A new study about to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) takes a look at calcium.
Looking at this latest review, The Health Supplements Information Service (HSIS) notes: “Firstly it is vital to point out that calcium is an essential nutrient for the health of our bones, teeth and nervous system. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey, run by the government, continue to show a lack of essential nutrients across population groups but particularly in young women whose mineral intakes may be severely compromised and in children and older people.
“Given this significant dietary gap of essential nutrients among the British population, vitamin and mineral supplements containing minerals like calcium are an important method of topping up vitamins and minerals.
“Looking at this latest study about to be published, it is a complex meta-analysis of 32 prospective epidemiological studies which looked at intakes of dairy products, calcium from supplements and calcium from non-dairy sources. Findings were that total calcium and dairy calcium intakes, but not non dairy calcium or supplemental calcium intakes, were positively associated with prostate cancer risk.
“This was a very mixed picture but of note is that supplemental calcium was not associated with prostate cancer risk. Supplemental calcium was associated with fatal prostate cancer risk, but this finding was based on only two studies so requires a lot more additional research.
“Overall, the diverging results for types of dairy products and sources of calcium suggest that other components of dairy rather than fat and calcium may increase prostate cancer risk.”
In summary, HSIS notes: “This study should not be used to dissuade people from consuming sources of calcium, including supplements. A supplement containing recommended amounts of calcium can be suggested to ensure an adequate intake of calcium particularly among those people who do not consume dairy foods. In fact, a vitamin and mineral supplement containing the RDA of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals can ensure that people achieve recommended amounts of essential nutrients. If more people were recommended to take such a vitamin and mineral supplement, fewer people would suffer the vitamin and mineral gap. In helping to ensure that vitamin and mineral intakes reach recommended levels, supplements contribute to the maintenance of good health.”
 Dagfinn Aune, Deborah A Navarro Rosenblatt, Doris SM Chan et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 101:87–117.
 Bates B, Lennox A, Prentice A et al. (2012) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Headline Results from Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009-2010/2011). Department of Health