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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Calcium, vitamin D and cancer risk

In a study conducted in 2007, researchers found that women taking a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 60 percent lower incidence of all cancers than women not taking the tested supplement.

Research in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown a reduction in cancer rates among postmenopausal women taking vitamin D combined with calcium.

This four-year, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled study involved over 1,100 postmenopausal women who were divided into three treatment groups. The first group received a supplement containing calcium and vitamin D, the second group received just calcium, and the third group received a placebo. The researchers found that the women taking the calcium and vitamin D supplement had a 60 percent lower incidence of all cancers than women not taking the supplement.

This new study takes an important step in extending several decades of research involving the role of vitamin D in health and disease. The results further strengthen the case made by many specialists that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventive and that it is commonly found lacking in the general population, particularly the elderly.

Source: Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial, Lappe et al, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 June;85(6):1586-91

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