Do Calcium Supplements Really Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack?

On July 29, the British Medical Journal published a meta-analysis on the effects of calcium supplements on the risk of heart disease. The results were reported in the general media. The study’s conclusion suggested that calcium supplements may increase the risk of a heart attack.

 In response to the story, Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., vice president of Global Government and Scientific Affairs for the Natural Products Association notes the following:

“There are thousands of studies on calcium, but the authors selected only eight to do this meta-analysis. None of the selected studies had cardiovascular outcomes as the primary end-points, and data on cardiovascular events were not gathered in a standardized manner, so it would appear much more of a predetermined outcome versus one of great scientific rigor.”

Unfortunately this happens all to often a new study comes out and the media headlines saturate the public with only half the story. You never hear all the facts of the study. Surprisingly many studies I hear quoted on the news are inaccurate or incomplete. In order to find out the truth you should either read the study yourself or ask your healthcare provider for all the facts.

 Bottom Line: Do NOT stop taking your calcium supplements without first discussing your risk with your healthcare provider.

7 Responses to Do Calcium Supplements Really Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack?

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HEARTSTRONG1, HEARTSTRONG1. HEARTSTRONG1 said: Do Calcium Supplements Really Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack? […]

  2. is that true??? I can’t believe that since calcium is also good for heart, please explain it more..

  3. Carla Gibson says:

    I agree the media runs with half truths and often does more harm than good. However, this post is putting forth a critique by someone who has vested interest in refuting the BMJ study.

    I read the abstract of the meta-analysis where eleven (not eight) studies were reviewed. The meta-analysis was undertaken due to a randomized clinical research trial done in 2008 in New Zealand that showed an upward trend in cardiovascular events in postmenopausal women who used calcium supplementation compared to those who did not.

    There may be cause for concern. For years now, I have encouraged my patients to focus on dietary sources of calcium (particularly vegetable sources) while assuring adequate Vitamin D intake to facilitate absorption and utilization. I believe the research on calcium supplementation has been controversial for many reasons and this just adds one more doubt.

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