by Bob Dozor, MD
Without a doubt getting adequate CALCIUM is essential for bone health and important for other functions. This has led more that half of US women who are middle aged or older to take calcium supplements. But recent studies have raised concerns about increasing cardiovascular risk (heart attacks and strokes, death) from such supplements. Earlier studies suggested that this was really only true for men, but more recent studies show that WOMEN consuming 1,400mg per day of calcium (from food and supplements) had a higher death rate from all causes 40% greater than those who consumed 600mg to 1,000mg. Women with very high calcium consumption (>1,900 mg/day) had a 250% risk of death. (Michaelsson K et al. BMJ. 2013;346:f228)
I believe that CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS should not be taken unless you absolutely won’t or can’t eat non-fat dairy foods and dark leafy greens (Spinach and Chard). I think that the real key to bone health is to eat these foods liberally! Finally, do take VITAMIN D (800-2,000 IU per day).
The bottom line is eat calcium rich foods, DO NOT TAKE CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS (unless you just won’t eat the food).