Calcium supplements may help women live longer, new research suggests.
The study, slated for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found women eating a calcium-rich diet or taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day tended to have longer lifespans than those who don't.
Calcium, found in dairy products as well as vitamins, is an essential nutrient linked to bone health, but many studies have also found it can reduce heart disease risk.
For the new study, researchers tracked the health records of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007. Over that time, 1,160 participants died. An analysis of the individuals’ health records and calcium intake found women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality risk than those who didn’t. There was no similar benefit for men, the investigators said.
The study also found no conclusive evidence that vitamin D had an impact on mortality.
"Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women," said lead researcher, David Goltzman, M.D., of McGill University in Montreal. "The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.
"Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium. That is, the same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods, or supplements."
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