Increased Calcium Intake Does Not Reduce Bone Fractures or Osteoporosis
A new study published in the British Medical Journal1 found that people who consumed the highest amounts of calcium did not have a reduction in bone fractures or osteoporosis. In fact, those who consumed the most calcium (more than 1137 milligrams per day) had higher rates of hip fractures and similar rates of osteoporosis, compared with those who consumed less. Researchers looked at 61,433 Swedish women over 19 years and concluded no significant benefit to consuming more than 700 milligrams of calcium per day for bone health.
Previous studies have shown similar results. The Nurses’ Health Study,2 which followed more than 75,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared with those with the lowest consumption.3
People may want to consider the risks to over consuming calcium. An elevated risk of prostate cancer incidence and mortality has been associated with dairy consumption,4,5 and the same may be true for ovarian cancer.6
1. Warensjo E, Byberg L, Melhus H, et al. Dietary calcium intake and risk of fracture and osteoporosis: prospective longitudinal cohort study. BMJ. 2011;342:d1473.
2. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures: A prospective study among postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77:504-511.
3. Cumming RG, Klineberg RJ. Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol. 1994;139:493-503.
4. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;74:549-554.
5. Chan JM, Gann PH, Giovannucci EL. Role of diet in prostate cancer development and progression.J Clin Oncol. 2005;23:8152-8160.
6. Cramer DW, Harlow BL, Willet WC. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet. 1989;2:66-71.