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A comprehensive new study has found that high blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. Previous studies have already identified a link between vitamin D and both colon and rectal cancer, but the evidence has been limited and inconclusive.
Researchers from across Western Europe studied over 520,000 subjects in 10 countries, obtaining blood samples, lifestyle assessments and dietary questionnaires. Following several years of tracking the participants, more than 1,200 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed.
The authors of the study found that subjects with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had a nearly 40 percent decreased risk of developing colon cancer compared to those with the lowest levels.
However, the researchers note that very little is known about the long-term health effects of elevated vitamin D concentration. The team recommends that new trials be conducted to evaluate whether increases in nutrient concentration can reduce cancer risk without any side-effects.
Separate studies have also indicated that vitamin D may help regulate blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
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