To get all of the preventative benefits possible from calcium, especially those linked with cancer, and colon cancer in particular, it appears that magnesium supplements are essential. The Calcium Polyp Prevention Study, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference, shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake had significant implications for the effectiveness to prevent colorectal complications. According to the study, when the ratio of the two supplements were low (or nearly equal, i.e. 1:1, 1:1.2), the reemergance of cancer was reduced by thirty-two percent. Colorectal cancer presently represents nine percent of new cancer cases worldwide, with the highest incidence rates being in the developed world.
Americans already have relatively high calcium levels, but it was observed that calcium treatments alone did not necessarily lead to lower incidences of the disease. Americans also have one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer. "These results mean that designing a personalized diet/supplementation regimen that takes the ratio of both nutrients [calcium and magnesium] into account may be better than supplementing with only one or the other alone," said Dr. Qi Dai, a member of the research team which presented the results.