Sun lovers rejoice: recent studies show that vitamin D may slow down colorectal cancer growth. A new trial called SUNSHINE, conducted at 11 United States academic and community cancer centers, showed positive results for patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
In the study, two groups of 139 participants with advanced colorectal cancer took either a high-dose or low-dose of vitamin D3in combination with their chemotherapy treatments. In the high-dose group, the disease progression stopped for 13 months on average. In the low-dose group, the disease progression stopped for 11 months on average.
Perhaps most impressively, the study showed that high-dose group participants were less likely to have disease progression or death in their almost two-year follow-up period.
Before you jump into the sun, there are a few things to understand about vitamin D. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health estimates that 1 billion humans worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency. If you live north of the line that connects Philadelphia to San Francisco, chances are you may not get enough vitamin D in through the sun. Additionally, you would need to walk outside for 15 minutes a day to get the necessary amount. The best way for most people to get an adequate dose of vitamin D is through a supplement. Talk to your health care provider if you think that you should add more vitamin D into your diet.
While a larger trial is required to confirm that vitamin D may slow colorectal cancer growth, this is exciting news for families who are impacted by this deadly cancer. As the second-deadliest cancer in the United States, the chance of vitamin D playing a role in reducing disease progression in cancer patients is optimistic.
Learn more about the facts regarding colorectal cancer and what puts you at risk.