A wealth of scientific evidence supports a role for vitamin D in decreasing colorectal cancer incidence, and possibly mortality. This reduction in risk is related to inhibition of cellular proliferation and stimulation of differentiation. The minimal amount and duration needed to bring about these effects necessitate additional studies. Furthermore, a critical evaluation of physiologically relevant biomarkers of vitamin D status, including 25-hydroxyvitamin D, is needed. Several dietary components and the balance between energy intake and expenditure influence vitamin D metabolism. Scientists need to identify confounders and modifiers of the biological response to vitamin D, including dietary factors, lifestyle factors such as exercise, race or ethnicity, and genetic background.