Latest News » Study: High Vitamin D levels could improve chances for colon cancer survival

A new study finds that higher levels of vitamin D may help improve survival rates for patients with advanced colon cancer.

New research into colon cancer treatment finds that patients with higher levels of vitamin D may respond better to the effects of anti-cancer drugs and chemotherapy.

HealthDay News reports that a study conducted at Harvard Medical School in Boston determined that patients with advanced colon cancer and high levels of vitamin D lived with the disease for an average of 32.6 months, about one-third higher than the 24.5 month average survival rate of patients with lower vitamin D levels. The study also determined that cancer progression slowed down in patients with higher vitamin D levels — an average of 12.2 months, compared to 10 months for patients with a lower vitamin D intake.

"We found that patients who had vitamin D levels at the highest category had improved survival and improved progression-free survival, compared with patients in the lowest category," Dr. Kimmie Ng, the study's lead author, wrote in the official report. "We had a lot of information on their tumor, their treatment and their survival times, and their diet and lifestyle. That really allowed us to adjust for other potential factors that could influence what we're seeing."

But while this news may lend further credence to the idea of vitamin D as a "valuable cancer-fighting supplement," others caution that these findings are still preliminary and merit further testing before confirming whether or not there is a definitive cause-and-effect relationship between vitamin D and colon cancer survival rates. Additionally, one expert notes that this doesn't mean patients should attempt to boost to their vitamin D intake to higher-than-normal levels.

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