Low Vitamin D Linked To More Risk Of Bowel Cancer
Several well-known factors increase the risk of developing this specific cancer:
- A diet that contains a lot of red meat and especially processed and smoked meat products
- Drinking too much Alcohol
- Being overweight
A diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereals will lower your risk.
Bowel Cancer and Sunlight
More than thirty years ago, it was established that bowel cancer was the first cancer known to benefit from sunlight. American studies found high death rates from the disease in areas with the least sunshine, but much lower mortality in the regions with more sunshine. Many studies have since confirmed these findings.
Ultraviolet-B (UVB) light on the skin produces vitamin D, which blocks the growth of cancer tumors and also prevents cancer from starting. It seems that this powerful nutrient can also reduce the spread of cancer. Without vitamin D the body cannot absorb calcium from the digested food and this mineral is vital for bone strength and for a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Research has shown that taking vitamin D and calcium together is protective for many types of cancer. Calcium intake of more than 1000 mg/day from either diet or supplements is recommended. One study where patients took 1100 IU (27.5 mcg) vitamin D and 1450 mg calcium, they had almost 80% fewer cancers of all types than those taking a placebo.
If you have higher Vitamin D levels when diagnosed with bowel cancer, the outcome will be better as those with higher levels at time of colorectal cancer diagnosis have much improved results.
Harvard University studied patients with this cancer and found the patients with the best levels had half the death rate compared to those with lower vitamin D levels. This study didn’t use vitamin D to treat colorectal cancer, however, vitamin D supplements may increase survival rates and some cancer treatment centers are now giving them to their patients.
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