(HealthDay News) — Higher vitamin D intake is associated with reduced risk of early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) and precursors among young women, according to a study recently published in Gastroenterology.

Hanseul Kim, from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between total vitamin D intake and risks of early-onset CRC and precursors diagnosed before age 50 among women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II.

During 1,250,560 person-years of follow-up from 1991 to 2015, the researchers documented 111 incident cases of early-onset CRC. There was a significant association seen for higher total vitamin D intake with reduced risk of early-onset CRC (hazard ratio for ≥450 versus <300 IU/day, 0.49). Per 400 IU/day increase, the hazard ratio was 0.46. The inverse association was significant and was stronger for dietary sources of vitamin D than supplemental vitamin D. Per 400 IU/day increase, the odds ratios for CRC precursors were 0.76 and 0.85 for conventional adenoma and serrated polyp, respectively.


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“Our results further support that avoiding low vitamin D status is important in younger adults for health and possibly CRC prevention,” the authors write. “If confirmed, our findings could potentially lead to recommendations for higher vitamin D intake as an inexpensive, low-risk complement to CRC screening as CRC prevention strategies for adults younger than age 50.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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