Top Health Tools
Top Health Tools

Top Reports
Top Reports
Top Articles
Top Articles

Top Reviews
Top Reviews
   
 


 
Share/Bookmark
...............................................................................................................

May 25, 2012
Researchers Expose More Evidence That Calcium Supplements Increase Heart Attack Risk


For years, the medical industry has been promoting the use of calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis, reinforcing age-old myths that calcium supplementation builds strong bones and teeth. Newly published research is reinforcing previous studies warning that calcium supplements should be 'taken with caution' after findings suggested consumption of the supplements could double the risk of heart attack incidence.



The belief that calcium is what builds strong bones is absolutely ingrained in our society, but has no basis in reality--calcium is but ONE of the many minerals your body needs for building strong bones. Calcium supplements have demonstrated little benefit, and here is one more piece of research suggesting they may increase your risk for a cardiovascular event.

This is just another example of marketing madness taking precedence over a deeper understanding of human biology, and why we need well-designed scientific studies before making blanket statements about any intervention. This isn't the first study to suggest your calcium supplement may be doing more harm than good.

A 2004 study showed that people with excess calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17-fold higher risk of heart attacks than do those with lower arterial calcium levels; researchers concluded that the two most definitive indicators of heart attack were LDL levels and calcium build-up.

A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has more favorable effects on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal women (Am J Clin Nutr 2007).

A 2008 study found calcium supplements are associated with a greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women (BMJ 2008)


A 2010 meta-analysis showed calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with increased risk for heart attack (BMJ 2010)

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), food will always be the best source of calcium: "People who get the recommended amount of calcium from foods do not need to take a calcium supplement. These individuals still may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Getting too much calcium from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones and other health problems."

The current study -- published in Heart -- questions the safety of calcium supplement pills, suggesting that the mineral causes changes in blood vessels that could lead to twice the risk of heart attack.

"Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures," said the researchers, led by Professor Sabine Rohrmann, from Zurich University's institute of social and preventative medicine.

"It is now becoming clear that taking this micronutrient in one or two daily [doses] is not natural, in that it does not reproduce the same metabolic effects as calcium in food," they added.

Rohrmann and her team argued: "We should return to seeing calcium as an important component of a balanced diet, and not as a low cost panacea to the universal problem of postmenopausal bone loss."

Meanwhile, Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), noted that whilst the research indicates there may be an increased risk of having a heart attack for people who take calcium supplements... "this does not mean that these supplements cause heart attacks."

"Further research is needed to shed light on the relationship between calcium supplements and heart health," said Stewart. "We need to determine whether potential risks of the supplements outweigh the benefits calcium can give sufferers of conditions such as osteoporosis."

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.


Share/Bookmark
...............................................................................................................

This site is owned and operated by PreventDisease.com 1999-2014. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. Please review our copyright policy for full details.
aaa
Interact
volunteerDonateWrite For Us
Stay Connected With Our Newsletter