The study analyzed information from more than 27,000 adults in the US ages 20 and up who took part in a national health survey between 1999 and 2010. The adults were also followed for an average of 6.1 years. In addition, they explored if these links are affected by the nutrient source: food versus supplements.
Lead scientist Dr Fang Fang Zhang, from Tufts University, said: "It is important to understand the role that the nutrient and its source might play in health outcomes, particularly if the effect might not be beneficial".
Excess calcium intake in the context of this study was defined as doses exceeding 1,000 mg a day.
But a study found taking supplements has little effect and only nutrients found in foods can lower your chances of death.
For the study, the researchers assessed the dietary intake of nutrients from foods using 24-hour dietary recalls.
A new Tufts University study involving more than 27,000 Americans is the latest research to show that most supplements may not do much to improve health - or at least can't compete with the benefits of a healthy diet.
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The study recorded 3,613 deaths in the median follow-up period of 6.1 years. That number included 945 cardiovascular deaths and 805 cancer deaths. Finally, to calculate mortality outcomes for each study participant, matches were made with the National Death Index through December 31, 2011.
There was no connection between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of death.
The researchers found that adequate intakes of vitamin K and magnesium were associated with a lower risk of death, while adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, and zinc were associated with a lower risk of death from CVD.
The researchers also said excess intake of certain supplements - namely calcium - can have harmful effects, increasing a person's risk of a cancer-associated death, according to the study, which was published Tuesday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. People with no vitamin D deficiency also faced an increased death risk when they consumed the nutrient in a supplement. Excess intake of calcium was associated with higher risk of death from cancer, they said.
In individuals who had low levels of nutrient intake, dietary supplements did not affect their mortality risk.
The study used data from more than 27,000 USA adults ages 20 and older to evaluate the association between dietary supplement use and death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. However, this link requires further investigation to be definitively proved as a positive association.
Best sources of calcium: These will include milk, cheese, yoghurt, paneer and other dairy products, soya beans, vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and certain nuts. Additionally, the possibility that residual confounding may have affected the study's results remains.
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