I’ve got a little riddle for you.
- I’m vital to your good health, yet I’m not naturally available in many foods.
- You call me a “vitamin,” but I’m actually a hormone.
- I can help prevent depression, lower blood pressure and even ward off dementia.
What am I?
I’ll give you one more clue. I’m often called “the sunshine vitamin.”
I bet you got it with that last one. I’m talking, of course, about vitamin D.
D plays a role in so many processes in our bodies ranging from bone health to maintaining a healthy weight that it really shouldn’t surprise is when we discover yet another benefit to add to its resume.
Now researchers say this powerful vitamin could help protect you from colon cancer.
Colon cancer symptoms can go unnoticed for years
With nearly 135,000 men and women diagnosed with colorectal cancer in in 2012 alone, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. And this particularly nasty form of cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. Your risk of death climbs with your age.
Colon cancer tends to grow slowly over 10 or more years, and the symptoms can sometimes be very subtle and go unnoticed until the cancer has progressed significantly. So, as you can imagine, anything that can significantly lower your risk for the disease could make a huge difference.
More on that in a moment, but while we’re on the subject let’s first let’s take a quick look at the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer…
|Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer|
|Pain or discomfort in your abdomen|
|Blood in your stool|
|Weakness or fatigue|
|Unexplained weight loss|
|A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty fully|
If you’re already experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor. But don’t panic, these can be symptoms of a number of other less serious conditions as well.
And while we’re on the subject, if you have a family history or are over 50 make sure to get regular colon cancer screenings even if you’re not having symptoms.
But while colonoscopies are important, they won’t do a darn thing to prevent a colon cancer diagnosis.
Mainstream medicine is of course ready, willing and able to attack colon cancer with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery guns blazing. However, unfortunately, the mainstream has little to offer in the prevention department, except vague advice about eating a balanced diet.
But this new study, published in the journal Gut, has given us a great natural option that could slash your risk of ever having a doctor hand you a colon cancer diagnosis.
Slash colorectal cancer risk up to 90%
Researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute say simple vitamin D could give you a serious edge over colon cancer.
In fact, after crunching the numbers on literally thousands of patients they revealed those folks with the highest D levels had a stunning 90 percent decreased risk for colorectal cancer!
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen that vitamin D could be a tool for fighting cancer, of course. But this time researchers were able to show that this mighty vitamin could trigger an immune reaction against tumor cells.
As I mentioned earlier, vitamin D doesn’t show up naturally in many foods. You will find D in…
- cod liver oil,
- organic wild-caught fatty fish,
- beef liver,
- shitake and button mushrooms,
- and free-range eggs
…. just not in huge quantities. (Fortified cereals have D in them too, but it’s a synthetic form and generally I’d steer clear of those.)
The best way, of course, is to spend some time outside every day… at least 10 to 15 minutes… with your head and arms exposed to the sun.
If your D levels are still running low (your doctor can run a simple test to check your levels) talk with your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement to restore your levels and begin protecting yourself against colon cancer.
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