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Colorectal cancer and vitamin D

The connection between the sunshine vitamin and colorectal cancer prevention is getting stronger with this study.

Calcium and Vitamin D and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: Results From a Large Population-based Case-control Study in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario
Previous epidemiological studies have been suggestive but inconclusive in demonstrating inverse associations of calcium, vitamin D, dairy product intakes with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). We conducted a large population-based comparison of such associations in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and Ontario (ON).
A case control study design was used. Colorectal cancer cases were new CRC patients aged 20-74 years. Controls were a sex and age-group matched random sample of the population in each province. 1760 cases and 2481 controls from NL and ON were analyzed. Information on dietary intake and lifestyle was collected using self-administered food frequency and personal history questionnaires.
Controls reported higher mean daily intakes of total calcium and total vitamin D than cases in both provinces. In ON, significant reduced CRC risk was associated with intakes of total calcium (OR of highest vs. lowest quintiles was 0.57, 95% CI 0.42-0.77, ptrend=0.03), total vitamin D (OR=0.73, 95% CI 0.54-1.00), dietary calcium (OR=0.76, 95% CI 0.60-0.97), dietary vitamin D (OR=0.77, 95% CI 0.61-0.99), total dairy products and milk (OR=0.78, 95% CI 0.60-1.00), calcium-containing supplements use (OR=0.76). In NL, the inverse associations of calcium, vitamin D with CRC risk were most pronounced among calcium- or vitamin D-containing supplement users (OR=0.67, 0.68, respectively).
Results of this study add to the evidence that total calcium, dietary calcium, total vitamin D, dietary vitamin D, calcium- or vitamin D containing supplement use may reduce the risk of CRC. 
The inverse associations of CRC risk with intakes of total dairy products and milk may be largely due to calcium and vitamin D.
Can J Public Health 2011;102(5):382-89.