Taking calcium supplements to boost bone density or prevent fractures as people get older does not work, according to major research.
Up to five million people in the UK take calcium and vitamin D supplements in an attempt to avoid osteoporosis in later life.
But two studies published in the British Medical Journal Wednesday say there is no evidence increasing calcium intake through supplements prevents fractures and they should not be recommended.
Most people should get enough calcium through a normal diet, they conclude. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, soya beans, nuts, and anything made with fortified flour.