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April 7, 1999

Calcium Intake and Colon Cancer Biomarkers

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(13):1172. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-13-jbk0407

To the Editor: The Editorial by Drs Ahnen and Byers1 about our article2 misses the major points presented, and does not discuss the important issues raised by the findings. The major points presented include: (a) the administration of natural foods (as opposed to undesirable administration of drugs such as sulindac or sulindac sulfone) improved and normalized the growth and maturation of colonic epithelial cells; (b) the findings did not depend on a single biomarker, but introduced multiple indicators of normal cell growth and development in the human colon to study a chemopreventive regimen; and (c) success of low-fat dairy foods in achieving these positive results was due mainly to increasing dietary calcium intake from well below the currently recommended "adequate intake" level to slightly above the adequate intake level.

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