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Calcium Supplementation: is it required?

Dietary supplement industry is one of the fastest growing industry and calcium supplement is one of the most commonly sold supplement in the market. The backdrop of its high demand is mainly driven from idea that bones are made of calcium.

Although the claim is not false, but it’s not entirely true either. In fact, Bones are made at least of dozens of minerals and we all need them in perfect proportion in order to have healthy bones. Calcium in one of those minerals along side Vitamin-D, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc etc. Calcium supplementation is widely used as a preventive measure of osteoporosis. However, its effectiveness was challenged in a meta-analysis which reported calcium supplementation to be ineffective in reducing the hip fractures in men and women. [1] Further, Calcium supplements (without co-administered vitamin D) is also associated with an increased risk of heart attack [2] and few other complications like kidney stones [3] Recommendation Hence, when it comes to using calcium supplementation to take care of bones, it is always advisable to only use it under doctor’s prescription. RDA of calcium intake ranges from 1000 to 2500 mg per day, which can be easily fulfilled from regular dietary intake. Reference: [1] Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis Calcium Plus Vitamin D Supplementation and the Risk of Fractures
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