A new study has shown that calcium supplementation has no effect on preventing preterm birth or low infant birth weight and no effect on bone density in pregnant women.
Researcher Pranom Buppasiri, MD, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Khon Kaen University in Thailand, and colleagues found no potential benefits of calcium supplementation for mom and baby, except for the prevention of pregnancy-related hypertension.
Bupparsiri notes, however, that previous reviews have shown that calcium supplementation does help in the prevention of preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition marked by hypertension and protein in the urine that can develop into serious complications for the mother and baby.
The definitive treatment for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby, often resulting in preterm and/or low birth weight babies.
More than 16,000 women participated in the 21 studies included in the review. The review did find a small difference in average infant birth weight, but the authors were unable to ascertain the clinical significance in the diverse population examined.
The finding appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library.