Colorectal cancerReferences


This evidence summary was written by:

William B. Grant, Ph.D.
Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC)
P.O. Box 641603
San Francisco, CA 94164-1603, USA 

Last updated

July 2011

Complete bibliography of research used in this summary

We found a significant body of evidence when researching the role of vitamin D in colorectal cancer.  The research we have cited in our summary is listed below, with links to PubMed abstracts and full-text for those who wish to explore further.


Page last edited: 22 August 2011


  1. Armstrong, B. Doll, R. Environmental factors and cancer incidence and mortality in different countries, with special reference to dietary practices. Int J Cancer. 1975 Apr 15; 15 (4): 617-31.
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  4. Cross, H. S. Kallay, E. Regulation of the colonic vitamin D system for prevention of tumor progression: an update. Future Oncol. 2009 May; 5 (4): 493-507.
  5. Cross, H. S. Nittke, T. Peterlik, M. Modulation of vitamin D synthesis and catabolism in colorectal mucosa: a new target for cancer prevention. Anticancer Res. 2009 Sep; 29 (9): 3705-12.
  6. Devesa, S. S. Grauman, D. J. Blot, W. J. Pennello, G. A. Hoover, R. N. Fraumeni, J. F. Jr. Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1950-1994. NIH Publication No. 99-4564. 1999 November 8, 2008;
  7. Fedirko, V. Bostick, R. M. Goodman, M. Flanders, W. D. Gross, M. D. Blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations and incident sporadic colorectal adenoma risk: a pooled case-control study. Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Sep 1; 172 (5): 489-500.
  8. Feskanich, D. Ma, J. Fuchs, C. S. Kirkner, G. J. Hankinson, S. E. Hollis, B. W. Giovannucci, E. L. Plasma vitamin D metabolites and risk of colorectal cancer in women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Sep; 13 (9): 1502-8.
  9. Fiscella, K. Winters, P. Tancredi, D. Franks, P. Racial Disparity in Blood Pressure: is Vitamin D a Factor?. Journal of general internal medicine. 2011 Apr 21;
  10. Freedman, D. M. Dosemeci, M. McGlynn, K. Sunlight and mortality from breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancer: a composite death certificate based case-control study. Occup Environ Med. 2002 Apr; 59 (4): 257-62.
  11. Freedman, D. M. Looker, A. C. Chang, S. C. Graubard, B. I. Prospective study of serum vitamin D and cancer mortality in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Nov 7; 99 (21): 1594-602.
  12. Gandini, S. Boniol, M. Haukka, J. Byrnes, G. Cox, B. Sneyd, M. J. Mullie, P. Autier, P. Meta-analysis of observational studies of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and colorectal adenoma. Int J Cancer. 2010 May 6;
  13. Garland, C. Shekelle, R. B. Barrett-Connor, E. Criqui, M. H. Rossof, A. H. Paul, O. Dietary vitamin D and calcium and risk of colorectal cancer: a 19-year prospective study in men. Lancet. 1985 Feb 9; 1 (8424): 307-9.
  14. Garland, C. F. Comstock, G. W. Garland, F. C. Helsing, K. J. Shaw, E. K. Gorham, E. D. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and colon cancer: eight-year prospective study. Lancet. 1989 Nov 18; 2 (8673): 1176-8.
  15. Garland, C. F. Garland, F. C. Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer?. Int J Epidemiol. 1980 Sep; 9 (3): 227-31.
  16. Garland, C. F. Gorham, E. D. Mohr, S. B. Garland, F. C. Vitamin D for cancer prevention: global perspective. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Jul; 19 (7): 468-83.
  17. Ginde, A. A. Liu, M. C. Camargo, C. A., Jr. Demographic differences and trends of vitamin D insufficiency in the US population, 1988-2004. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Mar 23; 169 (6): 626-32.
  18. Giovannucci, E. Epidemiology of vitamin D and colorectal cancer: casual or causal link?. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Jul; 121 (1-2): 349-54.
  19. Giovannucci, E. Liu, Y. Rimm, E. B. Hollis, B. W. Fuchs, C. S. Stampfer, M. J. Willett, W. C. Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and mortality in men. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Apr 5; 98 (7): 451-9.
  20. Grant, W. B. An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation. Cancer. 2002 Mar 15; 94 (6): 1867-75.
  21. Grant, W. B. Lower vitamin-D production from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance may explain some differences in cancer survival rates. J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Mar; 98 (3): 357-64.
  22. Grant, W. B. An ecologic study of cancer mortality rates in Spain with respect to indices of solar UVB irradiance and smoking. Int J Cancer. 2007 Mar 1; 120 (5): 1123-8.
  23. Grant, W. B. How strong is the evidence that solar ultraviolet B and vitamin D reduce the risk of cancer? An examination using Hill’s criteria for causality. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2009; 1 (1): 14-21.
  24. Grant, W. B. Relation between prediagnostic serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and incidence of breast, colorectal, and other cancers. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 May 12;
  25. Grant, W. B. Garland, C. F. A critical review of studies on vitamin D in relation to colorectal cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2004; 48 (2): 115-23.
  26. Grant, W. B. Garland, C. F. The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates. Anticancer Res. 2006 Jul-Aug; 26 (4A): 2687-99.
  27. IARC Vitamin D and Cancer. IARC Working Group Reports. 2008; 5465 pp.
  28. Jenab, M. et al Association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in European populations: a nested case-control study. BMJ. 2010; 340b5500.
  29. Ingraham, B. A. Bragdon, B. Nohe, A. Molecular basis of the potential of vitamin D to prevent cancer. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jan; 24 (1): 139-49.
  30. Kuriki, K. Tajima, K. The increasing incidence of colorectal cancer and the preventive strategy in Japan. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2006 Jul-Sep; 7 (3): 495-501.
  31. Kesse, E. Boutron-Ruault, M. C. Norat, T. Riboli, E. Clavel-Chapelon, F. Dietary calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, dairy products and the risk of colorectal adenoma and cancer among French women of the E3N-EPIC prospective study. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 2005 Oct 20; 117 (1): 137-44.
  32. La Vecchia, C. Braga, C. Negri, E. Franceschi, S. Russo, A. Conti, E. Falcini, F. Giacosa, A. Montella, M. Decarli, A. Intake of selected micronutrients and risk of colorectal cancer. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 1997 Nov 14; 73 (4): 525-30.
  33. Lamprecht, S. A. Lipkin, M. Chemoprevention of colon cancer by calcium, vitamin D and folate: molecular mechanisms. Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Aug; 3 (8): 601-14.
  34. Lappe, J. M. Travers-Gustafson, D. Davies, K. M. Recker, R. R. Heaney, R. P. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun; 85 (6): 1586-91.
  35. Liang, P. S. Chen, T. Y. Giovannucci, E. Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer incidence and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cancer. 2009 May 15; 124 (10): 2406-15.
  36. Ng, K. Meyerhardt, J. A. Wu, K. Feskanich, D. Hollis, B. W. Giovannucci, E. L. Fuchs, C. S. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and survival in patients with colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jun 20; 26 (18): 2984-91.
  37. Mezawa, H. Sugiura, T. Watanabe, M. Norizoe, C. Takahashi, D. Shimojima, A. Tamez, S. Tsutsumi, Y. Yanaga, K. Urashima, M. Serum vitamin D levels and survival of patients with colorectal cancer: post-hoc analysis of a prospective cohort study. BMC Cancer. 2010; 10347.
  38. Mizoue, T. Ecological study of solar radiation and cancer mortality in Japan. Health Phys. 2004 Nov; 87 (5): 532-8.
  39. Mizoue, T. Tanaka, K. Tsuji, I. Wakai, K. Nagata, C. Otani, T. Inoue, M. Tsugane, S. Alcohol drinking and colorectal cancer risk: an evaluation based on a systematic review of epidemiologic evidence among the Japanese population. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2006 Sep; 36 (9): 582-97.
  40. Ng, K. Wolpin, B. M. Meyerhardt, J. A. Wu, K. Chan, A. T. Hollis, B. W. Giovannucci, E. L. Stampfer, M. J. Willett, W. C. Fuchs, C. S. Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and survival in patients with colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer. 2009 Sep 15; 101 (6): 916-23.
  41. Otani, T. Iwasaki, M. Sasazuki, S. Inoue, M. Tsugane, S. Plasma vitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer: the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study. Br J Cancer. 2007 Aug 6; 97 (3): 446-51.
  42. Peterlik, M. Cross, H. S. Vitamin D and calcium insufficiency-related chronic diseases: molecular and cellular pathophysiology. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep 2;
  43. Peterlik, M. Grant, W. B. Cross, H. S. Calcium, vitamin D and cancer. Anticancer Res. 2009 Sep; 29 (9): 3687-98.
  44. Protiva, P. Cross, H. S. Hopkins, M. E. Kallay, E. Bises, G. Dreyhaupt, E. Augenlicht, L. Lipkin, M. Lesser, M. Livote, E. Holt, P. R. Chemoprevention of colorectal neoplasia by estrogen: potential role of vitamin D activity. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Jan; 2 (1): 43-51.
  45. 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.
  46. Takahashi, R. Mizoue, T. Otake, T. Fukumoto, J. Tajima, O. Tabata, S. Abe, H. Ohnaka, K. Kono, S. Circulating vitamin D and colorectal adenomas in Japanese men. Cancer Sci. 2010 Jul; 101 (7): 1695-700.
  47. Tangrea, J. Helzlsouer, K. Pietinen, P. Taylor, P. Hollis, B. Virtamo, J. Albanes, D. Serum levels of vitamin D metabolites and the subsequent risk of colon and rectal cancer in Finnish men. Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Jul; 8 (4): 615-25.
  48. Wactawski-Wende, J. Kotchen, J. M. Anderson, G. L. Assaf, A. R. Brunner, R. L. O’Sullivan, M. J. Margolis, K. L. Ockene, J. K. Phillips, L. Pottern, L. Prentice, R. L. Robbins, J. Rohan, T. E. Sarto, G. E. Sharma, S. Stefanick, M. L. Van Horn, L. Wallace, R. B. Whitlock, E. Bassford, T. Beresford, S. A. Black, H. R. Bonds, D. E. Brzyski, R. G. Caan, B. Chlebowski, R. T. Cochrane, B. Garland, C. Gass, M. Hays, J. Heiss, G. Hendrix, S. L. Howard, B. V. Hsia, J. Hubbell, F. A. Jackson, R. D. Johnson, K. C. Judd, H. Kooperberg, C. L. Kuller, L. H. LaCroix, A. Z. Lane, D. S. Langer, R. D. Lasser, N. L. Lewis, C. E. Limacher, M. C. Manson, J. E. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 16; 354 (7): 684-96.
  49. Wei, M. Y. Garland, C. F. Gorham, E. D. Mohr, S. B. Giovannucci, E. Vitamin D and prevention of colorectal adenoma: a meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Nov; 17 (11): 2958-69.
  50. Woolcott, C. G. Wilkens, L. R. Nomura, A. M. Horst, R. L. Goodman, M. T. Murphy, S. P. Henderson, B. E. Kolonel, L. N. Le Marchand, L. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of colorectal cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jan; 19 (1): 130-4.
  51. Wu, K. Feskanich, D. Fuchs, C. S. Willett, W. C. Hollis, B. W. Giovannucci, E. L. A nested case control study of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jul 18; 99 (14): 1120-9.
  52. Yin, L. Grandi, N. Raum, E. Haug, U. Arndt, V. Brenner, H. Meta-analysis: longitudinal studies of serum vitamin D and colorectal cancer risk. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Jul 1; 30 (2): 113-25.
  53. Lin, J. Zhang, S. M. Cook, N. R. Manson, J. E. Lee, I. M. Buring, J. E. Intakes of calcium and vitamin D and risk of colorectal cancer in women. American journal of epidemiology. 2005 Apr 15; 161 (8): 755-64.
  54. McCullough, M. L. Robertson, A. S. Rodriguez, C. Jacobs, E. J. Chao, A. Carolyn, J. Calle, E. E. Willett, W. C. Thun, M. J. Calcium, vitamin D, dairy products, and risk of colorectal cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 2003 Feb; 14 (1): 1-12.
  55. Mizoue, T. Kimura, Y. Toyomura, K. Nagano, J. Kono, S. Mibu, R. Tanaka, M. Kakeji, Y. Maehara, Y. Okamura, T. Ikejiri, K. Futami, K. Yasunami, Y. Maekawa, T. Takenaka, K. Ichimiya, H. Imaizumi, N. Calcium, dairy foods, vitamin D, and colorectal cancer risk: the Fukuoka Colorectal Cancer Study. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2008 Oct; 17 (10): 2800-7.
  56. Slattery, M. L. Neuhausen, S. L. Hoffman, M. Caan, B. Curtin, K. Ma, K. N. Samowitz, W. Dietary calcium, vitamin D, VDR genotypes and colorectal cancer. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 2004 Sep 20; 111 (5): 750-6.
  57. Ng, K. Sargent, D. J. Goldberg, R. M. Meyerhardt, J. A. Green, E. M. Pitot, H. C. Hollis, B. W. Pollak, M. N. Fuchs, C. S. Vitamin D status in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer: findings from Intergroup trial N9741. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2011 Apr 20; 29 (12): 1599-606.
  58. Yin, L. Grandi, N. Raum, E. Haug, U. Arndt, V. Brenner, H. Meta-analysis: Serum vitamin D and colorectal adenoma risk. Preventive medicine. 2011 Jun 13;