin D rich foods the least.

In previous studies and researches, vitamin D has been actually linked to protection from different forms of cancer. Apart from cancer, it can also protect the body from conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, etc. However, the reason for these findings is still yet to be found. In fact, there are other evidences which suggest that people may need more than the recommended daily amount to get these cancer-protecting benefits. According to Dr. Qin of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China, more studies need to be conducted to be more accurate in the estimates of vitamin D and understand its role in preventing colorectal carcinogenesis.

According to Dr. Qin, the US populations of adults and adolescents have up to 58% deficiency in vitamin D, making it a major problem in the industrial world. While some suggest increasing the daily intake of vitamin D, the US Institute of Medicine stated that there is no justifiable reason yet to take in more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D.

In analyzing their study, Dr. Qin and his group looked into the relationship between vitamin D intake and blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the active form of the vitamin inside the body) against risks for colorectal, colon and rectal cancer. Overall, the study included nine settings, four in the US, three in Europe and two in Asia.

Vitamin D is medically termed as calciferol and is known to be essential in the development of bones and teeth. It is also essential in the body’s ability to absorb calcium into the blood stream and further inside the bones. Deficiency of vitamin D among children results to diseases like Rickets or, among adults, it is referred to as Osteomalacia. There is a wide misconception about vitamin D that it can be acquired through sun exposure. This is actually not true. While sunlight is important in synthesizing vitamin D, it is not a source of the vitamin.

Vitamin D can be acquired through food intake like oily fish, cod liver oil, and dairy products. There are also various products in the market which are fortified with vitamin D. For vitamin D to be used by the body efficiently, sunlight is vital.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology, online August 29, 2011.



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