Calcium Supplements Heart, Taking calcium supplements may raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, said researchers from the University of Zurich Wednesday. However, despite the cardiac threat, the risk is mild.
Supplements: Risk vs. reward
A team of German and Swiss researchers followed 24,000 male and female volunteers over 11 years. While the original study was not based on supplemental calcium, the team found that of those who did supplement, their heart attack risk increased to 86% compared to those who did not.
However, when a follow-up was done on the group, it was learned that only 354 participants actually had a cardiac “event.”
According to a WebMD report, R.Reid, MD, distinguished professor of medicine at the University of Auckland, said that the practice of popping daily supplements “is not natural, in that it does not reproduce the same metabolic effects as calcium in food.”
Dr. Reid conducted his own research on taking calcium as a supplement, especially among post-menopausal women. He found that heart attack risk increases by as much as 25% when not getting it from natural food sources.
“The most important message to women who have been self-prescribing calcium, is that they should cease this practice, and look to a modified diet to obtain adequate calcium,” he added.
On the contrary, while supplementing your diet with calcium comes with some mild risk, most Americans are deficient in the mineral.
Regarding women who are past menopause, Reid said, “they should absolutely be taking a calcium supplement or they are at risk of developing osteoporosis or a fracture.”
How to prevent heart disease and stroke?
While the study goes against the age-old practice of adding calcium to your diet, there is no need to panic, as the risks are mild. Furthermore, the study has limitations in how it interprets the data. (Examiner)