Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancer types. Although the diet is of huge importance, the understanding of minerals and their interactions and preventative effect is limited. Earlier studies have shown that calcium and selenium have protective roles. It also looks as if having more selenium in the blood can improve the effect of calcium. This was demonstrated in a new Polish study that is published in BMC Nutrition. The scientists point out that there is widespread selenium deficiency in Europe and that supplementation may be needed.
A new scientific study confirms previous research that has shown that a population with low selenium levels have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This inverse relationship between selenium and colorectal cancer is most evident in women.
– and why it is vital to get the exact right amount!
All our cells contain different selenium compounds that support a number of vital functions, and which have several cancer-fighting mechanisms. As an antioxidant, selenium prevents iron from developing some of the most harmful free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and lead to uncontrolled cell division. This is why a selenium deficiency combined with excess iron is a lethal cocktail. Although iron is essential, it is vital that we do not get too much. It is also important to get plenty of selenium from food and/or supplements and in a form that the body can absorb and utilize in each and every cell in order to be properly protected against cancerous substances.
There are several kinds of vitamin D with the two most important being:
- D2, erVitamingocalciferol, that is found naturally in the plant kingdom.
- Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, that is found naturally in the animal kingdom.
Humans synthesise vitamin D (cholecalciferol) from sunlight (UV-B rays) and a cholesterol compound in the skin, which is converted to active vitamins by means of processes in the liver and kidneys. We humans are only able to synthesise vitamin D during the summer season when the sun is high in the sky. Excess amounts of the nutrient are stored in the liver for future use. Light skin produces substantially larger amounts of vitamin D than dark skin. In contrast, dark skin protects against vitamin D overproduction. As we grow older, our vitamin D production decreases. Vitamin D is also called a provitamin or hormone, simply because we are easily able to make it ourselves, and all cells in the body have vitamin D receptors.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble and is stored in the body's fat tissue when ingested in large amounts. Vitamin D is destroyed by light and heat from cooking.
Patients with breast and colorectal cancer who have higher levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis may have a better chance of surviving their disease, say researchers.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancer forms in Denmark, which is why prevention is so important. According to a new American study that is published in Gastroenterology, increased intake of vitamin Dappears to protect against bowel cancer, especially in people younger than 50 years. It even looks as if vitamin D may prevent intestinal polyps that can turn into cancer in some cases. The scientists say that higher intake of vitamin D may be relevant for prevention and may also serve as an inexpensive supplement to screening tests that are merely used for early diagnosis.
- are you getting enough, though?
Studies that have been published over the past decades reveal how vitamin D plays an important role in cancer prevention. Studies also show that most of us lack vitamin D. Nonetheless, vitamin D supplements can make a difference, and research suggests that we need more than the official recommendations.