Calcium Supplements for Colorectal Cancer Hastings NE

People taking even less than the daily recommended amount of calcium lowered their risk of colorectal cancer—and those who got more calcium from supplements than from dairy products received the strongest protection.

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Calcium: Got Supplements?

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Another reason not to let yourself off the hook when it comes to popping calcium pills: In a new study from the American Cancer Society (ACS), people taking even less than the daily recommended amount of calcium lowered their risk of colorectal cancer—and those who got more calcium from supplements than from dairy products received the strongest protection.

The study was huge; the researchers followed more than 120,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 for five years. Subjects taking at least 500 milligrams of calcium a day tended to be healthier, leaner people with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer. For those who got most of their calcium from a supplement, the reduced rate was as much as 31 percent. Why didn’t dairy products deliver as effectively? Some contain substances that have actually been linked to cancer, including hormones (natural and not), growth factors, and saturated fat, according to lead researcher Marjorie McCullough, a nutritional epidemiologist at the ACS. Eliminating those elements is most likely what allowed the calcium to do its work, she says. “Dairy products are a mix of things, but calcium in supplements is just calcium.” More is not necessarily better, though. Calcium’s protective effects leveled off once overall intake got above 1,000 mg, which is the RDA for men and women ages 31 to 50 (after 51, the RDA goes up to 1,200 mg).

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