Researchers have come up with a new study which states that calcium and vitamin D supplements do not prevent colon cancer or colon polyps as earlier reported in most other studies, even though many of the researchers cannot readily say why this is so.
The director of the division of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute, Barnett Kramer, pointed out that “there is mounting evidence that vitamin D does not prevent cancer,” even though this claim negates what earlier researchers have said about vitamin D and calcium stopping colon polyps.
Past researchers have established that the use of vitamin D and calcium supplements is beneficial to patients after they have surgically removed precancerous adenomas or polyps, because it could prevent the risks of colon cancers developing any time after that.
However, the new research would help researchers and pharmaceutical organizations to know what treatment works and what wouldn’t work when prescribing drugs for patients with colon polyps.
For the study, participants were divided into three groups: one group was given Vitamin D, the other group was given calcium carbonate, and the third group administered with Vitamin D combined with calcium carbonate. The participants were randomly tasked with taking Vitamin D3 or Calcium; or both, or neither of these.
Following the adjustments for gender and age, the researchers were not able to establish any significant differences in the results observed.
Over 2,200 patients at 11 academic medical centers and affiliated medical practices participated in the trial, but it was randomized, and they took placebo-controlled supplements of Vitamin D3 and/or Calcium for preventing colorectal adenoma.
About 45.3% of those who took calcium went on to develop polyps in comparison to 47.5% who did not take the supplement; but then almost all of them underwent colon polyps and adenoma removal at least once.
The group that took Calcium or Vitamin D or both failed to experience reduced risks for recurring polyps as seen in the placebo group.