Colon Cancer Could be Linked to Low Vitamin D
Colon cancer could be linked to a diet low in Vitamin D, according to European researchers. According to Mazda Jenab of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a case-control study discovered that people in the top fifth of Vitamin D levels had a 40% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than those in the bottom fifth.
However, the online British Medical Journal concluded that more research is necessary in order to determine if increased Vitamin D in the diet can effectively reduce risk of colorectal cancer.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
- Fish liver oils such as cod liver
- Fatty fish species (salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and catfish)
- Fortified milk
- Beef liver
- UV irradiated mushrooms
Vitamin D’s main function is to balance calcium levels in cells and bone metabolism. By modulating cell growth and death and by minimizing the formation of blood vessels to support tumor tissue, Vitamin D may play a role in cancer control.
It should be noted, however, that epidemiological evidence, which is mostly based on counting people’s dietary consumption of Vitamin D rather than taking blood circulating levels, is inconclusive. Although further testing is necessary to determine Vitamin D’s role in colorectal cancer, it important to stay aware of common color cancer signs.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
- Change in bowel habits (diarrhea and constipation)
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Abdominal discomfort such as cramps and gas
- Feeling that the bowel is not completely emptied after a movement
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
When exposed to direct sunlight, the body naturally produces Vitamin D. However, long-term exposure to harmful UV rays carries with it the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Those receiving low levels of sunlight exposure should include good sources of Vitamin D in their diets.
A deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to several chronic diseases including high blood pressure, tuberculosis, cancer, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and memory loss. There is also a connection between low Vitamin D levels and Parkinson's disease.
Colon cancer screening is typically recommended for those over 50 years of age. However, doctors may suggest earlier screening if you have a family history of colon cancer or a history of chronic digestive complications. Colon cancer can be life-threatening if left untreated. If you believe that you might be at risk for colon cancer, please contact Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic at 281-480-6264 to schedule your immediate appointment.
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