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Calcium Intake Linked to Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that develops in the colon or rectum. Most colorectal cancers are due to lifestyle factors and increasing age. A recent Harvard School of Public Health study suggests that calcium supplements or calcium-fortified non-dairy products may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

For their analysis, the researchers examined 15 studies that included 12,305 incidences of colorectal cancer. The participants in the studies had calcium intakes ranging from 250 to 1,900 mg/day and the studies lasted from 3.3 to 16 years.

The researchers found that every 300 mg of calcium from supplements was associated with a 9% reduced risk in developing colorectal cancer. Additionally, every 300 mg increase in total calcium was associated with an 8% reduced risk.

The study was published in the October 2014 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Calcium is best known for its effect on bone health, but previous studies suggest it can also help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with increased longevity.

Calcium absorption decreases as we age, so it is especially important to make sure you are getting enough. Try adding more dairy products or start taking a high quality supplement if you’re trying to increase your calcium intake.

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