It remains unknown whether increased risk with low levels of vitamin D is present for colon and/or rectal cancer. To investigate the association between circulating vitamin D levels and colon and rectal cancer, we examined the associations between plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] and colon and rectal cancer in the Physicians' Health Study and then conducted a meta-analysis of eight prospective studies of circulating levels of 25(OH)D and colon and rectal cancers, including the Physicians' Health Study. Study-specific ORs and 95% CIs were pooled by using a random-effects model. A total of 1,822 colon and 868 rectal cancers were included in the meta-analysis. We observed a significant inverse association for colorectal cancer (OR = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.54-0.81), comparing top versus bottom quantiles of circulating 25(OH)D levels. The inverse association was stronger for rectal cancer (OR = 0.50 for top versus bottom quantiles; 95% CI, 0.28-0.88) than colon cancer (OR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.56-1.07; P value for difference between colon and rectal cancer = 0.20). These data suggest an inverse association between circulating 25(OH)D levels and colorectal cancer, with a stronger association for rectal cancer.