Thursday, November 20, 2008

Magnesium and calcium both needed for colorectal cancer protection

In a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held November 16-18, 2008 in National Harbor, Maryland, Qi Dai, MD, PhD reported that it may be necessary to have a greater intake of magnesium in order for calcium to protect against colorectal cancer.

While increased magnesium intake has been associated with a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, Americans have a similar intake of the mineral as East Asians yet have a much higher incidence of the disease. However, the risk of colorectal cancer increases when East Asians immigrate to the United States.Calcium has also been shown to help inhibit colorectal cancer, although high levels of the mineral may reduce the absorption of magnesium. Referring to the fact that Americans have a higher intake of calcium than East Asians as well as a greater incidence of colorectal cancer, Dr Dai remarked, "If calcium levels were involved alone, you'd expect the opposite direction. There may be something about these two factors combined – the ratio of one to the other – that might be at play.” Continue Reading

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