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Calcium Supplements May Jeopardize Heart Health, Study Finds

04/20/11

  10:36:13 am, by MedBen5   , 244 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Calcium Supplements May Jeopardize Heart Health, Study Finds

It figures. Just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than half of Americans use dietary supplements, one of the most popular is under fire.

HealthDay (via Yahoo! Health) reports that a new study that women who take calcium supplements put themselves at greater risk for heart disease. “Our own recommendation is to critically review the use of calcium supplements, since the data in this paper suggests that they do more harm than good,” said study senior author Dr. Ian Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The CDC found that 61% of women over 60 used calcium supplements from 2003 to 2006 to reduce the odds of developing osteoporosis.

An earlier Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) project, funded by the U.S. government, found no negative link between calcium and heart health. The current researchers noted, however, that more than half of the women in that study were already taking their own calcium supplements in addition to those prescribed for the trial, potentially distorting their findings. When the researchers looked only at the women who had not taken personal calcium supplements, they found a13-22% increased risk of cardiovascular problems compared to women in the WHI study who only took a placebo.

“The cautious way forward seems to be to encourage people to obtain their calcium from the diet, rather than from supplements, since food calcium has not been shown to carry this increased risk of heart disease,” Reid added.

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