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Study Shows Calcium Supplements Do Not Help Bone Strength

Scientific studies led by Dr. Mark Bolland in New Zealand have shown that calcium supplements do not reduce the risk of bone fractures in people over 50 years of age. Calcium supplements and dairy products seem to actually cause harm instead.

Accoring to Dr Bolland,

“They also cause a small increased risk of kidney stones, heart attacks, high calcium levels and hospitalization with acute gastrointestinal symptoms,” he said…

“The small risk of these important adverse effects, together with the moderate risk of minor side effects such as constipation, outweighs any benefits of calcium supplements on fracture,”

Swedish Scientist Dr. Karl Michaelsson gives his opinion as well:

“Too much calcium and/or vitamin D, which is usually recommended with calcium, can lead to “more hip fractures and an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Michaelsson, a professor in the department of surgical sciences at Uppsala University in Sweden.”

– Alan Mozes, CBS news,

Also according to Alan Mozes of CBS, current advice from The National Osteoporosis Foundation in the United states recommends,

“Women over 50 are advised to get 1,200 mg of calcium a day and women under 50 are advised to get 1,000 mg a day. Men are advised to get 1,000 mg a day although men over 70 are supposed to get 1,200 mg. Dairy products are rich in calcium but so are leafy green vegetables, fortified milks such as soymilk and some juices and breakfast cereals.

But Decades earlier scientist already knew that calcium does not reduce the risk of fractures.

“Twenty-five years ago, there was a study published “that concluded that calcium supplements to prevent fractures were not justified by the available evidence,” Karl Michaëlsson, a professor of medical epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote in an editorial accompanying the two new studies in the journal. That conclusion still holds true, given the findings of these two new studies, he said”


But why do other scientists believe differently, how did they come to their conclusions?

“Michaëlsson noted that the previous evidence on dietary calcium had come mostly from observational studies, and these were too different from one another for researchers to put them together in a meta-analysis. However, the new studies also “found little evidence to support the theory that higher intake of dietary calcium could reduce risk of fractures,” Michaëlsson wrote.”

– Sara G. Miller, Livescience,

Even recently, professionals in the United States also seem to agree with Karl Michaëlsson and Dr. Mark Bolland.  According to Live Science,

“A 2013 report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force demonstrated no evidence that taking the mineral along with vitamin D reduced the risk of fracture in healthy, postmenopausal women. (Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.)”

What is shocking is that people won’t listen to the evidence, even with the risk of calcium deposits in the heart and kidney stones.  According to NBC News,

“Despite these findings, Americans love their supplements. A survey done in 2012 found 75 percent of Americans who take supplements would take them, even if they are proven not to benefit health. Americans spend $12 billion a year on supplements”

Even if calcium may not work in preventing the risk fractures, an alternative solution may work. The author of The NBC News article notes that the United States  ‘National Instituste of health’ recommends resistance type of exercise to strengthen the bones.

Follow the link below to see read the Calcium study from the British Medical Journal

Take a look at the video, from a few years back, that discusses Nutrition related to Calcium and vitamin D

About Jason Edgerton

Mr. Edgerton holds a university degree in philosophy. He aims to provide valuable news content for Youth Independent readers.