Calcium Supplements Safe for the Heart

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Remember that media scare a few months back warning everyone to stop taking their calcium supplements because they caused heart problems? Well, here’s yet another study proving that warning wrong. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted a prospective cohort study of supplemental calcium and heart disease risk in 74,245 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Women were free of heart disease or cancer at the start of the study, and calcium supplementation was monitored every four years. After 24 years, the group suffered 4,565 cardiovascular events (2,709 heart disease and 1,856 strokes). Taking into account age, body mass index, dietary calcium, vitamin D intake, and other cardiovascular risk factors, women who took more than 1,000 milligrams of calcium as supplements a day compared to women who took none had an 29% lower risk for heart disease and almost no increased risk for stroke. The researchers conclude that, “….[these results]do not support the hypothesis that calcium supplement intake increases cardiovascular risk in women.”

Paik J, Curhan G, Sun Q, et al: Calcium supplement intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Osteoporosis International 2014;25:2047-2056.

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