Study findings from researchers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital suggest that women who receive their calcium from dietary sources have healthier bones compared to women who receive most of their calcium from supplements.
Researchers recruited 168 healthy postmenopausal women and evaluated the average total daily calcium intake from dietary and supplemental sources.
The women were divided into three groups; the "supplement group" who received at least 70 percent of their daily calcium from supplements (average 1,030 mg/day), the "diet group" who received at least 70 percent of their calcium from food sources (average 830 mg/day) and the "diet plus supplement group" who received their calcium from a combination of both (average 1,620 mg/day).
Despite having the lowest intake, women in the "diet group" who received most of their calcium from food sources had a higher bone density in their spines and hip bones compared to the "supplement group". Women in the "diet plus supplement group" had the highest bone density of all three groups.
High dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, including milk, cheese and yogurt. Other sources include calcium fortified soy beverages, broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, bok choy, salmon (with bones), sardines and Brazil nuts.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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