YOUR HEALTH: Calcium supplements; what you need to know
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - According to the NIH, about 43 percent of Americans take a supplement that includes calcium. Calcium is an important mineral for maintaining strong bones. But if you’re considering taking a calcium supplement, there’s some risks you should know about.
You may have heard that calcium supplements are a good way to improve your health. But research is showing that might not be the case. A large study out of Johns Hopkins found that taking calcium supplements can negatively affect heart health.
Erin Michos, MD, Preventive Cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explains, “Just using calcium supplements was independently associated with this increased risk of developing Atherosclerosis.”
Calcium supplements also cause side effects like bloating, constipation, and kidney stones. A study published in the Journal Neurology also found women who took calcium supplements were at a higher risk for developing dementia. And – Doctor Michos says the largest research to date shows inconclusive results about the benefits of taking calcium supplements to build strong bones.
“For individuals who are already meeting their recommended daily allowance, there’s no evidence that more is better, even for bone health or fracture reduction.” Says Doctor Michos.
But dietary sources of calcium do not pose the same risks.
Doctor Michos says, “I recommend for my patients, the safest thing to do is to try to get their calcium through their diet. We think that the body processes calcium very differently when it comes from food sources versus supplements.”
Foods like milk, yogurt, and almonds are high in calcium. The recommended dietary allowance of calcium for most adults is 1,000 milligrams a day. For women ages 51 and older and men ages 71 and older, it’s 1,200 milligrams.
If you have a calcium deficiency, talk to your doctor about whether taking calcium supplements could be beneficial.
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