Bowel cancer patients who have high levels of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, in their blood are far more likely to survive the disease.
Those with the highest levels have half the risk of dying from the cancer compared to those with the lowest levels of the vitamin, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh tested blood samples of nearly 1,600 bowel cancer patients after surgery.
The greatest benefit was seen in those with stage 2 cancer, where the tumour was growing but hadn’t spread.
Three-quarters of the patients with the highest levels of the vitamin were still alive five years later, compared with just two-thirds of those with the lowest levels.
Now the researchers want to give cancer patients vitamin D supplements to see if it will help keep them alive.
(Source: University of Edinburgh)