Strengthen your immune defenses against colon cancer with a single vitamin

Colorectal cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart. Both my father and my uncle were victims of this disease. So anytime I come across news that might help others avoid a similar fate, I’m quick to share it with you.

And the latest research just so happens to be about a nutrient I’ve been recommending for years — vitamin D.

A recent study conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows vitamin D can lower the risk of colorectal cancer by boosting your body’s immune response against tumor cells.

The researchers looked at data from 170,000 participants in two long-term research projects: the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. They compared two groups: 318 colorectal cancer patients and 624 cancer-free controls. All had blood samples taken in the 1990s, before they developed cancer.

The investigators tested these samples for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D for short. And they found the higher the subjects’ 25(OH)D level, the lower the likelihood of developing colorectal tumors.

While vitamin D’s cancer-fighting potential has been widely accepted for awhile now, the lead author of the study noted “this is the first study to show evidence of the effect of vitamin D on anti-cancer immune function in actual patients, and vindicates basic laboratory discoveries that vitamin D can interact with the immune system to raise the body’s defenses against cancer.”

I recommend getting your 25(OH)D level tested regularly. You want yours to be between 80 and 100. And in order to get — and keep — them there, I recommend taking at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day.