Known for its abilities to prevent osteoporosis and support bone health, Canadian researchers have found a new health benefit for women taking calcium supplements: a longer lifespan. The study was based on data from the large-scale Canadian Multicenter Osteoporosis Study, which monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died. The data showed women who said they took daily calcium supplements appeared to have a lower risk of death during the study. The study’s lead author, Dr. David Goltzman, the director of the Calcium Research Laboratory at McGill University in Montreal, says the benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg of calcium supplements a day. Those taking more than 1,000 mg a day saw no added benefit.
“Our analysis showed that total calcium intake among women was more likely to be beneficial than harmful, and that the same was true of calcium intake from dairy sources, nondairy sources, and supplements,” they wrote.
Calcium’s daily recommendation is 1,000 mg a day, which can be obtained through diet and supplements. Adults aged 51 and over are advised to aim for 1,200 mg a day. Moderate intake of calcium is generally considered safe but you should always consult with a health care professional before start taking any vitamins or supplements.