No Association Between Vitamin D Supplementation and Risk of Colorectal Adenomas or Serrated Polyps in a Randomized Trial

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Jan;19(1):128-135.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2020.02.013. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Abstract

Background & aims: The effects of vitamin D on risk of colorectal cancer precursors are not clear. We examined the influence of vitamin D supplementation on risk of colorectal adenomas and serrated polyps in a prespecified ancillary study of a large-scale prevention trial (the vitamin D and omegA-3 trial, VITAL) of individuals who were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease at enrollment.

Methods: In VITAL trial, 25,871 adults with no history of cancer or cardiovascular disease (12,786 men 50 years or older and 13,085 women 55 years or older) were randomly assigned to groups given daily dietary supplements (2000 IU vitamin D3 and 1 g marine n-3 fatty acid) or placebo. Patients were assigned to groups from November 2011 through March 2014 and the study ended on December 31, 2017. We confirmed conventional adenomas and serrated polyps by reviewing histopathology reports from participants who had reported a diagnosis of polyps and were asked by their doctors to return for a repeat colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in 5 years or less. We calculated the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs by logistic regression, after adjusting for age, sex, n-3 treatment assignment, and history of endoscopy at time of randomization.

Results: During a median follow-up of 5.3 years, we documented 308 cases of conventional adenomas in 12,927 participants in the vitamin D group and 287 cases in 12,944 participants in the placebo group (OR for the association of vitamin D supplementation with adenoma, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.92-1.27). There were 172 cases of serrated polyps in the vitamin D group and 169 cases in the placebo group (OR for the association of vitamin D supplementation with serrated polyp, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.82-1.26). Supplementation was not associated with polyp size, location, multiplicity, or histologic features. We found evidence for an interaction between vitamin D supplementation and serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, measured in 15,787 participants at randomization. Among individuals with serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D below 30 ng/mL, the OR associated with supplementation for conventional adenoma was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.60-1.13), whereas among individuals with serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D above 30 ng/mL, the OR for conventional adenoma was 1.20 (95% CI, 0.92-1.55) (P for interaction = .07). There was a significant interaction between vitamin D supplementation and serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their association with advanced adenoma (P for interaction = .04).

Conclusions: Based on an ancillary study of data from the VITAL trial, daily vitamin D supplementation (2000 IU) was not associated with risk of colorectal cancer precursors in average-risk adults not selected for vitamin D insufficiency. A potential benefit for individuals with low baseline level of vitamin D requires further investigation. ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT01169259.

Keywords: Chemoprevention; Colon Cancer; Nutrition; Primary Prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01169259