High level of Vitamin D improves survival rate in metastatic Colorectal Cancer

It’s probably better an idea to have a regular intake of vitamin D. It may come to your rescue in the long run.

A new study by the researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute suggests that colorectal cancer patients with metastasis; who reportedly had increased levels of vitamin D in blood, before chemotherapy, tend to survive longer than people suffering from the same disease with low vitamin content.

The study that included data from 1,000 patients suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer who were in phase 3 clinical trial of chemotherapy with added biological therapies; confirmed the potential of vitamin D as an impressive cancer-inhibiting agent. Researchers found that patients with the greatest amount of vitamin D in their blood survived for a median period of 32.6 months whereas patients with the least amount of vitamin D in the blood, lived for 24.5 months.


“This is the largest study that has been undertaken of metastatic colorectal cancer patients and vitamin D,” said the study’s lead author, Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber. “It’s further supportive of the potential benefits of maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D in improving patient survival times.”

It is still unclear whether there remains any direct link between higher vitamin D levels and prolonged survival.

The scientists said that it’s too early to recommend vitamin D for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Further clinical trials are being conducted by the team to investigate if vitamin D supplementation proves to be useful in colorectal cancer treatment.


In this work, blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured in 1,043 patients by the researchers. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is synthesized in the liver from vitamin D. All these patients were in the phase 3 trial of three different drug combinations used for recently diagnosed, advanced colorectal cancer.

The finding shows that vitamin D levels in these patients’ blood ranged from an average of 8 nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL) to an average of 27.5 ng/mL. The average level in all the patients was found to be 17.2 ng/mL.
Based on the Current practice guidelines from the Endocrine Society vitamin D deficiency is defined as having less than 20 ng/mL in blood. According to their vitamin D levels, the patients were separated into five groups. On average patients with highest vitamin D level survived 33 percent longer than those with the lowest level.

This higher level of vitamin D was also found to be associated with increased time to disease progression (12.2 months vs. 10.1 months). A diet rich with vitamin D can benefit in many ways as it helps improving general health conditions.

About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.