reduce the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent.

New findings suggest that approximately 300 IU of vitamin D per day may be correlated with a 50% reduction in the risk of colon and rectal cancer in young adults.

Changes in lifestyle and eating habits may be responsible in part for the increasing incidence of colon and rectal cancer in young adults. Researchers speculate that a decrease in average dietary intake of vitamin D since the 1980s may be a factor in this increase. One study linked higher overall vitamin D intake to a lower risk of colorectal cancer in adults younger than 50 years. The results suggest that encouraging people in this age group to increase their intake of vitamin D may be a cheap and low-risk adjunct to disease screening.

Colon cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is very common. Although the overall incidence of colon and rectal cancer has declined over the past two decades, the number of young adults with the disease has increased. If current trends continue, scientists have estimated that by 2030. almost 11% of colon cancers and 23% of rectal cancers occur in adults under 50 years of age. About half of people with early colon cancer do not have a family history or known genetic risk factors, so changing lifestyles and eating habits may have an impact on increasing the incidence of the disease. Researchers have previously linked early colon and rectal cancer to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

They also looked at dietary changes as another possible culprit in the increased numbers. Researchers say the main suspect is lower consumption of foods containing vitamin D, such as fish, mushrooms and eggs. Several studies have shown that vitamin D protects against colon and rectal cancer in general, but none have been prescribed for the early form of the disease. Dietary changes in recent decades are one of the many potential risk factors studied for early colon and rectal cancer. We know that diet and lifestyle are closely linked to all colon and colorectal cancers (regardless of age at diagnosis), so it makes sense to see if some recent changes in risk factors, such as vitamin D, may contribute to the increase in cancer. cases of early-onset colon and rectal cancer.

Vitamin D from foods and food supplements

The researchers analyzed data on the diet, lifestyle and medical history of 116,429 nurses aged 25 to 42 years. Nurses participated in the Nursing Health Survey II (NHS II), which began in 1989. In this prospective study, participants complete questionnaires every two years about their lifestyle, medical history, and other health-related information. They also answer more detailed questions about their diet in the food frequency questionnaire every 4 years. The researchers used these data to assess the volunteers ’total vitamin D intake from diet and food supplements.

Between 1991 and 2015, 111 new cases of early colorectal cancer were diagnosed among participants. Adapting to other known risks, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, red meat consumption, and sedentary behaviors, they found that overall vitamin D intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer in early onset. The protective effect of vitamin D from food appeared to be greater than that of supplements. The researchers also found an association between low vitamin D intake and precursors to diseases known as adenomas and polyps.

The results show that only 300 [unités internationales ou UI par jour] Vitamin D use may be associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of early colon and rectal cancer. The results were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

Prefer vitamin D from food sources

The authors conclude that, if confirmed, their findings may lead to recommendations for higher vitamin D intake as an inexpensive and low-risk supplement to colon and rectal cancer screening to prevent the disease in adults under 50 years of age. The fact that vitamin D from food has a stronger protective effect than vitamin D from supplements may be coincidental. Another possible explanation could be that certain nutrients in multivitamins may outweigh the positive effects of vitamin D. There may also be additional factors in the diet, such as calcium, that along with vitamin D may reduce the risk.

Early colon cancer accounts for more than 10% of all colon cancers and is on the rise. Surveillance studies such as this have revealed the role of diet and specific factors such as vitamin D in increasing morbidity. [cancer colorectal] an early start, but more research is needed to draw conclusions.


Trends in Adult Vitamin D Intake from Food Sources in St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN, 1980–2007–2009

Total vitamin D intake and risk of early colon and rectal cancer and precursors

* Presse Santé aims to communicate health knowledge in a language accessible to all. Under no circumstances should the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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