Low calcium hormone disease risk
22 October, 2012
Essex: Having too little calcium in the diet increases women's risk of a hormone condition that can cause bone fractures and kidney stones, scientists suggest.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) affects around one in 800 people during their lifetime and is most common in post-menopausal women.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the team suggest increasing calcium intake cuts the risk of the disease.
Adults need around 700mg of calcium a day.
Milk and other dairy foods, nuts and fish such as sardines and pilchards (where the bones are eaten) are some dietary sources of calcium.
Taking too much could cause stomach pains and diarrhoea.
PHPT is caused by overactive parathyroid glands secreting too much parathyroid hormone.
As well as bone and kidney problems, there have also been suggestions it is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Benefits v risks
The US team from Brigham and Women's Hospital looked at 58,300 women who were taking part in a much broader ongoing piece of research called the Nurses' Health Study.