Among people with low-calcium diets, even a modest increase in the nutrient seems to lower the risk of some types of colon cancer. Researchers evaluated the diet and colon cancer history of 135,000 men and women in two large health surveys. They found that those who consumed 800 to 900 mg of calcium a day significantly reduced their risk of left-side colon cancer by 50 to 60 percent.
The researchers found that sufficient levels of calcium in the diet significantly reduced the risk of cancer on the left side of the colon, but had no significant protection for other types of colon cancer. The left side of the colon includes the last segment of the large intestine. The right side is higher up the gut and attached to the small intestine.
The results of the study need to be confirmed by other research before a recommendation can be made regarding dietary calcium and colon cancer. The study is important because it suggests that adequate calcium in the diet has a benefit beyond building strong bones. This is important because a lot of people don't get it and there needs to be more stress on calcium.