Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women
I’ve never really been a strong supporter in the use of calcium to strengthen bones. Worse yet, I cringe every time I hear a dairy commercial claiming that milk gives you strong bones and muscles. This is a very large meta analysis (almost 171,111 women and 67,000 men) that did not find any association between calcium intake and fracture risk. So why is this? Haven’t we been heavily brainwashed into taking our Tums for calcium and drink 15 servings of dairy per day and our bones will set off the metal detectors at the airports? I’m not sure how much of this is the dairy industry’s doing, but consider this.
We have large amounts of evidence on the benefits of Vitamin D across just about every disease state. But, for Vit D to protect us, it has to get converted to its active form, calcitriol. Conversion to calcitriol is controlled by calcium levels. Low calcium = better conversion to the active form = more protection from calcitriol. The reverse is true for low calcium. So it is highly possible that a high calcium diet (such as dairy) would actually create great harm by lowering the conversion of Vit D to its active form. The more this has come to light, the more I have recommended good levels of Vit D coupled with a good quality diet with an overall adequate source of calcium. Let the body use the active form of Vit D to absorb the calcium it needs and we’re all going to be better off long term.