Does Vitamin D Really Protect Against Colorectal Cancer?

The jury's been out on whether low blood levels of vitamin D increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Researchers say a new review involving more than 12,000 people strongly suggests the answer is yes.
A serving of salmon contains about 600 IUs of vitamin D, researchers say, and a cup of fortified milk around 100. Cereals and juices are sometimes fortified, too. Check the labels, researchers say, and aim for 600 IUs daily, or 800 if you're older than 70. Source: Dorling Kindersley

It's been clear for many years that vitamin D helps keep bones strong, but studies have been inconclusive and conflicting about the vitamin's value in protecting against certain cancers, including colorectal cancer.

Now a large international study provides the strongest evidence yet that vitamin D may indeed be protective against colorectal cancer and that a deficiency may increase the risk of this cancer. The findings appear Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"For both men and women, deficient levels of vitamin D were associated with a 30 percent increased risk of colorectal cancer,", a nutritional epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and study co-author. People who had higher circulating blood levels of vitamin Dabove the range deemed "sufficient," had a 22 percent lower risk, she says.

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