Cardiac Risks from Calcium Supplements

Millions of women take calcium supplements. The U.S Government recommends 1200 mg intake of calcium per day for men and women over the age of 50.

Recent research, just published in the British Medical Journal, show that calcium supplements actually have no beneficial effect on bone density and are actually harmful because they increase the risk of heart attacks.

Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed 11 calcium supplement studies (without Vitamin D), with more than 12,000 participants. The risk of heart attacks among those taking supplements was 31% higher than those not taking them.

The studies had equal numbers of women in both the calcium supplement and control groups. Over the years of observation there were 143 heart attacks but only 111 in those who took the placebo. There was no increased heart attack risk from obtaining calcium from food sources.

The best vegetable sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables. Dairy products are also high in calcium but dairy’s benefit to adults may be offset by their saturated fats and high protein concentrations.