Calcium supplement warning from scientists

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The researchers found that taking supplements didn't lower the risk of death during the study follow-up period, while those who got the recommended amount of certain nutrients from foods had a lower risk of death in that time frame.

The researchers also found that excess calcium intake was associated with a high risk of cancer death.

Taking supplements, the study authors found, didn't translate to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or any cause for that matter.

The objective of this research, from Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the U.S. state of MA, was to evaluate the link between use of dietary supplements, the level of nutrients obtained from food and supplements, and mortality in adults in the US. "This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes".

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On the other hand, risk of death from cancer is only associated to excess calcium from dietary supplements, not from food.

The association between a lower risk of death and nutrients consumed in foods remained significant even after those factors were accounted for.

Nutrients consumed via supplements do not improve health and longevity as effectively as those consumed through foods, according to the study.

Specifically, the risk of cancer death increased with "supplemental doses of calcium exceeding 1,000 mg/day", according to the university's news release regarding the findings.

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Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements. Further research on this potential connection is needed.

The researchers used data from about 30,000 USA adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010.

Nutrients sourced from foods were monitored with 24-hour dietary recalls. And ultimately, the research has found only associations and does not prove that certain nutrients in foods lengthen life. These participants answered questions on their consumption of dietary supplements. This could altogether eliminate the need to have additional nutritional supplements. The ones that had used supplements had to give more details about it.

Those that mentioned that they had used dietary supplements had been requested for particulars, together with how typically they took the merchandise.

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Professor Hugh Montgomery, of UCL Institute Human Health and Performance, said: 'The growing message is routine vitamin supplementation offers little if any benefit to health and may cause harm. The academy points out that foods can contain beneficial components that aren't found supplements, such as fiber or bioactive compounds.