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Calcium Supplements: Do They Increase AMD Risk?

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A reader of†Scientific American Consumer Health's Vision White Paper asks:Does taking a calcium supplement increase my risk of AMD? Here's what the research says -- and our advice.

A 2015 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology†found that older people who took more than 800 mg/day of calcium as a supplement were more likely to be diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The researchers had evaluated the results of a large nationwide survey to look for a connection between AMD and the use of calcium supplements in 3,191 people age 40 and older.

Overall, approximately 8 percent of the people surveyed had AMD. People ages 68 and older who said they took more than 800 mg/day of supplementary calcium were significantly more likely to have AMD than those who said they didnít take any calcium supplements. There was no significant link between AMD and taking calcium supplements in people younger than 68 or taking less than 800 mg/day of calcium supplements, regardless of age.

Despite these findings, thereís no conclusive evidence that taking high levels of calcium supplements causes or worsens AMD. The study also didnít measure how much calcium the participants got from their diet. For adults, the recommended daily amount of calcium is 1,000 mg/ day.

If your doctor has told you to take a calcium supplement, donít stop taking it without first discussing it with him or her.

Posted in Vision on April 11, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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Scientific American Vision White Paper 2016

2016 Vision White Paper

This comprehensive report is essential reading for anyone affected by a vision disorder, including low vision, cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

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