Report: Calcium more risks than benefits

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 5:28pm

More than half of women in their sixties take calcium and vitamin D to boost their bone health.

But the latest research shows that the popping these popular supplements may do nothing at all to prevent fractures, or osteoporosis.

In a 2012 study, the British Medical Journal finds those who took calcium supplements had a 139% greater risk of heart attack during the 11-year study.

Research also shows links to cancer, and kidney stones. Also, taking too much calcium can be dangerous, but doctors say they don't know how much is too much.

Dr. Ken Kaminski, Orthopedic Surgeon from Azalea Orthopedics in Tyler tells KETK, "I certainly would say there is a number that is too much, but I just don't know what that is, past 1500 milligrams probably gets out of my comfort zone."

This research only showed links to these diseases with calcium supplements, not calcium rich food sources.

Dr. Kaminski says; when you get older your bones lose calcium, "The way that the body repletes that is thought the diet."

Doctors recommend, on average, 1500 milligrams plus vitamin D.

But with all the conflicting information and risks registered dietitian, Sara Upson recommends getting your calcium intake from your food, not a pill bottle she says, "Milk really is the best source of calcium."

Leafy greens also pack a high calcium punch. And more sunshine and fish also helps boost vitamin D.

Dr. Kaminski says, "We would always encourage a healthy diet." But Dr. Kaminski will still recommend supplements to his patients, like many doctors do, while they wait for more conclusive research.

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