#Osteoporosis – Not All About Calcium

Interesting review of a study this morning by Nutri about the fact that bone fractures are not just about Calcium. How many times have I said in this blog alone (and daily to patients) that Magnesium and the co-factors are much more important, and that giving Calcium alone is asking for trouble? Lots.

When I trained, I was taught that the Calcium/Magnesium ratio should be twice as much in favour of Magnesium than Calcium as most people actually get quite a bit from our high dairy and cereal diet, but often don’t have the ability to process it. Read more here about this.

Here, though, is the post from Nutri for you:

Calcium: more is not better 
A review published in the British Medical Journal has found that when it comes to calcium and bone health, more is not always better.
A group of more than 61,000 women were followed over a period of approximately 20 years over which time their calcium intake and fracture incidence was recorded. It was discovered that while low calcium intakes (below 750 mg daily) increased fracture risk so did higher intakes (above 1100 mg daily).
“Our observational data suggest that in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures emphasis should be placed on individuals with a low intake of calcium rather than increasing the intake of those already consuming satisfactory amounts” commented the study investigators.
The most recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) dietary guidelines for calcium (from diet and supplements) are set at 1000 mg a day for adult women until age 50 years and 1200 mg a day for women older than 50 years of age. Many women will get about 700 mg of calcium a day from dietary sources alone and, based on these findings, may require no more than an additional 500-600 mg a day from calcium supplements.
Reviewed by Benjamin Brown N.D
Warensjö E, et al.  Dietary calcium intake and risk of fracture and osteoporosis: prospective longitudinal cohort study. BMJ. 2011 May 24;342:d1473.
My view is that, if people take more Calcium, as long as they take to co-factors with it, it should not pose a problem. For more info on osteoporosis generally, read the Osteoporosis Factsheet

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