A new study shows that higher levels of Vitamin D may lessen a person's risk of colon cancer. The new study confirms a theory that had not been proven but has been suggested by health experts in the past.

Let The Sunshine In

The international study was conducted by scientists from the American Cancer Society, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute, and 20 other medical professionals from organizations around the world. According to data collected by the researchers, about three-quarters of Americans and one-fifth of Britians are not receiving the proper amount of Vitamin D.

The researchers found that Vitamin D can strengthen resistance to tumors that form in the stomach by blocking a common gateway cancer cells can pass through. The researchers found that this was most protective in women.

The study was conducted on more than 12,000 people from Asia, Europe, and the United States. Participants who had higher levels of Vitamin D had 22 percent less risk of developing colon cancer. For the participants who had lower levels of Vitamin D that is recommended, they had a 31 percent greater chance of getting colon cancer during a follow-up period. 

Vitamin D can be found not only in sunshine, but also in fatty foods including fish, cod liver oil, salmon, egg yolks, and orange juice. "People who are at higher risk of having lower levels are people who are never exposed to the sun, people who have dark skin who live in northern latitudes, and who don't eat the foods that are fortified by vitamin D and who don't like fatty fish," Marjorie McCullough, director at the American Cancer Society stated.

Colon Cancer Prevention

Previous studies have been inconclusive in finding the benefits of more Vitamin D for cancer-fighting purposes. In the past, there have been few clinical trials that were successful in finding a link between vitamin D supplements and colon cancer. The scientists from this study suggest that past studies were too small or the participants didn't comply.

The researchers from this study did state that more research is needed before doctors can recommend higher doses of vitamin D supplements. Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer. In America, colon cancer in the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and in men. The American Cancer Society suggests that at least 140,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and over 50,000 will die from it.  

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