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Vitamin D Aids Colon Cancer Treatment and Survival

by Henri Junttila

(NaturalNews) Colon cancer was one of the most common cancers in the U.S in 2005 according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. About 150,000 Americans are told each year that they have colon cancer and about 35 percent of these will die. There are many contributing factors in why someone gets colon cancer but the most commonly acknowledged one is diet. Diets high in fat and non-organic non-grass fed red meat are especially dangerous. Other diets help prevent colon cancer such as diets high in fruits, vegetables and other natural raw and organic foods.

Vitamin D May Increase Colon Cancer Survival

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (June 20, 2008) conducted by lead researcher Dr. Kimmie Ng, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, United States, found that high blood levels of vitamin D increased colon cancer patients survival rate by 48 percent. In this study, Dr. Kimmie Ng and her team collected data on 304 patients who had been diagnosed with colon cancer between 1991 and 2002. Everyone in the study had their vitamin D blood levels measured a minimum two years before being diagnosed with the disease. The patients were tracked until they died or when the study ended in 2005. 123 patients died, 96 of them from colon or rectal cancer during the follow-up period. Dr. Ng and her team found that the patients with highest vitamin D levels were 39 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer, compared to the patients who had the lowest levels.

What Can You Do to Prevent Colon Cancer?
Dr. Ng does not yet advocate vitamin D supplements as a prevention or treatment for cancer, however she says "Definitive evidence that our results are due to vitamin D would require a randomized clinical trial". Clinical trials are planned to determine if adding vitamin D to chemotherapy after surgery improves colon cancer survival, a researcher told the Washington Post.

Dr. Michael F. Holick, a professor in the Department of Medicine`s Endocrine Laboratory at Boston University, is convinced that high doses of vitamin D can reduce the risk of malignancy and aid in colon cancer treatment. "This finding is outstanding," Holick told the Washington Post. "It is consistent with dozens and dozens of observations that have been made in the past decade," he said. Holick thinks that most men and women do not get enough vitamin D in their life and says that vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition worldwide. He recommends that everyone, including children should supplement with at least 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D a day.

The recommended daily dosage of vitamin D is currently around 200-600 IU per day depending on your age. Holick says that this is way too low and that most experts agree that these recommendations need to be markedly increased. Holick also said that many people today are avoiding sunlight because they are afraid of skin cancer. This puts people at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.

Short Summary
What we can all be certain about is that sunlight is good for us. If you want to lower your chances of skin cancer you can avoid being in the sun when the sun is the strongest, usually around noon, and eating a healthy natural diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables will decrease not just your risk of colon cancer but also other cancers and diseases.

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