A recent study has found that vitamin D increases the defenses of the immune system against tumor cells.
People with levels that are high of vitamin D in their bloodstream have a risk that is overall lower of developing colorectal cancer.
Researchers said that laboratory research has suggested that vitamin D increases the body’s immune system function through activating T cells that recognize and then attack the cancer cells.
In an attempt to prove a link between vitamin D, the body’s immune system and the rates of bowel cancer, researches drew from data from over 940 people that had been enrolled in two health projects that were long term.
Of those people, 318 suffered from colorectal cancer and 624 were free of that cancer.
All of the participants gave blood samples in the 1990s, prior to any of them developing cancer. The investigators then tested the samples for vitamin D.
The researchers found that people that have high amounts of vitamin D had lower risk of developing colorectal tumors.
The authors of the research said that suggests there was an interaction between the vitamin D and the body’s immune system that might work to prevent the cancer from developing.
The researchers added that down the road they might be able to give a prediction of how increasing the vitamin D consumption of an individual and immune function could lower his or her overall risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Excluding cancers of the skin, colorectal is the third most common cancer in both males and females in the U.S.
One doctor who did not participate in the study said that the study was interesting but more research was necessary into the role that is played by vitamin D in bowel cancer.
However, the doctor added that we know that people are able to take steps to lower their risk of bowel cancer developing by simple changes in diet and lifestyle.