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Calcium Pills May Lengthen Women's Lives

Update Date: May 22, 2013 02:05 PM EDT

Women who take calcium pills live longer than those who don't, a new study suggests.

A new study, which will be published in the July edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), reveals that taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help promote longevity in women.

Calcium is an important nutrient for bone health, and is commonly found in dairy products and vitamins.  While calcium is essential for bone health, previous research also linked calcium supplements to heart disease risk.

Researchers from the latest study wanted to see whether moderate doses of calcium supplements could benefit women's health.

The study involved 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007.  During the study period, a total of 1,160 participants died. 

The findings revealed that women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality risk.  However, researchers found no evidence that calcium supplements help lengthen men's lives.

"Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women," lead author Dr. David Goltzman, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said in a news release. "The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D."

"Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium," Goltzman added. "That is, the same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements."

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