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Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the US with roughly 150,000 people diagnosed with the condition annually. However, researchers have found that colorectal cancer risk in women can be reduced by having a diet rich in calcium. The protective effect is even greater if calcium supplements are taken as well. The protective effect probably occurs in men as well but other studies have shown that a high calcium diet in men can increase the risk of prostate cancer. In the study, subjects consuming 412 milligrams of dietary calcium and 800 milligrams of supplemental calcium reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by 46% (1,200 milligrams is the US government's recommended daily calcium allowance). The protective effect is believed to occur either because calcium neutralizes the bile acids produced by fat digestion which can irritate the colon lining, or because calcium can regulate cell growth and hence determine whether they become cancerous or not.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Reuters
About: Colorectal cancer risk reduced in women through calcium consumption
Date: 27 January 2005
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