Role of supplemental calcium in the recurrence of colorectal adenomas: a metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials

Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Feb;100(2):390-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41220.x.


Background: Colorectal adenomas are neoplastic growths that are important targets for chemoprevention. Dietary calcium is thought to play an important role in chemoprevention. However, the role of calcium supplementation for preventing recurrence of adenomas is controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to study the role of calcium supplementation in preventing recurrence of adenomas.

Methods: We searched electronic bibliographic databases (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, CINAHL, EMBASE, and MEDLINE) and contacted authors to identify potentially eligible studies.

Results: We identified three trials including 1,485 subjects with previously removed adenomas who were randomized to calcium versus placebo supplementation. The study endpoint was recurrence of adenomas at the end of 3-4 yr in 1,279 patients who completed the trials. We found that the recurrence of adenomas was significantly lower in subjects randomized to calcium supplementation (RR: 0.80, CI: 0.68, 0.93; p-value = 0.004).

Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that calcium supplementation prevents recurrent colorectal adenomas.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / prevention & control*
  • Calcium / administration & dosage*
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Calcium