Over 12,500 individuals took part in 17 cohort studies that were then grouped together and were used as the basis for a recent article evaluating the research on the risk of colorectal cancer and circulating Vitamin D status. 5,706 participants had colorectal cancer and 7,107 participants were used as controls, all had varying levels of circulating 25(OH)D (25 Hydroxy Vitamin D, considered to be the most accurate measure how much Vitamin D is in the body). Researchers considered Vitamin D deficiency to be below 12 ng/mL or 30 nmol/L, Vitamin D sufficiency was considered to be at levels between 20 – 25 ng/mL or 50-62.5 nmol/L and optimal Vitamin D levels to range between 30 – 40 ng/mL or 75-100 nmol/L.
There was a 31% increased risk of colorectal cancer when Vitamin D levels fell below 12 ng/mL. A 19% decreased risk of colorectal development was associated with participants with Vitamin D levels between 30-34.9 ng/mL. A 27% reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer was seen in individuals whose Vitamin D levels were 35 – 40 ng/mL. In women, researchers found for every increase in circulating Vitamin D levels of 10 ng/mL, there was a decreased risk of developing colorectal cancer of 19%. Researchers found this inverse relationship of 25(OH)D was statistically significant in women but not in men.
Colorectal cancers begin in the colon or rectum and usually begin as growths or polyps on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. This type of cancer, like other types of cancer, may spread very rapidly and imbed in other areas within and outside the rectum and colon. It is believed that 1 in 23 women and 1 in 21 men in this country alone may develop some type of colorectal cancer in their life. Over 50,000 individuals die of colorectal cancer yearly. Risk factors of colorectal cancer include, diet and other lifestyle activities like smoking, family history, obesity, polyp history and type II diabetes.
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