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Colorectal adenoma chemoprevention.

Calcium supplements appear to reduce the risk of developing recurrent colorectal adenomas, according to findings from a metaanalysis of three randomized controlled trials.

In 1,279 patients aged 35-76 years who completed a follow-up colonoscopy after 3-4 years, supplemental calcium (1,200 mg, 1,600 mg, and 2,000 mg daily in the three studies) significantly reduced the risk of recurrent adenomas by 20%, compared with placebo. The patients had a dietary calcium intake ranging from 940 mg to 1,600 mg, reported Aasma Shaukat, M.D., of the State University of New York, Buffalo, and colleagues (Am. J. Gastroenterol. 2005;100:390-4).

Calcium is thought to decrease the risk of recurrent adenomas by binding to and precipitating bile acids and soluble fatty acids. The results of the metaanalysis suggest that recommending a calcium supplement to patients with prior adenomas is a reasonable strategy for achieving a modest decrease in future adenomas. Calcium is cheap and safe, and only about 14 patients need to be treated to prevent 1 patient from having recurrent polyps during a 3- to 4-year period, said Robert S. Sandler, M.D., of the University of North Carolina. Cahpel Hill, in an editorial (Am. J. Gastroenterol. 2005;100:395-6).
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Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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