Life Extension Update
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Calcium from supplements offers best protection against colorectal tumors
Researchers from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute compared the participants’ supplemental and dietary calcium intake as reported via food frequency questionnaires. Sigmoidoscopic examination detected adenomas of the descending colon, sigmoid colon or rectum in 3,696 participants. The control group consisted of 34,817 subjects in whom no suspicious lesions were found.
The research team found that participants whose calcium intake was in the top fifth (greater than 1,767 milligrams calcium per day) had a 12 percent lower incidence of colorectal tumors than those whose calcium intake was the lowest, at less than 731 milligrams per day. Individuals who took more than 1200 milligrams calcium per day in supplement form for up to two years prior to enrollment in the study experienced a 27 percent lower risk than subjects who did not use calcium supplements. Calcium supplement use five years before enrollment also lowered adenoma risk. Among food sources, nondairy intake of calcium offered greater protection than dairy sources of the mineral. Calcium offered more protection from tumors of the colon than those located in the rectum.
This large study confirms of the findings of other studies that have found a protective benefit for calcium against the risk of developing colorectal adenomas, and ultimately, colorectal cancer.
Increased vitamin D intake has been associated with reduced risk for colon carcinoma (Garland et al. 1999). Vitamin D3 causes differentiation of colon cancer cells. Cancer cells that are well differentiated are close to the original normal healthy colon cells in nature and are usually less aggressive cancer cells. Poorly differentiated cells have changed more from the normal healthy cells and are usually more aggressive cancer cells. Total vitamin D intake was inversely related to colorectal cancer incidence (Martinez et al.1996), meaning the higher an individual’s intake of vitamin D the lower the rate of colorectal cancer.
In high-risk individuals, the use of multivitamins has been shown to reduce the risk of adenoma formation (Whelan et al.1999). A reduced risk of colon cancer is associated with the use of vitamin C (Howe et al. 1992). Vitamins C, E, and A showed protection against the risk of developing colorectal cancer (Newberne et al. 1990). Low levels of selenium correlated with the presence of adenomas (benign tumors), whereas increased levels were associated with reduced risk of adenomas (Russo et al. 1997).
Calcium is a major essential mineral that is often inadequately supplied, inefficiently absorbed, or excreted faster than it is being assimilated. The citrate salt of calcium has been documented to be well absorbed and utilized by the body. Calcium is important in maintaining bone mineral density and in blocking the absorption into the bloodstream of free radical generating iron. Vitamin D3 is included to enhance calcium absorption and utilization.
Fiber Food provides natural, bulk-producing soluble fiber. These fibers help maintain healthy bowel function and help to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. Fiber Food helps clean the walls of the intestines and enhances the elimination of fecal mutagens.
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