Calcium and decreased digestive cancer risks


Women who have a higher calcium intake than the average may be reducing their risk of colorectal and other digestive cancers. A seven year review of a large clinical database in the US by the National Cancer Institute has made this link and its findings also apply to men, but not in such a significant way as for women.

The total cancer risk decreased in women as their calcium intake increased, but that was not the case in men who got no overall benefit. For digestive cancers – particularly colon cancer – the increased calcium seemed to protect both men and women equally.

The recommended daily amount of calcium for adults over the age of 50 is 1,200 mg in order to protect bone health and a recent addition in the USA has been a guideline to add three cups of fat-free or low-fat dairy products to the daily diet. The benefit appears to be the same whether the calcium is from food or from supplements.