Should I Take a Calcium Supplement?



Calcium supplementation is still a rather frequent prescription for people over 50 years of age, especially women. The thought is that older individuals tend to be at a higher risk of bone fractures, and since bone is made up of calcium, then supplementing with calcium should lead to stronger bones. The theory makes a lot of sense, but in reality this just does not work.

A new study in the British Medical Journal has shown that not only is taking a calcium supplement not helping you grow denser bones, but it actually may be harmful. The article showed that people over 50 do not get a benefit from taking calcium supplementation.1

Bone is living tissue and requires many different nutrients to grow and flourish. In fact many nutrient deficiencies can lead to bone abnormalities such as diets too low in calories, zinc, protein, and vitamin D. Physical activity also plays a major role in bone health. It seems as though peaking bone mass in the first two decades of life may be the most important factor in decreasing one’s risk to bone mineral loss.2

So how do you peak bone density in the first 2 decades of life? The same way you will create health for yourself at whatever age you are. Live the lifestyle that is closest to the way our ancestors did as you are able. In other words, live congruent with your genes: Eat a healthy Paleo diet, exercise regularly including bursts in the anaerobic zone and weight bearing exercises like squats and dead lifts, and reducing the stress in your life wherever possible.