A daily supplement of 1000mg of calcium can help women live longer, according to a new Canadian study.
Cheese is a good source of calcium
The study analysed the health of over 9,000 Canadians over a period of 12 years across nine cities to evaluate the effect calcium and Vitamin D had on the overall risk of death.
The research was led by Lisa Langsetmo and Professor David Goltzman at McGill University and was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Goltzman said: “We found that daily use of calcium supplements in women was associated with a lower risk of death, irrespective of cause."
"The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1000mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D."
Calcium helps with bone growth and strength and healthy teeth whilst it has also been linked to combating cancer and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
During the period of research from 1995 to 2007 around 1,150 of the participants died and the data showed that women whose intake of calcium was estimated at 1,000 mg a day had a lower mortality risk.
There was no statistical evidence to suggest men benefited from the calcium intake and no conclusive evidence that Vitamin D had an impact on mortality.
“Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium," said Goltzman.
"In other words, the same benefits were seen when the calcium from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements."
Good sources of calcium include dried herbs, cheese, seeds, yogurt and herring fish and the NHS advise that adults need a minimum of 700mg calcium a day. High doses of calcium, over 1500mg a day, could cause stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Some health insurance providers may lower your monthly premium if you maintain a healthy diet and follow recommended dietary guidelines.
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