To take calcium supplements or to pass them up: Experts continue to argue about the value of taking this mineral in pill form. But a reliable recommendation about what you need to do to get enough calcium to protect your bones is finally taking shape.
According to a researcher at the University of California San Francisco, you should strive to get calcium from your food. But calcium pills may not be as dangerous as their reputation.
“Osteoporosis (bone weakening) may result from inadequate calcium intake and it’s quite common for certain segments of our population, such as the elderly, to consume less than the recommend amount,” says Douglas C. Bauer, M.D., a professor of medicine, epidemiology and biostatistics. “But a high calcium diet should be the preferred method to receive adequate amounts of the nutrient. The Institute of Medicine’s recommended dosage for post-menopausal women over the age of 50 and men over 70 is 1,200 mg per day.
He adds: “If it is not possible to consume enough calcium from the diet, the use of calcium supplements is most likely safe and not associated with cardiovascular outcomes.”
Although a 2010 study seemed to show that taking calcium supplements might endanger your heart, other research has not come to the same conclusion.
Bauer recommends consuming calcium-rich foods to increase your dietary intake of calcium. That includes kale, broccoli and bok choy.