Do calcium supplements actually strengthen your bones?

(WTNH) — A study finds that calcium supplements could actually do you more harm than good. Researchers in New Zealand did two studies, looking closely at all the clinical studies done over the years on calcium supplements and dietary calcium intake for bone density and fractures.

Millions of Americans take supplements to strengthen bones, but what researchers concluded is an eye opener. They found ‘no’ proof that people over fifty benefited from boosting their calcium intake, unless there were clear medical reasons they were needed. Even more surprising, the risk outweighed the slight benefit.

“You can experience mild things like constipation, abdominal pain but there is an increase risk of kidney stones even a slight increase of heart attack here. We reached out to the industry trade group and they challenge the findings and say calcium findings are safe and effective but if you want to continue taking these, you really should talk to your doctor,” said Dr. Richard Besser.

Researchers also found those who ate most of their calcium in their diets had slightly stronger bones, but there was no clear indication it reduced their risk of broken bones. So what can people do? Experts recommend walking, running, tennis, lifting weights and dancing, all weight bearing exercises, that can strengthen bones.

Alcohol and smoking can weaken them. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.

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