Calcium is commonly used to prevent osteoporosis and fractures, but experts are now debating how much calcium is really needed, especially by women. A new observational study suggests that 750 mg/day of elemental calcium is enough to reduce the risk of fracture in women. Higher amounts had NO additional benefit.
According to the experts at Prescriber’s Letter tell us prescribers, “It’s too soon to aim for less calcium at this point. Continue to recommend 1000-1200 mg/day from diet and supplements.”
The experts go on to warn, “But caution patients not to overdo it. There is concern that too much calcium might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Here’s a good rule of thumb that I use in my practice: To figure out dietary calcium, count 300 mg/day from non-dairy foods, plus 300 mg/cup of milk or fortified orange juice.
So, for most women, good daily nutrition, a multivitamin, and a glass of calcium-fortified juice or milk daily will do the trick.