Eat Smart appleYou know that vitamin D is important to your health: it can help you build strong bones, improve your immune system, and even help you chase away depression and mood disorders.

Now there’s just another reason why you should (safely!) soak up the sunshine or drink up that glass of milk:  new studies have shown that vitamin D could help improve the odds of surviving colon cancer.

The study – presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology – showed that patients with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood lived longer and improved their odds of disease-free survival than those who did not have sufficient vitamin D levels.  The study involved 1,043 patients, and carefully tracked their dietary and lifestyle behaviors to determine who was most vulnerable in terms of lower vitamin D intake.

The study found that elderly and black patients, those who had blood draws during the spring and winter months, patients with low physical activity, and/or higher body mass were more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D.  The study found that patients who had higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to live an average of 8 months longer, as well as increase their overall disease-free survival.

So why the connection between vitamin D and better odds of colon cancer survival?

It’s thought that since vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory agent – and it’s vital to bone health – it could help suppress tumor growth and metastasis.  The study also suggested that vitamin D could help promote diseased cell death, which could decrease the odds that you’ll get cancer.

Now that you have this vital information, it’s important to ensure that your body gets as much vitamin D as possible.  Here are a few suggestions from Dr. Nhi Le at the Fountain of Youth Medical Spa in Victoria, Texas:

  • Each as much green veggies as possible, as they’re rich in vitamin D;
  • Drink at least three glasses of milk per day – if you’re lactose-intolerant, take a vitamin D supplement; and
  • Spend at least an hour out in the sun to increase your body’s absorption of vitamin D. Be sure to wear sunscreen to keep your skin protected!

For more information on vitamin D and your healthy body, schedule a consultation with anti-aging expert Dr. Le at the Fountain of Youth Medical Spa in Victoria, Texas today.