Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Excessive calcium tablet consumption increases risk of cancer

Vitamins from Food — Not Supplements — Linked with Longer Life Credit Shutterstock
Anna Jefferson | 13 April, 2019, 00:31

It must be noted that a surplus of calcium intake was associated with a higher risk of death from cancer.

From the evidence gathered, it's becoming more clear that "the regular use of dietary supplements is not beneficial in reducing the risk of mortality among the general population in the U.S.", according to study co author Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at the Freedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Dietary supplements aren't associated with reduced risk of death, according to a new study. In addition, prevalence and dosage of dietary supplement use was self-reported and so is subject to recall bias. Future studies should continue to examine the potential risks and benefits of supplements. There was no association between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of death.

The participants included in Zhang's study all had filled out a 24-hour food questionnaire twice.

They found no evidence of an association between calcium in food and cancer death. "This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes".

Furthermore, findings also show that excess calcium intake associated with supplemental calcium doses exceeding 1,000 mg per day is linked to an increased risk of cancer death. And ultimately, the research has found only associations and does not prove that certain nutrients in foods lengthen life.

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In contrast, past studies have shown that consuming calcium from supplements may increase cardiovascular disease. But after they adjusted for factors like education, socioeconomic status and demographics, it became apparent that mostly higher-income, better-educated people - who are more likely to be in good health to begin with - were taking supplements.

The researchers found that adequate intakes of vitamin K and magnesium were associated with a lower risk of death, while adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, and zinc were associated with a lower risk of death from CVD.

The study found that people who consume adequate amounts of vitamin K or magnesium had a lower risk of death from any cause during the study period, compared with those who didn't get adequate levels of these nutrients.

Zhang says a few populations may benefit from certain supplements, including the elderly - who often struggle to absorb nutrients from food - and those with dietary restrictions that may lead to deficiencies.

'Furthermore, there are those who eat poor quality diets but take a supplement as an insurance policy. The academy points out that foods can contain beneficial components that aren't found supplements, such as fiber or bioactive compounds.

The message to take from the new study, "even though it's not glamorous, is to focus on getting our nutrients from our diet rather than from supplements", Kelly Sanna-Gouin, a registered dietitian at the Detroit Medical Center, said.

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