Calcium supplementation is often recommended for children whose diets are low in calcium, especially during the peripubertal growth period. Studies have shown that calcium supplementation increases bone mineral content and bone mineral density in both pre-pubertal and post-pubertal children, as well as women 65 years of age or older. The effects of calcium supplementation on bone density are much greater when combined with adequate vitamin D intake.
A health study recently revealed that supplemental calcium intakes increase children’s bone health, and supplementation beyond bone may even prevent cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin D3 is essential for healthy bones, as it helps absorb the calcium from dietary sources and supplements. This was further supported by a study from AARP Diet & Nutrition which showed that supplementation with both calcium and vitamin D3 could reduce bone loss in adults over age 50. Taken together, these studies indicate that calcium alone will not provide the same benefits as when combined with vitamin D3 supplementation.
In few cases, calcium supplements can be beneficial for children, as long as their regular diet provides an adequate calcium intake. Calcium is essential for bone health and strength, and a lack of it can lead to conditions such as rickets or osteoporosis. Supplementation may help in treating these conditions in children but should not replace healthy eating habits that provide the body with the necessary minerals and vitamins needed for a healthy body weight. Moreover, excessive consumption of calcium supplements may increase the risk of fractures as states take too much calcium than what is required for healthy growth. Therefore, supplementation should only be used when recommended by a healthcare professional in order to maintain optimal health and wellbeing in children.
In few cases, calcium supplements will increase children’s dietary calcium consumption and intake. However, studies have shown that there may be some adverse cardiovascular effects associated with supplementation. A randomized controlled study involving 672 men found that those who supplemented with calcium had similar benefits to those who achieved their dietary calcium through food sources. Additionally, the study found a reduced risk of prostate cancer in the group taking supplementation. Ultimately, supplementation with calcium should be done carefully as it is important to maintain a healthy balance between dietary sources and supplementation when it comes to boosting bone density in children.
Calcium supplementation should also be monitored by a medical professional to ensure it is being used properly. In a few cases, calcium supplements will increase children’s bone density. However, studies have shown that those who use calcium supplements are no more likely to benefit from them than those taking placebo pills. For example, a study of over 60,000 postmenopausal women found that daily calcium supplementation did not reduce their risk of hip fractures compared to those who did not take supplements. Moreover, the results showed that taking both vitamin D and calcium together led to an even smaller reduction in hip bone fractures compared to supplementing with just one nutrient alone. Thus, it appears that in most cases there are no benefits for postmenopausal women from taking supplemental calcium beyond what they already get from their diet.
However, in few cases, calcium supplements may increase children’s total calcium intake. Several supplementation studies have found that the skeletal accumulation of calcium varies with age and can be affected by factors such as body size and activity level. Moreover, some studies suggest that taking supplemental calcium can lead to fluid retention and potentially increase bone density in children. One study of 19 trials involving over 20,000 women found that taking supplemental calcium during the last trimester of pregnancy was associated with a significant decrease in high blood pressure compared to no supplementation. Additionally, another study showed that taking additional oral or intravenous calcium during late pregnancy was associated with improved bone turnover rates among newborns.
Thus, it appears that there may be a benefit for pregnant women from taking supplemental calcium beyond what they get from their diet. Overall, more research is needed to determine if there are any long-term benefits for children from taking supplemental calcium beyond what they already get from their diet.