Calcium supplements to reduce colorectal cancer risk

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cancer, Nutrition, Colorectal cancer

Calcium supplements when part of a healthy diet may help to reduce
the spread of growths that could evolve into colorectal cancer, a
new study suggests.

Israeli...

Calcium supplements when part of a healthy diet may help to reduce the spread of growths that could evolve into colorectal cancer, a new study suggests. Israeli researchers led by Paul Rozen at Tel Aviv University​ and Hebrew University​ in Jerusalem reported that calcium supplements appear to suppress the localised growth of rectal adenomas, or polyps. Experts believe that most colorectal cancers arise from these nonmalignant growths. The researchers gave an over-the-counter calcium supplement to 33 patients with rectal adenomas and followed them for one year, along with 19 additional adenoma patients who did not take extra calcium. All the participants were questioned extensively about their dietary habits and lifestyle and were examined for signs of adenomas in the rectum both at the beginning and end of the study. The authors found that among patients who took calcium, the size and growth of the benign tumors -- as measured by pathologists who looked at tissue biopsies -- was reduced by 58%. In contrast, only a 26% reduction was seen in patients who did not take calcium. The protective effect of calcium was most pronounced among the patients on a low-fat diet and taking calcium: 73% of those patients had noticeable reductions in adenomas. In contrast, there were no differences in adenoma reductions between high-fat eaters in the calcium and no-calcium groups. The beneficial effects of calcium supplementation were also seen among study subjects with diets that were high in carbohydrates. High-fibre diets, however, did not appear to reduce the risk for developing cancer. Full findings are published in a recent issue of the journal Cancer.

Related topics: Science

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