Vitamin D protects some against colorectal cancer | Harvard - TopicsExpress


Vitamin D protects some against colorectal cancer | Harvard Gazette A new study by investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard affiliate, demonstrates that vitamin D can protect some people with colorectal cancer by perking up the immune system’s vigilance against tumor cells. The research, published today by the journal Gut, represents the first time that a link between vitamin D and the immune response to cancer has been shown in a large human population. The finding adds to a growing body of research showing that vitamin D — known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure — plays a key role in cancer prevention. “People with high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream have a lower overall risk of developing colorectal cancer,” said the study’s senior author, Shuji Ogino of Dana-Farber, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Laboratory research suggests that vitamin D boosts immune system function by activating T cells that recognize and attack cancer cells. In this study, we wanted to determine if these two phenomena are related: Does vitamin D’s role in the immune system account for the lower rates of colorectal cancer in people with high circulating levels of the vitamin?”
Posted on: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 02:17:46 +0000

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