Calcium supplements 'could have a damaging impact on the heart'

12 October 2016

A new study has raised concerns about the potential heart health risks of taking calcium supplements.

The Johns Hopkins Medicine research analysed data from 2,742 people over a span of ten years, finding that supplement users showed a 22 per cent greater risk of having their coronary artery calcium scores rise higher than zero, indicating the development of heart disease.

By contrast, those with the highest dietary intake of calcium in the study saw no increase in their relative risk of developing heart disease over the ten-year study period, suggesting that naturally calcium-rich foods do not pose the same danger.

The discrepancy was suggested to be a possible consequence of calcium salts found in supplements, or the fact that the body is unable to process such a large dose of calcium in one go.

Dr Erin Michos, associate professor of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: "Patients should really discuss any plan to take calcium supplements with their doctor to sort out a proper dosage or whether they even need them."

It was shown that 46 per cent of the study population in this research used calcium supplements, with older women often taking them to reduce their risk of osteoporosis.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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