Higher Vitamin D Levels Tied to Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

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In women, risk declines as levels increase up to 100 nmol/L, but association in men not significant
In women, risk declines as levels increase up to 100 nmol/L, but association in men not significant

HealthDay News — Higher circulating levels of vitamin D are tied to significantly lower colorectal cancer risk, particularly in women, according to a study published online June 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Marjorie L. McCullough, ScD, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues pooled participant-level data from 17 cohorts consisting of 5706 colorectal cancer case participants and 7107 control participants in order to assess the association between circulating vitamin D levels and colorectal cancer risk.

The researchers found that deficient 25(OH)D levels (<30 nmol/L) were associated with 31% higher colorectal cancer risk (relative risk [RR], 1.31), while 25(OH)D levels above sufficiency (75 to ≤87.5 and 87.5 to <100 nmol/L) were associated with lower risk (RR, 0.81 and 0.73, respectively), compared to those within the lower range of sufficiency for bone health (50 to <62.5 nmol/L). The risk did not continue to decline with 25(OH)D ≥100 nmol/L. Colorectal cancer risk was 19% lower in women (RR, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.75 to 0.87) and 7% lower in men (RR, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.86 to 1) for each 25 nmol/L increment in circulating 25(OH)D.

"Optimal 25(OH)D concentrations for colorectal cancer risk reduction, 75 to 100 nmol/L, appear higher than current Institute of Medicine recommendations," the authors write.

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