Six of every 10 middle-aged and older women in the U.S. are taking calcium supplements, hoping to keep their bones strong and thereby avoid osteoporotic fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. A new study in the British Medical Journal suggests that high calcium consumption, whether from food or supplements, increases the risk of death.
The researchers wrote:
In this study of women in the Swedish mammography cohort, a high calcium intake (>1400 mg/day) was associated with an increased rate of mortality, including death from cardiovascular disease. The increase was moderate with a high dietary calcium intake without supplement use, but the combination of a high dietary calcium intake and calcium tablet use resulted in a more pronounced increase in mortality. For most women with lower intakes we observed only modest differences in risk.