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Increasing calcium in diet unlikely to reduce fractures

Calcium supplements have long been recommended for older people to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Concerns have emerged about the small reduction in fractures when taking calcium supplements versus the moderate risk of minor side effects such as constipation and the small increase in severe side effects such as cardiovascular events and kidney stones.

As a result, some experts are now recommending increasing calcium through dietary changes rather than taking supplements. This meta-analysis aimed to see whether increasing dietary calcium affects bone mineral density. Findings showed a small initial increase but there were no further improvements after the first year.

The authors conclude that increasing calcium in the diet of older people is unlikely to significantly reduce fractures.

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