Vitamin D and prevention of colorectal adenoma: a meta-analysis

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Nov;17(11):2958-69. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0402.


Background: Vitamin D status is associated inversely with risk of colorectal cancer, but the association with adenoma risk is less clear. This meta-analysis examined the overall relationship between circulating (plasma or serum) 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], vitamin D intake (dietary, supplemental, or total), and colorectal adenoma incidence in published studies.

Methods: A meta-analysis composed of 17 epidemiologic studies [1 cross-sectional, 9 case-control, and 7 cohort or nested case-control studies; 7 on 25(OH)D and 12 on vitamin D intake] published before December 2007 was done to examine the association between circulating 25(OH)D, vitamin D intake, and colorectal adenomas. Summary Peto odds ratios (OR) were computed for overall and stratified analyses.

Results: Circulating 25(OH)D was inversely associated with risk of colorectal adenomas: the OR was 0.70 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.56-0.87] for high versus low circulating 25(OH)D. The highest quintile of vitamin D intake was associated with an 11% marginally decreased risk of colorectal adenomas compared with low vitamin D intake (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.78-1.02). For recurrent adenomas, there was a decreased risk of 12% (95% CI, 0.72-1.07) among individuals with high versus low vitamin D intake. The inverse associations appeared stronger for advanced adenoma [OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.45-0.90 for serum 25(OH)D and OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.63-0.95 for vitamin D intake], but the number of studies was small.

Conclusions: Both circulating 25(OH)D and vitamin D intake were inversely associated with colorectal adenoma incidence and recurrent adenomas. These results further support a role of vitamin D in prevention of colorectal adenoma incidence and recurrence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / epidemiology
  • Adenoma / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Risk
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D