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News

High dietary calcium intake may increase prostate cancer risk

American Association For Cancer Research (AACR) : 07 July, 2006  (Technical Article)
Men with a high intake of dietary calcium are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a study presented today during the American Association for Cancer Research's 4th annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Baltimore.
Researchers from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Cancer Institute reviewed data from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study to evaluate the relation between calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus as well as dairy products and occurrence of prostate cancer. The current research was based on 17 years of follow-up and 1269 incident cases of prostate cancer.

Results showed that higher intakes of dietary calcium were associated with a significant increase in prostate cancer risk, men who consumed more than 2000 mg of calcium per day nearly doubled their risk of developing prostate cancer. While dairy product intake increased the risk of prostate cancer, no association remained after controlling for calcium. With the exception of cream which showed a significant trend toward an increased prostate cancer risk across intake levels, other individual dairy products showed no association. Moreover, there was no evidence of a link for intake of vitamin D or phosphorous.

'The results of our study suggest that high intakes of dietary calcium are related to an increased risk of prostate cancer,' according to Panagiota Mitrou, of the NCI and lead author of the study. 'These results might explain the positive association seen with dairy products in our and previous studies. Further research should focus on how dietary calcium could affect prostate cancer.'

The ATBC Study was a large prospective cancer prevention trial conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the National Public Health Institute of Finland from 1985 to 1993. The purpose of the study was to determine whether certain vitamin supplements would prevent cancer in a group of 29,133 male (aged 50 to 69) smokers in Finland. The trial ended in 1993, but ongoing follow-up of the participants enables continued research into the causes and prevention of multiple diseases, including cancer.
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