Taking calcium supplements or eating more dairy to improve bone health has little or no effect, according to new research.
There is scant evidence that taking calcium supplements prevents fractures and no evidence that increasing calcium through the diet prevents fractures or breaks either, experts said.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), collected data from dozens of studies.
According to the NHS, adults need 700mg of calcium a day and it is recommended people get all the calcium they need from their diet.
The NHS warns that taking high doses of calcium (over 1,500mg a day) could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea; taking supplements containing less may do no harm..
“There is no evidence currently that increasing dietary calcium intake prevents fractures,” they said.
They said calcium supplements have “an unfavourable risk: benefit profile”, meaning they could do more harm than good.
“Collectively, these results suggest that clinicians, advocacy organisations, and health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake for fracture prevention, either with supplements or diet.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved