Recent epidemiologic studies have generally reported a modest inverse association between calcium intake and the risk of colorectal cancer.
However, findings pertaining to specific subsites in the colorectum have been conflicting.
Dr Susanna Larsson and colleagues prospectively examined the association between intakes of calcium and dairy foods and colorectal cancer risk.
The research team examined the risk in a cohort of Swedish men.
In 1997, 45,306 men aged 45 to 79 years and without a history of cancer completed a food-frequency questionnaire.
The researchers followed the patients through 2004.
During a mean follow-up of 7 years, the ascertained 449 incident cases of colorectal cancer.
|The multivariate rate ratio of colorectal cancer for 7 servings a day of total dairy foods 0.46|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
The researchers adjusted for age and other known or potential risk factors.
The team found that multivariate rate ratio of colorectal cancer for men in the highest quartile of total calcium intake vs the lowest quartile was 0.68.
A high consumption of dairy foods was also associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
The multivariate rate ratio of colorectal cancer for 7 servings a day of total dairy foods compared with less than 2 servings a day was 0.46.
For cancer subsites, the corresponding rate ratios were 0.37 for proximal colon, 0.43 for distal colon, and 0.48 for rectum.
Dr Larsson's team concludes, “Our findings provide support for inverse associations between intakes of calcium and dairy foods and the risk of colorectal cancer.”