Are Calcium supplements harmful?

Too much of a good thing may be just that: too much. That is the conclusion of yet another study, this time a prospective, longitudinal, population-based cohort of Swedish women, looking at calcium intake and cardiovascular mortality. Around 60000 women studied over 19 years.

In this study, high rates of calcium intake were associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular death rates but not with deaths from stroke, reports an article published online February 13 in British Medical Journal.

Earlier this month, a National Institutes of Health–sponsored study suggested that a high intake of supplemental calcium increased the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) death in men, but not women.

The highest intakes of calcium (>1400 mg/day) were associated with higher all-cause risk for death  as compared with intakes of 600 to 1000 mg/day.

The association of calcium intake and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality “was especially strong if a high dietary intake of calcium was combined with calcium supplements.”

Women with the highest intake of calcium (>1400 mg/day) and who used supplement tablets had an all-cause risk for death 2.5 times higher than women who had similar total intakes but were not taking a supplement.

The authors suggested that one should not consume Calcium supplements if the food intake of calcium is good to make up for your daily requirement. The study results suggest that supplements, rather than the intake level, are the problem. So, it time to get rid of your supplements if your daily food intake of calcium is good!

via Mortality Doubles With High Calcium Intake Plus Supplements.

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