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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Nov;7(11):1877-83. doi: 10.2215/CJN.04880512. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Calcium builds strong bones, and more is better--correct? Well, maybe not.

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University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Calcium supplementation has been considered the gold standard therapy for osteoporosis in the general population. It is given in both the placebo and treatment groups of trials evaluating antifracture efficacy of new therapies. Similarly, calcium-based phosphate binders have been considered the gold standard comparator for all new phosphate binders. However, large randomized trials demonstrate conflicting data on the antifracture efficacy of calcium supplementation, particularly in high doses, in patients with osteoporosis without CKD. In addition, recent data suggest an increased risk for cardiovascular events. These new studies raise safety concerns for the general approach with calcium supplementation and binders. This review describes recent data on the adverse effects of calcium supplementation for osteoporosis and how these new data should affect the strategy for phosphate binder use in CKD.

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