Yesterday, we talked about the role that antibiotic overuse may play in the rocketing rates of early-onset colorectal cancer.
So, today, let’s expand on that conversation—and discuss another new study that reveals one powerful way to stem the tide.
(Hint: It’s something that I hope you already do!)
Cut cancer risk in HALF
For this new analysis, researchers looked at the total vitamin D intake of nearly 95,000 women between the ages of 25 and 42 participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which began in 1989. The goal was to see how this intake influenced risk of young-onset colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, which are often precursors to cancer.
Ultimately, they found that higher total intakes of vitamin D cut risk of early-onset colorectal cancer in half—while also significantly reducing the risk of colon polyps before the age of 50.
Researchers discovered that prevention was even stronger with vitamin D from dietary sources—mostly from milk. But they also admitted this might just be chance. (I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it definitely is. As I’ve reported here before, food is actually the least efficient way to boost your stores of this critical nutrient—and even then, you’re better off relying on sources like fatty fish versus milk.)
Another finding the researchers couldn’t quite explain?! Vitamin D intake didn’t have a significant impact on risk of colorectal cancer after the age of 50. (Though plenty of other studies have shown that higher vitamin D levels ARE protective.)
In any event, let this be a reminder: No one can afford to skimp on vitamin D… at any age.
Aim for optimal levels
These researchers cite recommendations for higher vitamin D intake as an important complement to colon cancer screening among younger adults.
And I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say that everyone should heed this recommendation—especially given the dire rates of D deficiency among the general population.
So let’s go over this one more time…
First things first, I recommend getting your 25(OH)D level tested twice each year. But keep in mind that what your doctor considers “sufficient” isn’t typically “optimal”.
You want your levels to be between 80 and 100 ng/mL, which is considerably higher than the current sufficiency threshold of 30 ng/mL. To maintain these optimal levels, I recommend supplementing with at least 125 mcg (5,000 IU) of vitamin D daily.
But if your levels are less than optimal, I recommend supplementing with 250 mcg (10,000 IU) daily. Even though that dosage may sound high, it’s perfectly safe with regular monitoring. In fact, I take this dose myself, especially in the winter when the days are shorter and darker.
Supplementing with this critical nutrient will help boost your immune system—which is important for warding off many chronic diseases (like colon cancer) and respiratory infections, too (like the coronavirus). In fact, I reveal the healing powers of vitamin D against COVID-19, specifically, in the July 2020 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“COVID-19 UPDATE: The No. 1 nutrient you need in your coronavirus arsenal this summer [and all year long]”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!
“Vitamin D may protect against young-onset colorectal cancer.” Science Daily, 08/17/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210817094147.htm)