Colon cancer, also referred to as colorectal or bowel cancer, is the third most common cancer in the United States.
An adequate amount of vitamin D in the body can help prevent and reduce the risk of this cancer. The sunshine vitamin helps regulate cell growth, fight inflammation and prevent cancer cells from spreading.
In fact, it has been found that colon cancer diagnosis and death rates are lowest in states with the highest mean solar radiation.
A 2004 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention analyzed several studies and came to the conclusion that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and its precursor, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, may aid in the prevention of colorectal cancer in older women.
Another 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research says that vitamin D may decrease colon cancer risk by improving differentiation and apoptosis and decreasing proliferation, invasiveness, metastatic potential and angiogenesis.
The study notes that it is even more significantly associated with reduced rectal cancer risk.
In a 2014 study published in Gut, researchers studied a group of immune system cells called T lymphocytes, or T cells, that can target tumor cells and limit their growth.
They found that a high plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer with intense immune reaction, supporting a role of vitamin D in cancer immune prevention through tumor–host interaction.
Moreover, high vitamin D levels can improve response to chemotherapy and targeted anticancer drugs in
patients with advanced colon cancer.