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Can Vitamin D Help Prevent Rectal Cancer?

2018-10-16 14:12 Tuesday

It is well known that calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health, but a recent study goes much further, suggesting that adequate consumption of vitamin D may also protect against rectal cancer.

vitamin D

There are two ways through which humans receive vitamin D: food and sunlight. In previous clinical studies, researchers had found that vitamin D and calcium have apparent anti-tumor effects, and have hypothesized that vitamin D and calcium could inhibit cell growth and reproduction, thereby inducing cell differentiation and extinction. However, that conclusion was not supported by the experimental data at the time.

To explain the discrepancy, researchers in the United States combined data from 17 studies and reanalyzed one-third of the blood samples. Their analysis included a sample of 12,800 participants from around the world, and confirmed that individuals with high levels of vitamin D in their blood had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. The inverse relationship was particularly strong with women.

Researchers noted that while adequate vitamin D is important for human health, they do not recommend exposure to ultraviolet radiation or large doses of vitamin D supplements. Ultraviolet radiation can turn 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D3, but  can also cause serious skin damage and even skin cancer. For many people, high doses of vitamin D supplements can lead to vitamin D poisoning, which  affects normal organ function.

Three safe and healthy methods for receiving adequate vitamin D are:

1. Taking in sunlight three times a week, for 15 minutes each time, the safest and most convenient way to receive vitamin D.

2. Consuming natural foods that contain vitamin D, such as salmon, trout, and sardines.

3. Taking vitamin D supplements according to your doctor's supervision.

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