Nutrition guidelines recommend older men and women to take at least 1000-1200 mg/day of calcium to improve bone density and prevent fractures. Therefore, many people take calcium supplements to meet these recommendations.
However, the results of two new studies has suggested that increasing calcium intake, through supplements or dietary sources, should not be recommended for improving bone health or fracture prevention in older people.
Recent concerns about the safety of calcium supplements have led health experts to recommend increasing calcium intake through food rather than by taking supplements. But, its effect on bone health is unknown.
Karl Michaelsson from Uppsala University in Sweden said, "It is time to revisit recommendations to increase calcium intake beyond a normal balanced diet. Ever increasing intakes of calcium and vitamin D recommended by some guidelines defines virtually the whole population aged over 50 at risk. Yet most will not benefit from increasing their intakes, and will be exposed instead to a higher risk of adverse events. The weight of evidence against such mass medication of older people is now compelling, and it is surely time to reconsider these controversial recommendations."
The study is published in The BMJ.