Researchers at Uppsala University, in Sweden, have found that although moderate amounts of calcium - around 700 milligrams per day - are vital to keep bones healthy, it is not necessary to start increasing calcium intake to reduce the risk of suffering fractures or osteoporosis in adulthood.

When people get older, their bones lose calcium and their risk of fractures and osteoporosis increases, especially in the case of women. In addition to being a cause of suffering at the individual level, fractures represent a great health expense throughout the world, and this burden will increase in the coming years due to the aging of the population. Thus, to prevent It is an important issue of public health, according to the authors of this work, led by the researcher Eva Warensjö, from Uppsala University.

The importance of increasing calcium intake to compensate for its loss has been a subject of debate for a long time and there are still no clear advice in this regard. This situation is reflected in the wide range of recommendations for daily calcium intake given to patients from the age of 50, which in the UK is currently 700 milligrams, in Scandinavia 800 milligrams, and in the United States of 1,200.

In order to investigate the links between long-term calcium intake and fracture risk, the authors of this paper reviewed data from a large population study performed on Swedish women in 1987.

Some 61,433 women born between 1914 and 1948 participated in the 'Swedish Mammography Study' and of these, 5,022 participated in a smaller group belonging to a sub-investigation.

All participants were tracked for 19 years and, in that time, 14,738 (24%) women had their first fracture and of those, 3,871 (6%) suffered their first hip fracture. 20% of the subgroup had osteoporosis.

The researchers used a series of questionnaires to better understand changes in the diet of the participants and, in particular, their calcium intake, as well as the use of supplements and multivitamins.

These women also provided information about their menopausal status, whether or not they used post-menopausal estrogen therapy, their weight, height, smoking habits, how much physical activity they performed, and their level of education.

Women had the lowest risk of fractures when they consumed about 750 milligrams of calcium daily

The results showed that women had the lowest risk of fractures when they consumed about 750 milligrams of calcium per day. However, the risk of fractures in women who began to increase their calcium intake did not decrease.

There is some evidence that a high intake of calcium may increase the rate of hip fractures, although the authors of this work warn that these results should be interpreted with caution.

The researchers conclude that while low levels of calcium intake - less than 700 milligrams daily - increase the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, there is no need to start raising this consumption above this amount, as this increase does not reduce the risk of fracture or osteoporosis.


Osteoporosis Shot (November 2019).