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Calcium & D against Cancer

Betty Kamen, PhD, and Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, MD
Copyright © 2002 by Nutrition Encounter, all rights reserved

Calcium and vitamin D supplementation can achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in colon cancer deaths and osteoporosis-related fractures.

The average intakes of calcium and vitamin D in the US adult population are far below adequate values recommended. These deficiencies elevate the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer.

It is suggested that we should increase calcium intake by about 400 milligrams, and vitamin D intake by about 200 IU – daily!

After age 10, intake of calcium is below recommendations for both men and women, and after age 50, it is only slightly over half the recommended amount for most people in the US.

Older, less active people are more prone to vitamin D inadequacy. Sunlight exposure, the best source of vitamin D, is essentially lacking in the winter in northern US. Summer stores of vitamin D are often inadequate by the end of winter.

One of the major contributors to osteoporosis is low dietary calcium. Adding to the problem is the fact that bone-forming cell activity decreases after age 60 in both men and women.

Several large-scale studies indicate a role for increased calcium to reduce colon cancer risk. [These facts are explored in detail in my book, Lose Weight with the California Calcium Countdown.]

Even a modest increase in calcium intake may confer protection against colon cancer among those with low intakes.

The best-recognized function of vitamin D is to maintain calcium concentrations within the normal range by enhancing its efficiency from the diet.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004;80(2)264-270; Lose Weight with the California Calcium Countdown, Betty Kamen, 2004.

These nutrition hints are provided for information only and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of these hints. Please consult your health professional for any matter relating to your health. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The information and opinions provided are believed to be accurate and sound, based on our best judgment. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Statements made in these hints have not necessarily been evaluated by the FDA. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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