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Saint Peters, MO 63376-6414

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Nutrition Stop

Calcium Lowers Risk of Colon Cancer

A new study by the American Cancer Society (ACS) shows that calcium supplements may lower the risk of colon cancer slightly for both men and women, while vitamin D may also reduce the risk in men.  While the effect seemed to be strongest in people who took supplements, rather than getting these nutrients from food, the researchers said it is still too early to change the recommended levels of calcium or vitamin D to take in order to reduce the risk.  The research could be helpful in the battle against colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.  The ACS estimates that nearly 150,000 Americans will get colorectal cancer this year, and more than 57,000 will die from it.  Research has found that people who got calcium primarily from food did not have a lower risk of colon cancer, whereas those who obtained calcium primarily from supplements did.  People who took calcium supplements had about a 30% lower risk of developing colon cancer.  The results are consistent with previous research, which showed that taking calcium could help prevent the recurrence of colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer.  Risk began to decrease with as little as 700 mg of total daily calcium intake from food and supplements.  Taking more than 1,200 mg a day did not seem to give any greater protection.  Overall, the greatest reduction in risk was seen in people whose calcium came primarily from supplements rather than from diet.