No one wants to talk about cancer. Understandably, it’s a tough subject for most people.
But if talking about cancer makes folks uncomfortable, talking about colon cancer takes that discomfort to a completely new level. And that’s a real problem. Because 140,000 people are diagnosed with it every year. And another 50,000 people will die from it.
And that trend will continue unless we finally start talking. So let’s get started now.
Link between D and colon cancer risk revealed
The truth is, when colorectal or colon cancer is found early enough, in many cases, it can be cured. And just as important, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of ever having to face this devastating disease in the first place.
Things you should already be doing anyway, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, are a great start. But they’re not the only way you can fight back. In fact, there’s another unexpected step you can take which could send your colon cancer risk plummeting up 22 percent.
A large international study published in the Journal of the National Institute of Cancer uncovered an unexpected game changer. They found a connection between low levels of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, and higher rates of colon cancer.
Keep colon cancer in check with vitamin D
When researchers took a deeper dive into the data from 17 different studies, which tracked over 17,000 people living on three different continents, the vitamin D connection emerged. They found that the folks who had higher vitamin D levels also had a significantly lower risk of developing the disease.
In fact, people who standardly took in more than the recommended 600 IU per day of vitamin D had a 22 percent lower risk of a colon cancer diagnosis.
Of course, we already knew vitamin D is critical for good health. And that there are connections between vitamin D and a number of conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar, arthritis, dementia and breast and prostate cancers.
Yet as important as it is some experts say up to three-quarters of young folks and adults in the United States aren’t getting enough vitamin D. And we now know that can put you at a significantly higher risk for colon cancer.
Raise your D level & lower your colon cancer risk
Your doctor can test your D level for you. Or you can find a self-testing kit online. And the good news is if your level is running low, it’s easy to raise it.
Following are three ways you can bump up your vitamin D level and reduce your colon cancer risk at the same time.
1. Get enough sunshine:
Naturally, the easiest way to raise your sunshine vitamin level is to spend more time outdoors. Your goal is to spend 15 to 20 minutes in full sunshine every day.
Your shadow should be shorter than you are tall. You should have as much as your skin exposed as possible. And skip the sunblock until after your sun session.
But getting too much sun is bad also, of course. So be sure to watch the clock and move to the shade or apply sunblock when your time is up.
2. Eat vitamin D-rich foods:
You can also raise your vitamin D levels by eating more D-rich foods. Vitamin D-3, the kind formed naturally by your body, is raised by eating wild-caught fatty-fish such tuna, egg yolks and certain fortified dairy products such as milk and yogurt.
Your body processes D-3 more quickly than plant-based D-2. An enzyme in your liver turns it into the active form of D. While D-2 takes longer to process, and as a result has a tougher time raising your vitamin D blood levels.
You’ll find vitamin D-2 in foods such as shitake mushrooms, fortified oatmeal and fortified plant milks such as almond milk.
3. Consider supplements:
Many folks find they need some extra help getting their D level up to where they want it to be. And if your goal is to take in a bit more D than the minimum recommended amount, a supplement might be the answer, especially in the cooler months.
Look for a high-quality supplement made with vitamin D-3, for the best results.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control of your vitamin D level starting today, and reduce your colon cancer risk.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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