The protective effect of calcium likely works in men as well as women, though dairy products rich in calcium are also known to heighten the risk of prostate cancer, doctors from the University of Minnesota Cancer Center said.
Roughly 150,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually, and it ranks second to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death, the report published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention said.
Women in the study who consumed at least 800 milligrams of calcium daily had a 26 percent lower risk of the disease compared to women who consumed less than 530 milligrams.
Women who consumed more than 412 milligrams of calcium from dietary sources and also took more than 800 milligrams in supplement form had a 46 percent lower risk.
Researchers found the reduction in risk existed regardless of the source of calcium � leading to the conclusion that it was the calcium itself and not just dairy products that accounted for the decreased risk.
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