Study advises against taking calcium supplements

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Researchers now say anyone in general good health should not be taking calcium supplements, unless your doctor says you need them.

The extra calcium is linked to heart problems and can be especially harmful to women past the age of menopause.

More than 135 studies show they may not prevent bones from fracturing in healthy women and can even boost the risk of developing heart problems.

Sarah Anderson, of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy says calcium gets dangerous when you get more than 1,400 milligrams per day.

She also says you should never assume you need supplements unless you get the okay from your doctor. “They [patients] might think that they're calcium deficient and in fact not be. You're not able to truly know you're deficient unless you look at lab work.”

Doctors say if you're worried about taking supplements one thing you can do is get back to basics, go all natural.

Adding side dish-sized servings of green leafy veggies to your meals will give you plenty of calcium. The same goes for dairy products, just keep your natural calcium to around 1,000 – 1,200 milligrams per day.

An eight ounce glass of milk has 300 milligrams; a 1/2 cup of veggies has about 70.

Doctors say weight bearing exercise will naturally strengthen bones as well as taking brisk walks several times per week.

The key is to get started before you hit menopause, to increase your chances of staying healthy and strong.

For a chart outlining how many milligrams of calcium are contained in certain foods, click on this link.