Supplements Associated with Greater Risk for Colon Polyps


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For people taking calcium alone, the risk of developing polyps was 2.6 times higher; those who took calcium and vitamin D together had a 3.8 times increased risk. Taking a vitamin D supplement. That’s the suggestion from a new study that finds a link between the daily supplement and an increased risk for polyps in the colon.

Polyps are not cancerous, but some can eventually turn into cancer if they’re not removed. Further research is needed to confirm the findings. But if calcium supplements do boost the risk of polyps, “this has important public health implications”. For people taking calcium alone, the risk of developing polyps was 2.6 times higher; those who took calcium and vitamin D together had a 3.8 times increased risk.

Those who took calcium alone or a combination of calcium and vitamin D were more likely to have polyps six to 10 years after the start of the study, the findings showed. Women and smokers appeared. Chapel Hill, NC—Pharmacists might want to warn customers using calcium supplements that the products, however harmless they might seem, aren’t without risk. A new study in the journal Gut finds that calcium supplements, taken with or without vitamin D, may increase the chance of developing colon polyps.

University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D appeared to increase the risk for premalignant serrated polyps — specifically, sessile serrated. Analysis of data from a large trial has found evidence that using calcium supplements — with and without vitamin D — may raise the risk of developing certain types of polyp, or precancerous.

Those who took calcium alone or a combination of calcium and vitamin D were more likely to have polyps six to 10 years after the start of the study, the findings showed. Women and smokers appeared. According to these studies, there is evidence supporting that use of calcium supplements either with or without vitamin D supplements, can increase the risk of formation of precancerous growths or some forms of polyps in the colon or rectum for about a few years after a person has started taking the supplements.

Findings from two large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, the Calcium Polyp Prevention Study (14, 15) and the European Cancer Prevention Organisation Intervention Study showed that daily supplementation with 1200 to 2000 mg elemental calcium was associated with a reduced risk of recurrence of colorectal polyps known as adenomas in both men and women. Adenomas are.

List of related literature:

Although calcium supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of initial and recurrent adenomatous polyps, there is insufficient evidence to recommend taking calcium supplements for colon cancer prevention (Weingarten et al, 2003).

“Textbook of Family Medicine E-Book” by Robert E. Rakel
from Textbook of Family Medicine E-Book
by Robert E. Rakel
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007

Slattery, Sorenson, and Ford (115) observed that the dietary intake of calcium decreased the risk of development of colon carcinoma.

“Principles and Practice of Surgery for the Colon, Rectum, and Anus” by Philip H. Gordon, Santhat Nivatvongs
from Principles and Practice of Surgery for the Colon, Rectum, and Anus
by Philip H. Gordon, Santhat Nivatvongs
CRC Press, 2007

Although most attention has been paid to the role of calcium in protection against osteoporosis, the mineral has also been linked to protection against cancer of the colon and possibly other tissues (see the next subsection).

“Nutritional Oncology” by David Heber, George L. Blackburn, Vay Liang W. Go, John Milner
from Nutritional Oncology
by David Heber, George L. Blackburn, et. al.
Elsevier Science, 2011

Calcium supplements interact significantly with long-term diet while suppressing rectal epithelial proliferation of adenoma patients.

“Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: An Evidence-Based Guide” by Lesley Braun, Marc Cohen
from Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: An Evidence-Based Guide
by Lesley Braun, Marc Cohen
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

A more recent study by the Calcium Polyp Prevention Study Group, also published in The New England Journalof Medicine, found that taking calcium supplements could be helpful to people who have had colon cancer in the past.

“User's Guide to Nutritional Supplements” by Jack Challem
from User’s Guide to Nutritional Supplements
by Jack Challem
Basic Health Publications, Incorporated, 2003

For example, several prospective, cohort studies have found that those who develop colon cancer had a significantly lower intake of calcium and vitamin D.” Calcium supplementation of 1.2 g/day reduced the proliferative rate of colonic cells in patients who are considered to be at an increased risk of colon cancer.”

“Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine 8” by Waun Ki Hong, Robert C. Bast Jr, American Association for Cancer Research, William Hait, Donald W. Kufe, James F. Holland, Emil Frei Iii
from Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine 8
by Waun Ki Hong, Robert C. Bast Jr, et. al.
People’s Medical Publishing House, 2010

Dietary calcium has been reported to increase the incidence of tumors in some animals (Kasprzak and Waalkes, 1986), whereas other studies focused on its possible protective effects in colon carcinogenesis (Bruce, 1987; Newmark et al., 1984).

“Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk” by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Commission on Life Sciences, Committee on Diet and Health
from Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk
by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, et. al.
National Academies Press, 1989

The suggested discrepancy between the risks from food sources of calcium and from calcium supplements may in part be due to the timing of the supplement intake (Curhan et al., 2007).

“Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D” by Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, Heather B. Del Valle, Ann L. Yaktine, Christine L. Taylor, A. Catharine Ross
from Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D
by Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, et. al.
National Academies Press, 2011

Our results suggest that also in humans calcium supplementation could lower the risk of colorectal cancer, because high dietary calcium suppresses vitamin D catabolism and thus favors accumulation of 1,25(OH)2D in the colon mucosa.

“Vitamin D: Physiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Applications” by Michael F. Holick
from Vitamin D: Physiology, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Applications
by Michael F. Holick
Humana Press, 2010

Excessive intake of calcium may increase the risk of nephrolithiasis [47] and possibly cardiovascular disease [48,49].

“Osteoporosis” by Robert Marcus, David W. Dempster, Jane A. Cauley, David Feldman
from Osteoporosis
by Robert Marcus, David W. Dempster, et. al.
Elsevier Science, 2013

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • What about MCHC bovine calcium and vitamin K2 which directs the calcium to the bones/teeth?? I’ve researched this a lot and that’s the only supplement that won’t it calcium in your soft tissues. Opinion please!

  • Hi doc,
    Thank you for your fabulous work,helps a lot.
    Was wondering if you could share your opinion about Stem Cells-related to diabetes and inflammation.
    Stay safe.

  • Calcium citrate, with vitamin D and K2 is what I take and give to my kids. They have been growing like crazy and I even gained close to an inch in height after age 40!

  • If your grandma has lived to be 88 without breaking a bone or having a heart attack, why would you tell her to stop her calcium supplement?? ��

  • / What about GREEK YOGURT? PLAIN…or, just a little milk or cream in eggs or in a a sauce? I hear ya, tho…i agree with you on this matter…….THANKS for the ‘head’s up’! is ‘once in a while ok, with maybe a rare bowl of cold cereal or in mac N cheese? hahaha…..

  • Dr. Berg would Kombucha count? I love it and I’m very interested in not having polyps again as I lost my Dad to colon cancer! Thank You ���� for such great content!

  • Dr. Berry. Thank you for your information very helpful. I just bought a calcium & vitamin D supplement, its three days since I started taking it, but, listening to your video I throw it away. Thanks. Questions: Is it all kinds of milk we should stop drinking? Is coconut, soja, almond & hazelnut milk, etc good to drink? Please let me know. Thank you. To everybody don’t lower your guard COVID-19 is still around the corner so continues to stay safe.

  • ive checked out your website ( but im still wondering, how do i access the information on health that you have to offer? do you have like a main source of reference, a main body of knowledge, like a main book? here on your youtube channel you have many specific videos, and on your library (only accessible with paid membership) you say you have 2500 articles! don’t you have like a main source that kinda summarizes your current health-related recommendations?

  • I’m from Poland and we eat lots of sauerkraut here especially during the winter season. I’m talking goodhome made, raw sauerkraut and also pickles. That being said my mother developed colon cancer and my opinion is that number one factor in these type of disease is stress. Not only we stress too much but we don’t know how to actively destress. It’s very important to practice some sort of relaxation be it meditation or yoga or whatever.

  • Doctors follow what the HMO, or PPO ‘s mandate in the contract more so than what their profession recommends. Most MD’S belong to a Healthcare system that has them follow a checklist of things and then on your walkout multiple page statement you see the discussed with patient. Really? It is one sided, they talk, you listen, mention something different and your told you should have called the office. Call the office and you are tole to go local medi-center. It is all about time management and production where the patient is a commodity.

  • So, what do you do if you take vitamin D because of low levels in last blood test? My level was extremely low. I obviously know get more sun,but during the winter it’s a little harder ( living in the northern states)

  • What is best for muscle & toe cramps. I eat assortment of raw greens at least every other day, most everyday. Take k2 and D3 w calcium so not to get stones

  • but even dr. greger recommends vitamin d supplementation
    how am i supposed to get vitamin d during winter or during cloudy periods of the year?

  • We only absorb 30% of the calcium we get from milk anyways. That’s all that’s bioavailable. There’s so much propaganda about drinking milk because of the high calcium but we don’t get that much calcium from milk.

  • I’m currently trying desperately to switch my 1 yr old baby to whole cow milk from my breastmilk. My baby absolutely hates milk since she was an infant she hated formula as well. She will only breastfeed now she is weaning grsdually breastfeeding less. But she is refusing all other milk besides my breastmilk. I’m worried about her having not enough calcium and therefore will get rickets and bone development issues…

  • Dude Eric,,GD job,but Islam
    Told 1400 years ago,1/ dates A best.2/ oilive A best for colons,3/honey n ginger tea
    4/Sena leaves tea and black seed, have cure for all exacpt death.
    All bro,s pls Google to lean unique..
    ,,Bilal ibn rabh symbol of humanity,,
    See his life style,. Get v vv amazed.

  • I have read that calcium ions are used for muscle contractions. Should endurance athletes take calciumnot for bone strength but the reason mentioned above?

  • What about Tri-Salts? My cardiologist said I should take Tri-Salts because it’s good for my heart. Is the calcium in Tri-Salts harmful?

  • With all my respect, please can you show me where I can find the information regarding Calcium and Hormone D increase Risk of Colon Polyps? Thank you.

  • I eat sauerkraut nearly every day. My friends think I’m crazy, but plain kraut isn’t much of a pleasure for me to eat, so I usually put blueberries or raspberries mixed in. It gives it a fruitiness that I believe makes it even more healthy.

  • As a vegetarian i don´t get vitamin D3 from fish and in winter the sund is too low to produve enough vitamin D3 in the skin is shat i read everywhere. It is said that 80% of the german people have too low D3 levels. So D3 with K2 together is bad too? Even if taken once a week/month? Low D3 levels lead to lots of illnesses even cancer i thought… what about codliver oil? Should be natural and contain D3

  • What are polyp prevention food options for someone who follows a low fodmap diet? Sauerkraut is really high fodmap I don’t tolerate it well

  • I totally freaked out when calling United Healthcare Medicare I was “holding” for someone to pick up there are several audio notifications one of which talks about osteoporosis in the elderly. It goes on to say “ plenty of calcium certainty helps”… why are they allowed to publish such misleading and potentially dangerous information in the form of advice???

  • I have United HealthCare Medicare. I called them for some info but while I waited the “on hold” recordings were playing. One in particular shocked me as it was enthusiastically promoting taking calcium for bone health. Medicare is for us senior citizens and they promote taking calcium? Truly shocking!!! I recorded it as I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. They are endangering seniors health and lives and allowed to continue. Disgusting!

  • I had a medical emergency the doctor had me take large amounts of calcium. A few months later I had kidney stones. Had to have the stones removed. They say I need kidney stone surgery again. They also tested me and there are calcium deposits in my muscles and one in my heart. I also have a lump on one of the bones in my leg is a lump of calcium. I’m proof that calcium supplements are a bad idea!

  • From what I understand the sauerkraut must be the refrigerated ones, not the commercial jarred stuff. I buy the organic refrigerated one from Costco. A tablespoon or so with lunch 1-2 times/ week.

  • I have been drinking plant based milk for quite a while now…. great info. I have had kidney stones in the past, and yes they are painful!

  • I take a coral calcium with Vit D, magnesium, and several other minerals in it. I feel better. Is it different from most other calcium products?

  • Had just started a calcium supplement as I thought it would be a good supplement for Keto. Just binned. Your videos are great. Thank you.