Calcium Linked to Reduced Risk of Death in Women

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While the benefits of taking calcium supplements are frequently debated, a new study shows that they may reduce the risk of death in women.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, analyzed data from over 9,000 patients and determined that calcium intake did not significantly impact the rate of death in men. However, women who used calcium supplements had a noticeably lower risk of death than women who did not.

The benefits of increased calcium intake were seen by women who received 1,000 milligrams per day of the common dietary supplement, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, vitamin D is often included in calcium supplements because of the role it plays in helping the body to absorb calcium.

According to research, 15.2 percent of women take calcium supplements alone, 3.7 percent take vitamin D supplements alone and 29 percent were taking the two in tandem. Comparatively, just 7.3 percent of men take just calcium supplements, 4.4 percent take only vitamin D supplements and 15.4 percent use both.

While researchers say that they do not know the full risks or benefits of the two supplements are not yet known, they continue to recommend that clinicians “assess dietary intake to meet calcium and vitamin D requirements for bone health and to consider supplementation as necessary to meet the requirements.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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