Our bodies need calcium to build strong bones and teeth, to regulate muscle contractions, and to ensure the blood clots normally. A Canadian study published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Endocrinology’ found calcium may also increase the lifespan of women.
9,000 men and women’s health was tracked between 1996 and 2007, during this time period 1,160 participants passed away. Data showed that women who had a daily intake of 1000mg of calcium lived longer than those who did not, however the data found no statistical benefit for men. The benefit for females was witnessed regardless of how they achieved the 1000mg of calcium. The study’s lead author Dr David Goltzman (McGill University in Montreal) explained “the benefit was seen for women who took 1000mg of calcium per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D. The same effects were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements.”
Contrary to the Canadian study a 10 year Swedish study of 23,000 men aged 45 to 79 years old found the highest calcium consumers had a 25% lower risk of death. The men reported on their diet at the start of the study. When the follow-up commenced 2,358 men had died. The data collected revealed that the men who consumed the most calcium had a 25% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 23% lower risk of heart disease, however calcium seemed to have no effect on cancer.
In theory the study with more participants should give more reliable results but like so often the mixed results can lead to confusion. I would conclude that a healthy calcium intake of 800mg to 1500mg a day is required for all of us.