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News: Is less actually better when it comes to calcium?

Ladies, put down the yogurt.

Well, only if it’s jumbo-sized and you already took a calcium pill today.

A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, shows that high calcium intake could result in higher rates of heart disease and death in women.

“High intakes of calcium in women are associated with higher death rates from all causes and cardiovascular disease but not from stroke,” the study’s authors wrote.

In the study, those who consumed the most calcium were 1.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who got 600 to 999 mg per day.

It sounds like a scary stat, but participants who consumed the most had much more than Osteoporosis Canada’s recommended intake of 1200 mg per day for a 50+ woman.

The interesting thing is that those who consumed the least amount of calcium actually had only half the recommended intake (a little less than 600 mg).

So, is less actually better when it comes to calcium? Getting lots of calcium seems to be the most common suggestion for preventing osteoporosis—but there’s a difference between enough, and too much.

"Compared with intakes between 600 and 1000 mg/day, intakes above 1400 mg/day were associated with higher death rates from all causes," the study's authors concluded.

Do you take a calcium supplement regularly? Do you know how much calcium you get each day from your diet?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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