NPA backs calcium supplements despite JAMA study

Association defends calcium supplementation as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Cara Welch, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Natural Products Association (NPA), comments on a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on the effects of taking calcium supplements:

“It’s important for all age groups to maintain an adequate level of calcium as part of a healthy lifestyle. Dietary supplementation is both safe and effective for anyone who isn’t getting enough calcium from their diet. Calcium is an essential nutrient and the known benefits far outweigh the suggested detriments from this study.

While this study includes a large population and a long follow-up time, it also has weaknesses in that it doesn’t capture all the pertinent information regarding duration of calcium supplementation or other nutrients. Additionally, the study did not find any increased risk for women taking calcium supplements so there are certainly more questions to answer before coming to a conclusion. We agree with the related commentary to this study that, in their words, “More large studies are needed to further assess the potential health risks or benefits of calcium supplement use.”

The Natural Products Association does not believe that this study should cause anyone to stop taking their calcium supplements. We have long recommended that you should discuss your calcium intake with your health care professional.”


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