One persistent problem is that supplement users often get a lot of calcium in their diet, Kennel said.
“Since those who take supplements are more likely to have higher dietary intake of calcium, one can surmise that they are getting too much calcium because of the supplementation,” Kennel said.
“For most people, following a healthy diet to obtain calcium from their diet is sufficient,” Kennel added. “For healthy persons, taking calcium supplements will not decrease the risk of osteoporosis or fractures but may cause side effects.”
However, certain medical conditions like ulcerative colitis and kidney failure, diuretic medications, and weight-loss surgery can all lead to calcium deficiencies, and these patients in particular may need supplements, said Dr. Neelum Aggarwal of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
“Rarely is diet alone going to help persons come back from a calcium deficient state,” Aggarwal, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.
- Rooney MR, Michos ED, Hootman KC, et al. Trends in calcium supplementation, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2014. Bone. 2018 Mar 9;111:23-27. [Epub ahead of print]