This site is intended for health professionals only

High calcium dose 'no extra benefit'

Higher doses of calcium for warding off osteoporosis in later years offers no extra benefit, a Swedish study has suggested.

Although moderate amounts (about 700 mg per day) are vital, the study found women taking around 750 mg per day still ran a similar risk of bone fracture or osteoporosis as ones taking the highest amounts (around 1,135 mg).

Among the total of more than 60,000 women followed up for 19 years, 24% suffered a fracture and one fifth of a 5,000-strong subset developed osteoporosis.

The experts, writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), said: "The highest quintile of calcium intake did not further reduce the risk of fractures of any type, or of osteoporosis."

In fact, those taking the most amounts of calcium had a slightly higher risk of hip fracture, although this needs further research. The authors concluded that while low levels of calcium intake (less than 700 mg per day) increased the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, there was no need to start increasing calcium intake above that amount.

Copyright © Press Association 2011