According to a study of more than 800 Italian women who were passed menopause, low calcium intake can lead to a higher risk of developing not only osteoporosis, but also hypertension, or high blood pressure, than among women who consumed higher levels of calcium. The research was presented at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy. In fact, a significantly increased proportion of the women—35.4 percent—who ate a lower amount of calcium through intake from dairy sources, had the concurrent diagnosis of both hypertension and osteoporosis, and the risk develops over time. "Our study confirms that there may be a link between hypertension and low bone mass and that a low calcium intake could be a risk factor for the development of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women," said Professor Maria Manara, Department of Rheumatology, Gaetano Pini Institute, Milan, Italy, and lead author of the study. "Our study has also shown that a low calcium intake from dairy foods may be involved in this association and could be considered a risk factor for the development of hypertension and osteoporosis." While calcium supplements can provide the needed mineral, numerous studies suggest that getting calcium through dairy foods, notably low- or no-fat choices, is preferred. Look for ways to add more milk, yogurt and cheeses to your daily diet.
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