|COLON CANCER AND VITAMIN D|
Journal of Clinical Oncology June 18, 2008
Vitamin D may extend the lives of people with colon and rectal cancer, according to a study published on June 18. Previous research has indicated that people with higher levels of vitamin D may be less likely to develop colon and rectal cancer, also called colorectal cancer.
This study, led by Dr. Kimmie Ng of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston involved 304 men and women diagnosed with colorectal cancer from 1991 to 2002, to see if higher levels of vitamin D in the patients affected their survival chances. In fact, that turned out to be the case. Blood samples were used to determine vitamin D levels of the patients, and they were tracked for an average of about 6-1/2 years. Those in the highest 25% of vitamin D levels were about 50% less likely to die during the study from their cancer or any other cause compared to the patients in the lowest 25% of vitamin D levels. During the study, 123 of the patients died, 96 of them from colorectal cancer.
"It's probably premature to say that we should be recommending this as treatment for colon cancer, but vitamin D should definitely be studied in the setting of a clinical trial to see if it has any benefit to treating colorectal cancer," Ng said in a telephone interview. However, combined with a recent study by the National Cancer Institute that showed a 72% decreased risk of dying from colon cancer when Vit. D levels were higher, it makes compelling sense to have a Vit. D test done and supplement if necessary. This is especially true if you have a family history of colon cancer.
A number of recent studies have indicated vitamin D also may offer a variety of other health benefits, including protecting against types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, peripheral artery disease and tuberculosis.
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