Purpose: To conduct a systematic review of prospective studies assessing the association of vitamin D intake or blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] with the risk of colorectal cancer using meta-analysis.
Methods: Relevant studies were identified by a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases before October 2010 with no restrictions. We included prospective studies that reported relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% CIs for the association between vitamin D intake or blood 25(OH)D levels and the risk of colorectal, colon, or rectal cancer. Approximately 1,000,000 participants from several countries were included in this analysis.
Results: Nine studies on vitamin D intake and nine studies on blood 25(OH)D levels were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled RRs of colorectal cancer for the highest versus lowest categories of vitamin D intake and blood 25(OH)D levels were 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.96) and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.80), respectively. There was no heterogeneity among studies of vitamin D intake (P = .19) or among studies of blood 25(OH)D levels (P = .96). A 10 ng/mL increment in blood 25(OH)D level conferred an RR of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.63 to 0.89).
Conclusion: Vitamin D intake and blood 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in this meta-analysis.