U.S. researchers found that healthy levels of vitamin D not only keep the bones strong, but they can also lower the risk of colon cancer.
Scientists from the American Cancer Society found that people who have higher than average levels of the Sunshine Vitamin have a lower risk of later being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Also, people who are vitamin D deficient are more likely to develop this type of cancer.
The study involved 12,000 participants in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Senior study authors Marjorie McCullough noted that people with higher than usual levels of the Sunshine Vitamin in their bloodstream had a 22% lower risk of colon cancer. McCullough is ACS’ senior scientific director.
Critics of the study, however, are not convinced. They are calling for more research before medics start prescribing the vitamin to their patients to keep cancer at bay.
Colon Cancer Can Be Deadly
The head of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Zhaoping Li, thinks that the findings are interesting, but they do not prove a cause-and-effect link between vitamin D supplementation and lower risk of cancer. Dr. Li wants more research into the link as the latest study has not found a “smoking gun” yet.
Colorectal cancer is a very invasive form of cancer, often with deadly outcomes if it is not spotted in time. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most widespread type of cancer and third top killer when it comes to cancer deaths.
In addition, more and more young people are being diagnosed with the disease, which marks a worrisome trend. This may be why the American Cancer Society recently lowered the age of undergoing colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45. It is one of the few conditions that a colonoscopy can prevent.
The recommended intake of vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) or more per day.
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