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With Calcium, More May Not Be Better
Date:5/25/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Getting enough calcium for bone health is essential, but getting more than that doesn't appear to confer any additional benefit, Swedish researchers have found.

With age, bones start to lose calcium, their major building block. This puts older people, especially women, at risk for fractures and osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones become fragile and break easily.

To help prevent these devastating injuries, women with a low intake of calcium should increase their intake to avoid fractures caused by osteoporosis, "while women with a satisfactory intake should not," said lead researcher Eva Warensjo, a researcher in the department of surgical sciences section of orthopedics at Uppsala University.

"Dietary intake of less than 700 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day was associated with a higher risk of both fractures and osteoporosis, while higher intakes did not further reduce the risk in [a population-based] cohort of Swedish women," she added.

The researchers also found there was an increased risk of hip fracture at the highest intake level. "But, this result should be cautiously interpreted and needs to be investigated further," Warensjo said.

The report was published in the May 24 online edition of the BMJ.

For the study, Warensjo and colleagues collected data on 61,433 women born between 1914 and 1948 who took part in the Swedish Mammography Cohort study in 1987.

Women in the study responded to questions about their diet and use of calcium supplements and multivitamins. In addition, researchers used information they provided to adjust for weight, height, smoking, educational status and the use of estrogen-replacement therapy for menopause, among other factors.

During 19 years of follow-up, 24 percent of the women had a fracture for the first time. Of these, 6 percent were hip fractures, the resea
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