It has long been known that vitamin D is extremely helpful for those who want to keep their bones strong. There has also been an interest in finding out if this particular vitamin can help in the fight against various types of cancer, especially the colorectal cancer. Up until this point there has only been conflicting and ambiguous information gathered through studies, but now, thanks to a new international study, we might be able to shed some light on this.
New study analyzes what role is vitamin D playing in colorectal cancer
A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute gives us the strongest evidence we’ve had so far that there is a link between colorectal cancer and vitamin D. According to Marji McCullough, a co-author of the study, a deficiency of Vitamin D in both women and men can increase the risk of this type of cancer by 30%. In contrast, people who had increased levels of the vitamin, above the necessary amount, actually had a 22% lower risk.
This study covered 12,813 adult people in Europe, Asia and the US and it analyzed people with colorectal cancer and people of a similar age and race who did not have cancer. Researchers examined blood samples that were taken before the participants were diagnosed with cancer and they also took into consideration the factors that normally trigger colorectal cancer, such as lack of physical activity and smoking. McCullough stated that even a greater amount of Vitamin D than the optimal dose for bone health might be needed in order to prevent this disease.
More does not mean better
The authors of the paper also observed the fact that increased vitamin D levels in the blood do not in fact provide any more benefits. This only means that there is no point in having an increased intake of the vitamin, over the sufficient range, since this would not further reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
One more interesting finding of the study was a quite strong connection between lower risk of this type of cancer in women and higher blood levels of vitamin D. The researchers do not know the exact cause of this, but they believe that it might have something to do with the way vitamin D interacts with female hormones. McCullough also advised people to be careful with how much vitamin D they take, as taking too much can be toxic and can even cause kidney stones.
However, the study does not tell us whether vitamin D from sunlight, food or supplements can play a role in lowering the risk of developing colorectal cancer. We might have to wait for a larger study to take place.