As is the norm we bring to you the latest news and trivia to help you stay hale and hearty. And thanks to the continuous striving of researcher’s guild there is always something happening worth taking a note of. If you are wondering what it is this time – I’ll end the suspense after the drum roll ends. Okay, here it is a new study has found a relation between calcium supplements and colon polyps.
Now before we decipher the mysteries and connotations of the study let’s take a look at the main components. Clearing the basics is forever more a good practice. Thankfully calcium supplements are self-explanatory, polyps though raises a question. Simply, polyps are abnormal growth of tissue anywhere in the body, this may happen due to various reasons. In this case, they appear on colorectal (colon). Even though most of these are harmless but being abnormal tissue they are open to chances of turning cancerous. This is the big scare about the study.
This study was led by Seth D. Crockett and others and published in the Gut medical journal. They conducted the study on 2259 participants between ages of 45 to 75. They were divided into four groups. The first group took only calcium supplements. Second groups were on a solo Vitamin D supplement, the Third group took a combination of both calcium and Vit D supplements, and fourth took none of these supplements. Their colonoscopy tests were conducted within a span of 3 to 5 years and then some more were done later after a few more years. Another important factor in this study was that all participants had a history of colon polyps.
Interestingly this study was conducted with a possible intent of finding a positive correlation between calcium and colorectal cancer risk as hinted by some other studies. And here’s what the study revealed:
- The risk of increased serrated polyps occurred after 6-10 years of starting supplements
- Among the four groups, two with calcium categories were found to be at risk. 2.6 times higher risk of developing polyps in those taking only calcium supplements, and 3.8 times higher in those taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Women and smokers were even more at risk than others
Now here are a few things to consider before we hastily construe a conclusion:
- These findings only talked about a correlation between polyps and calcium supplement. It doesn’t prove any linkage to cancer or suggest that those supplements are directly responsible for increasing the serrated polyps
- This talks about supplements and not dietary calcium, and also shows no relation with Vitamin D
- It was done on people with polyp history, so no conclusions can be drawn about these supplements and people without polyps history
So the big question, based on the study should we ditch the calcium supplements. No, even the author themselves have suggested that we need more research on the topic. In the meanwhile, analyze the risk of such supplements against its merits. Do not self-prescribe them check them with your doctor, and rely on dietary sources.
As a general personal observation, I think where health is concerned, nothing in excess, everything in moderation and relying more on natural sources is a good idea. This should help you steer clear of potential follies. Take care!