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Calcium in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis: EMAS Clinical Guide

October 12, 2017

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 12, 2017 - Osteoporosis is common and affects 1 in 3 women. Calcium is vital for strong healthy bones and worldwide scientific societies have issued guidance about the daily requirements from childhood to old age. The European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) has issued a new clinical guide with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of calcium in lowering the risk of osteoporosis.

The recommended daily intake of calcium after menopause varies between 700 and 1,200 mg, depending on the endorsing society. It is uncertain whether excessive intake can cause harm. Some epidemiological studies have raised concern about possible cardiovascular risk, dementia or even, paradoxically, fracture.

Calcium may be obtained from food or supplements containing calcium salts. Most people should be able to get enough calcium through healthy eating, but this is not always the case. Diets in Southern European have less dairy products than in Northern countries. Data from the NHANES database in the USA showed that less than one third of women aged 9 to 71 consumed enough calcium. Supplements are poorly tolerated and therefore not usually taken long term. Another reason for concern are the rates of over prescription of supplements above the recommended upper level of 2,000 mg/day. For example, one study found that 29% of supplements were over prescribed.

EMAS confirms that calcium is an essential part of the diet from childhood to old age, and that an approximate assessment of intake should be part of routine health checks. Women need to be more calcium-aware and mindful of calcium-rich foods. But more is not better, and women should be warned that intakes above the recommended levels may be useless or, although still debated, may cause harm.
The complete statement can be found in "CALCIUM IN THE PREVENTION OF POSTMENOPAUSAL OSTEOPOROSIS: EMAS CLINICAL GUIDE" by Antonio Cano et al. DOI:

It appears in Maturitas, published by Elsevier.

Notes for editors

Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at or +31 20 485 2492.

About the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS)

EMAS promotes the study of midlife health through its journal, congresses, schools and website and encourages the exchange of research and professional experience between members. Using a range of activities and through its affiliates, EMAS aims to guarantee and provide the same standard of education and information throughout Europe on midlife health in both genders. Recognizing the issues arising from increased longevity the society also provides articles, patient information, web resources, and referrals for healthcare providers in the field and keeps its members up-to-date.

About Maturitas

Maturitas is an international multidisciplinary peer reviewed scientific journal of midlife health and beyond, publishing original research, reviews, consensus statements and guidelines. The scope encompasses all aspects of postreproductive health in both genders ranging from basic science to health and social care.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, Scival, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries.

Media contact

Greyling Peoples
+31 20 485 3323


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