People have the common misconception that older adults should take in calcium supplements or dairy milk in order to strengthen their bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis. However, a new study says that taking in supplements and drinking milk might not actually promote stronger bones. In fact, risk for fractures and brittle bones do not improve even when they take calcium supplements in seniors.
The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, recommends that people over 50 years old do not get stronger bones by taking in calcium supplements. In fact, it might be harmful for them. A few years back, health officials in the United States, reiterated that calcium supplements taken by older adults might lead to build up of calcium deposits in the arteries that may lead to heart diseases and formation of kidney stones, NBC News reports.
Dr. Ian Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues wrote in the study, "Dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture, and there is no clinical trial evidence that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources prevents fractures. Evidence that calcium supplements prevent fractures is weak and inconsistent."
Meanwhile, Mark J. Bolland, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, one of the authors said that the average calcium intake of older adults is around 700 to 900 mg only compared to the standards of 1,200mg. Thus, many of them, in the fear of their higher risk for fractures, turn to supplements in order to protect them from bone diseases.
Medical News Today reports that calcium intake is not associated with reduced risk of fracture among adults. Hence, there is no evidence from studies that says increasing calcium intake from dietary sources or even supplements could prevent fractures. In fact, they found out that taking supplements just amounted to 1-2% increased bone density among seniors which is not a significant addition to bone strength.