Magazine article USA TODAY

Vitamins and Calcium May Stop Polyp Return

Magazine article USA TODAY

Vitamins and Calcium May Stop Polyp Return

Article excerpt

Use of multivitamins and calcium supplements may prevent recurrences of colorectal polyps, which can become cancerous, according to Richard L. Whelan, assistant professor of surgery, director of Colon and Rectal Surgery, and director of the Anorectal Physiology Laboratory, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. A four-year study examining factors influencing recurrences of adenomatous, or precancerous, colorectal polyps in 1,162 patients found that multivitamin and calcium intake was associated with a lower recurrence of polyps when compared to patients who did not take the supplements. Polyps are abnormal growths on the bowel wall that may increase in size and become cancerous. Nearly all colon and rectal cancer begins in benign polyps.

The patients completed a questionnaire on personal and family history of colonic disease, cigarette smoking, medication, and vitamin/mineral supplement intake. They were tested for polyps by colonoscopy--a procedure for visually examining the full lining of the colon and rectum using a long, flexible, tubular instrument called a colonoscope. …

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