In the new studies, scientists in New Zealand looked at the effect of diet and supplements on bone health in people over age 50. The first study found that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources or by taking supplements produced small (1%-2%) increases in bone mineral density, and the second found there was no evidence from clinical trials that increasing dietary calcium intake prevented bone breaks.
The researchers concluded that most people should get enough calcium through a normal diet with the inclusion of dairy products, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, soy beans, nuts, and anything made with fortified flour. Currently, the US National Osteoporosis Foundation promotes at least 1,200 mg calcium, plus 800-1000 IU of vitamin D daily, as a goal for women age 50 or older. Many also believe that few people can achieve these intakes through dietary means alone, and this is where nutritional supplements may be beneficial. Read more