Calcium and Vitamin D May Keep Colon Healthy
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, accounts for nearly 10% of new cancer cases yearly. A recent study found that supplements of calcium and vitamin D may help people avoid this debilitating condition.
The study was conducted by researchers from Emory University, the University of Minnesota, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. Their findings were published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
For the study, researchers recruited 92 men and women with benign colorectal tumors.
The participants were randomly assigned to receive one of the following four supplements for a period of 6 months:
1. 2 g of calcium
2. 800 IU of vitamin D3
3. Both vitamin D and calcium
4. A placebo
The researchers measured numerous markers for cell health at the end of the study. They found that the group given both calcium and vitamin D saw a 242% increase in cell health compared to the placebo group. The group receiving only calcium saw a 201% increase and the group receiving only vitamin D saw a 25% increase.
The researchers found that the combination of calcium and vitamin D normalizes the health of the colon and rectum. This sheds some light on the mechanisms behind previous studies that have found a link between calcium/vitamin D and colorectal cancer risk.
One study published earlier this year in the August 2009 issue of the British Journal of Cancer found that colorectal cancer patients with the highest vitamin D intake have a 50% reduction in mortality.
Most Americans do not get enough vitamin D daily; especially seniors because as we age our skin becomes less efficient at synthesizing the vitamin during exposure to the sun. That's why an estimated 95% of seniors have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
A supplement can ensure that you enjoy the many health benefits associated with vitamin D and calcium including better bone health, lower blood pressure.
Calcium has been shown to aid bone health, help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of ccolorectal cancer and stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with longevity.