Health Watch -- Calcium and Colon Cancer
Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer among American men and women.
Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say a number of recent research studies have shown that calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements may help prevent the formation of colon polyps. Polyps are a risk factor for colon cancer. Calcium may also help prevent the advanced polyps that are associated with the most invasive form of colon cancer.
UT Southwestern doctors say researchers haven't yet determined the best amount of calcium for cancer prevention. For now, it's best to go by the current recommended calcium intake, at least 1,000 milligrams a day for adults under 50 and 1,200 milligrams a day for those over 50. That's three to four glasses of skim milk a day.
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