A study released on Friday (British Medical Journal) suggests that calcium supplements taken by the elderly to strengthen bones may increase heart attack risk.Â The findings are unique to calcium supplements when taken WITHOUT Vitamin D and do not generalize to calcium intake from dietary sources.
Study author conclusions:
Calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. As calcium supplements are widely used these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a large burden of disease in the population. A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis is warranted.
From Yahoo News:
To investigate further, an international team of researchers led by Ian Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand reviewed 11 separate clinical trials involving 12,000 patients.
They found that calcium supplements were associated with about a 30 percent jump in heart attack risk.
The chances of stroke and mortality also increased to a lesser extent.
The link was consistent across trials and was independent of age, sex, and type of supplement.
- Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Baron JA, Grey A, Maclennan GS, Gamble GD, Reid IR. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Jul 29;341:c3691. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691.
- Yahoo News