Older individuals with increased calcium intake do not show significant improvement in the bone density and fracture risk.
The survey focused on two dietary studies in order to determine the health benefits calcium in people older than 50 years. In addition, the research team also examined the data of previous published studies.
Researchers from New Zealand analyzed more than 100 previous investigations said the guidelines advising seniors to consume at least 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day are misplaced. The investigators failed to provide a proof that boosting calcium intake beyond normal dietary levels strengthens older bones or prevents fracture.
The researchers discovered that additional calcium increased bone mineral density by only 1 to 2 percent, which was unlikely to lead to a clinically meaningful reductions in risk of fracture.
Moreover, calcium supplements often cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation among the participants. These supplements also cause a small increased risk of kidney stones, heart attacks and high calcium levels.
“We have gathered all the clinical studies of calcium supplements and dietary calcium intake for both bone density and fractures,” said Mark J. Bolland, professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland.
“Taken together, we think this is the strongest possible evidence that taking calcium supplements will not be beneficial unless there are clear medical reasons that calcium supplement is needed,” he said.
These findings will probably surprise the practitioners and patients as we have received very strong messages for many years about the importance of calcium for bone health in guidelines for osteoporosis management.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and porous with age so that even mild stress can lead to fractures. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are the most common natural sources of calcium, though the mineral is also found in nondairy products, including sardines and broccoli. IMAGE/healthline