We all know calcium is great for us, but could there be such thing as too much? Yes, say researchers, actually there can be.
There is good and bad news for older adults when it comes to calcium intake: while higher calcium consumption may lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, it does not reduce stroke or fracture risks, despite what we may have been told or think.
A new study presented at Endo 2016 – the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, found there is little benefit to your bones if you consume high amounts of calcium.
Nevertheless, calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body and helps aid bone and teeth, as well as nerve function, heartbeat regulation and hormone production.
Calcium can be found in not only dairy products, but green leafy vegetables, salmon and nuts.
Dr. Sung Hye Kong, of the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, and his team investigated how high calcium intake affects the risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke and fractures among older adults from a population with a low calcium intake.
The team analysed data of 2,199 men and 2,704 women aged 50 and older who had never had a stroke, over the course of 13 years.
The team assessed the dietary calcium intake of participants, determined through a food frequency questionnaire. Every 2 years, participants underwent health examinations and interviews, and the researchers assessed any CVD, stroke or fracture events.
Not surprisingly, there were some benefits of a higher calcium intake: those who consumed more of the mineral had a significantly lower risk of CVD, according to the results. However, no significantly reduced fracture or stroke risks were found.
This research coincides with a 2014 study that suggested that a high milk intake may actually increase the risk of fractures and premature death.
There still needs to be more research before there is a definitive answer, so before you cease any supplements or change your diet, see your doctor.