Calcium supplement warning from scientists

Henrietta Strickland
April 13, 2019

They found that getting enough of certain nutrients is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality when the nutrient source is foods, but not supplements. But excess calcium from food was not associated with a similar uptick in mortality risk, Zhang says, which suggests that the body may not be able to clear excess supplemental calcium as well as it can natural calcium.

"As potential benefits and harm of supplement use continue to be studied, some studies have found associations between excess nutrient intake and adverse outcomes, including increased risk of certain cancers", Fang Fang Zhang, a researcher at Tufts University and study senior author, said in news release.

Up to 5 million people in the United Kingdom take calcium and vitamin D supplements in an attempt to avoid osteoporosis in later life.

But a study found taking supplements has little effect and only nutrients found in foods can lower your chances of death.

However, more than half of the participants declared the use of dietary supplements, and 38.3 percent claimed the use of multivitamin and mineral supplements. The bad news is that this link is seen only when those nutrients come from food, not supplements, according to a new study.

The study recorded 3,613 deaths in the median follow-up period of 6.1 years. About 945 cardiovascular deaths and 805 cancer deaths were included. The data was taken from a national health survey from 1999 to 2010.

Nutrients sourced from foods were monitored with 24-hour dietary recalls.

Dietary supplements don't lengthen life and may shorten it if taken at extreme ranges, researchers reported Monday within the Annals of Inner Medication.

In fact, when it comes to taking supplements in general, researchers from Tufts University claim to have found "no association between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of [early] death". The consumption of vitamin K and magnesium in adequate amounts can lower the risk of death from any cause; and the use of Zinc, vitamin K and A, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular death. The researchers said that adequate intake of Vitamin K and magnesium indicated a lower risk of death.

Contrary to popular belief, dietary supplements do not play a significant role in extending an individual's lifetime.

The study looked at data from more than 27,000 USA adults, 20 years old and up, to measure the links between dietary supplement use and death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. However, this link requires further investigation to be definitively proved as a positive association. Additionally, the possibility that residual confounding may have affected the study's results remains.

One thing that the researchers can not say is whether the association is between the nutrients themselves or other components in the foods, Zhang said.

"This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes", added Zhang.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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