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Colon Cancer Prevention with Vitamin D

Posted on: March 5, 2015

Dr-Jewel-Johl

Dr. Jewel Johl

It is well known that an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals are good for your health. However, recent studies suggest there is a possible association between vitamin D intake and colon cancer prevention.

The role of vitamin D is to assist in calcium absorption, for healthy teeth and bones, and to boost the immune system. The daily recommendation for individuals 1-70 years of age is 600 IU per day. Over 80% of Americans have adequate intake of vitamin D from skin exposed to sunshine, and eating foods containing it, such as fatty fish, eggs and fortified foods like milk, juices and cereal. Though it is uncommon for individuals to have a high intake of vitamin D, it is important to note that excess of nutrients of any type have toxic effects.

With colon cancer being the third most common cancer in America, not including skin cancers, it is understandable why researchers have been looking for ways to prevent it, and higher survival rates for individuals who have been diagnosed. The specific cause of colon cancer is unknown, but factors that increase risk are a mix between genetics, age, diet and weight.Vitamin D

Throughout several studies we have seen that individuals with high vitamin D levels have a lower risk for developing colon cancer, and if diagnosed, have a better survival rate. When a cancerous tumor develops, it does not contain only cancer cells, but an array of cells. This includes immune systems cells, also known as T cells, which fight against cancerous cells, limiting their duplication and killing them. Therefore, anything that helps to boost your T cells assist in the prevention and higher survival rate.

While an individual cannot change their age or genetics, one can reduce their risk by making healthy lifestyle choices that include daily exercise, less red meat and alcohol, a healthy diet and getting your vitamins.

More research is being conducted to determine the level of vitamin D that is essential to decreasing risk of colon cancer and to improve survival in patients with colon cancer. What is becoming more clear is the importance and protective role of vitamin D in patients with colon cancer and several other cancers.

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