The People's Perspective on Medicine

Vitamin D Deficiency Increases the Risk of Cancer in People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

People with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are often deficient in vitamin D. Researchers in Boston wondered whether a lack of vitamin D would make them even more vulnerable to developing cancer. Such patients are already at higher risk of gastrointestinal malignancy than healthy people.

The health care records from 2800 patients with inflammatory bowel diseases showed that during 11 years of follow-up, about 7 percent developed cancer. The patients were included in the study because each had a circulating vitamin D measurement (25-hydroxyvitamin D) before the study began. Nearly one-third of them were deficient, as determined by a level below 20 ng/ml.

Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of a subsequent cancer by about 80 percent, while higher levels of vitamin D were associated with a reduced risk of both colorectal and lung cancer.

[Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatalogy, May, 2014]

You can learn more about vitamin D and its benefits as well as how to get enough from our 8 page Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Vitamin D Deficiency
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Download 8 pages on symptoms of low vitamin D and ways to overcome deficiency, for children and adults. Information on avoiding vitamin D overdose and which supplements are best, all in 8 pages.

Vitamin D Deficiency
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Hi Terry, thanks for the info. Vitamin D levels are also important for so many other health aspects yet most people are deficient.

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