Colorectal cancerHow does vitamin D work?

A number of mechanisms have been identified by which vitamin D reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. These include effects such as regulation of cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis (programmed death) and a wide range of cellular mechanisms central to the development of cancer12, regulation of calcium absorption and metabolism345, and prevention of epithelial cell disjunction6.

Details of how colon cancer cells convert circulating 25(OH)D to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D] including the effects of (phyto)estrogens is discussed in a recent paper7.

Page last edited: 23 August 2011


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  2. Rheem, D. S. Baylink, D. J. Olafsson, S. Jackson, C. S. Walter, M. H. Prevention of colorectal cancer with vitamin D. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug; 45 (7-8): 775-84.
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