Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin D can improve bone health and can also lower the risk of colorectal or colon cancer, reveals a new study.
Compared to participants with circulating vitamin D concentrations considered sufficient for bone health, people with deficient concentrations of the vitamin had a 31 per cent higher risk of colon cancer.
‘Vitamin D can be obtained in the diet, especially from fortified foods, supplements, and also from sun exposure.’
Similarly, concentrations above bone health sufficiency were associated with a 22 per cent lower risk. However, risk did not continue to decline at the highest concentrations.
“Currently, health agencies do not recommend vitamin D for the prevention of colorectal cancer,” said Marji L. McCullough, epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.
“This study adds new information that agencies can use when reviewing evidence for vitamin D guidance and suggests that the concentrations recommended for bone health may be lower than would be optimal for colorectal cancer prevention,” he added.
According to the researchers, optimal vitamin D concentrations for colorectal cancer prevention may be higher than the current National Academy of Medicine recommendations, which are based only on bone health.
The study, published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, included data from 5,700 colorectal cancer cases and 7,100 controls.
Further, the association was noticeably stronger in women than men at concentrations above bone health sufficiency, the researchers said.
Vitamin D can be obtained in the diet, particularly from fortified foods, from supplements, and from sun exposure. However, experts recommend vitamin D be obtained through diet whenever possible because excessive ultraviolet radiation is a major risk factor for skin cancer.