A few months ago, Women's Health reported that excessive calcium consumption was linked to a higher risk of mortality. New research now provides more insight on the subject: In a study recently accepted for publication in The Endocrine SocietyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers report that taking calcium supplementsÃ¢â‚¬”up to 1,000 mg a dayÃ¢â‚¬”is linked with lower mortality risk.
A research team from McGill University in Canada analyzed health data from more than 9,000 people that participated in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis StudyÃ¢â‚¬”though not all of the participants actually had osteoporosis. To get the skinny on calcium supplement consumption, researchers interviewed participants in person every five years and also asked them to fill out a yearly questionnaire about which medications and supplements they were taking.
The women who reported using calcium supplementsÃ¢â‚¬”up to 1,000 mg per dayÃ¢â‚¬”had about a 20 percent reduced risk of dying at some point during the 10-year study. Higher doses, however, led to inconclusive results.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in line with research published a few months ago that found women with a calcium intake exceeding 1,400 mg per day increased their mortality risk by 100 percent, compared to those who kept their intake between 600 and 999 mg.
All of this evidence points to the fact that the RDA for calciumÃ¢â‚¬”1,000 mg per day for women between the ages of 19 and 50Ã¢â‚¬”is in fact the best amount to aim for, says David Goltzman, MD, of McGill University.
The latest research suggests that taking calcium supplements can be a safe way to up your intakeÃ¢â‚¬”so long as you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exceed 1,000 mg per day from both supplements and dietary calcium.
That said, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always best not to rely on supplements to meet your nutritional needs. In fact, researchers found similar reductions in the risk of mortality when people increased their dietary calcium intake, as well.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The most appropriate way to meet your calcium needs is through your diet,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Goltzman. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If, however, you cannot meet your average daily requirement of calcium, there would be no harmÃ¢â‚¬”with respect to increased deathÃ¢â‚¬”to consume calcium supplements up to 1,000 mg per day.Ã¢â‚¬Â
These calcium-rich foods will help you get more of the nutrientÃ¢â‚¬”without having to resort to a supplement:
The ingredient: Milk or calcium-fortified soy milk Calcium content: 299 mg per 8-ounce serving (30 percent DV) Recipe idea: Greek-Style Frittata
Photo: Craig Cutler The Ingredient: Plain, nonfat yogurt (note: Greek yogurt has less calcium) Calcium content: 415 mg per 8-ounce serving (42 percent DV) Recipe idea: Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
Photo: Catherine Sears The Ingredient: White beans Calcium content: 96 mg per Ã‚Â½-cup serving (9 percent DV) Recipe idea: Tuscan Spinach Dumplings with White Beans
Photo: Quentin Bacon The ingredient: Kale Calcium content: 100 mg per 1-cup serving (10 percent DV) Recipe idea: Kale and Cannellini Beans
Photo: Mitch Mandel Plus, check out 9 other awesome kale recipes.
The ingredient: Almonds Calcium content: 75 mg per 1-ounce serving (7 percent DV) Recipe idea: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Radicchio
Photo: Kang Kim
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