In addition to supporting healthy bones, especially in menopausal women, a calcium-rich diet may also lower their risk of developing many types of cancer.
Scientist from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, analyzed data from 198,903 women focusing in particular on their dairy and calcium supplement consumption. They concluded that women decreased their risk of cancer with a daily intake of up to 1,300 milligrams of calcium.
Moreover, the researchers found that both men and women whose diet is rich in calcium have lower risks of cancers of the digestive system, especially colorectal tumors.
The authors explain this by pointing out that calcium, along with vitamin D and conjugated linoleic acid, all found in dairy products or available in the form of dietary supplements, are potentially anticarcinogenic.
Specifically, it has been demonstrated that calcium induces normal turnover among cells in the gastrointestinal tract and breast and reduces abnormal growth. It also binds to bile and fatty acids, potentially shielding the mucous membrane of the large intestine from damage.
The research results were published in the February 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.