Preventing Colon Cancer With Adjusting Dietary Calcium

All nutrition is important for so many different things, and proper nutrition helps to prevent colon cancer, more properly called colorectal cancers (CRC).

More precisely colon cancer comes from one of 3 different medical conditions: the adenoma or a growth that is precancerous and then causescarcinoma chromosomal instability pathway (50%-70%); the mutator “Lynch syndrome” route (3%-5%); and the so called serrated pathway (30%-35%).

The World Health Organization has classified serrated polyps into three types of lesions: hyperplastic polyps (HP), sessile serrated adenomas/polyps (SSA/P) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA).

We do not know all the causes of these growths, but interestingly in one study calcium supplements alone more than doubled the risk for a type of colon polyp called serrated sessile adenomas or polyps (SSA/Ps). When calcium and vitamin D supplements were given together it more than increased risk by 4 x.

Increased calcium in your diet has always been thought to be protective against colon polyps and colon cancer. Dr. Seth D. Crockett, from the University of North Carolina’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Chapel Hill, reported their findings of over 2200 people who had a polyp removed by colonoscopy. They then had a 3-5 year calcium treatment phase, and a 3-5 year follow up phase, to discover this shocking new finding. Calcium and Vitamin D may have other benefits, and they have suggested individuals particularly smokers have to weigh their risks and benefits.

So you may need to speak to your primary care physician about proper dietary calcium, not just relying on supplements.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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