Taking that daily calcium pill really is good for health, especially if you are over the age of 50, a new international study has confirmed.
Researchers at University of Western Sydney analysed 29 studies from around the world that tracked the use and efficacy of calcium or calcium and Vitamin D supplements in 63,897 people aged 50 or over as a part of their research.
They found that people in this age group tend to suffer fewer fractures and enjoy a better quality of life if they take calcium or calcium and vitamin D supplements daily.
The boffins also found long-term daily use of such supplements can help reduce the risk of fracture in the elderly by almost a quarter.
Lead author, Dr Benjamin Tang, an Associate Researcher with UWS Centre for Complementary Medicine Research (CompleMED), said that the findings confirm the belief that calcium supplements play an important role.
"The research provides clear evidence that calcium supplements decrease fracture rates and loss of bone density in older people," the Lancet quoted him, as saying.
"The efficacy of calcium supplements in reducing the risk of fractures later in life is comparable to more established preventative medicines such as aspirin and statins, which are widely taken to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks.
"The results showed the importance of starting supplements early in life, at around the age of 50, when bone mineral loss begins to accelerate."
"Persistence in particular pays off as people who reported taking their supplements at least 80 per cent of the time experienced a 24 per cent reduction in fractures. For those who were less rigorous with their routine the benefit was cut in half.
"Calcium supplements are relatively cheap to dispense, but the impact they have on your health and well being later in life is priceless," says Dr Tang.
The study appears in the international medical journal, The Lancet.