Vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin D receptor polymorphism in colorectal adenomas

Ulrike Peters, Katherine A. McGlynn, Nilanjan Chatterjee, Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Nathaniel Rothman, Rashmi Sinha, Elaine Gunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Experimental studies suggest that vitamin D and calcium protect against cancer by reducing proliferation and inducing differentiation. The effects of vitamin D and calcium may be mediated by the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is encoded by the VDR gene. The present study investigated whether calcium intake and serum vitamin D, as an integrated measure of intake and endogenous production, were associated with risk of colorectal adenoma, known precursors of invasive colorectal cancer. In addition, the interrelation among vitamin D, calcium, and FokI polymorphism of the VDR gene was investigated. Persons (239) with histologically confirmed colorectal adenomas and 228 control individuals without colorectal adenomas confirmed by sigmoidoscopy were enrolled in this case control study conducted at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. We observed an inverse association of serum 25-OH vitamin D [25-(OH)D] with colorectal adenoma. With each 10 ng/ml increase of serum 25-(OH)D, the risk of colorectal adenoma decreased by 26% (odds ratio 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.60-0.92). The results provided limited evidence for a weak association between calcium intake and colorectal adenoma (odds ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.93-1.01 per each 100-mg calcium intake). However, the inverse association of serum 25-(OH)D with colorectal adenoma is suggested to be stronger in subjects with calcium intake above the median (P for multiplicative interaction 0.13). The VDR FokI polymorphism was not significantly associated with colorectal adenoma and did not modify the effect of vitamin D or calcium. In conclusion, the study results suggested a protective effect for vitamin D on colorectal adenoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1274
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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