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Calcium’s Effect On Heart Risk ‘Dramatically Overstated’

August 13, 2010 by  

Calcium's Effect On Heart Risk 'Dramatically Overstated'Over the past decade a myriad of studies have concluded that calcium supplements can help promote healthy bone mass while preventing osteoporosis.

However, a controversial study published last week in the British Medical Journal suggested that calcium supplements may also increase cardiovascular disease risk, an assertion that has been challenged by many organizations.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition recently issued a statement claiming that the meta-analysis, which included the results of 15 separate studies, had significant limitations and included incomplete or erroneous information.

Officials with the council noted that the research team from the University of Auckland in New Zealand hand-picked 15 clinical trials from more than 300 available studies, including the Women’s Health Initiative—a comprehensive study that found no link between calcium supplementation and cardiovascular risk.

"The authors characterize these findings as though all of the selected studies suggest increased risk. In fact, the opposite is true: most of the studies do not suggest increased risk," said Andrew Shao, the council’s senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

"It’s unfortunate that these researchers are making sweeping judgments about the value of calcium supplements by only assessing a handful of handpicked studies," he added.

In its assessment of the meta-analysis, the council also noted that the majority of the studies that were included were not designed to evaluate heart risk.

"This analysis should not dissuade consumers, particularly young women, from taking calcium supplements," concluded Shao.
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  • Richard Pawley

    Calcium FROM plants cannot hurt you (yes, all the green leafy things that are to much trouble or that people don’t like). As long as they are organic, of course.

    • EddieW

      True…but…calcium from plants is balanced by magnesium!! at a 2 to 1 ratio I believe…Calcium pills without vitamin D and Magnesium cause more harm than good…sooo…the naysayers always use calcium alone..so they can condemn it!!! I always liked Dolomite..it’s made from a stone that is perfectly balanced with magnesium!! don’t forget to add D-3!!

      • Anthony

        Thanks, Ed … this advice I will look into.

  • James

    Our body robs our bones for calcium when it needs it. If one eats a more fruit and vegetable diet, bones will replenish their calcium.

  • Joe

    Use Coral Calcium from the oceans of Okinowa, Japan. It also has 72 trace minerals in it. The best form of calcium you can buy. Also makes your blood more alkaline and boosts your immune system too!! Truly a Super-Mineral!!!

    • Anthony

      Ha … yet another research-intensive project.

      I had always thought, that the only calcium you really wanted to take was found around the Island of GUAM.

      Something to look into .. I have no doubt it’s pricey.

  • Bonnie

    How about drinking milk and getting some sunshine. The natural way to get calcium and vitamin D. Then exercise for half an hour to get the calcium into your bones.

  • s c

    Bonnie, I agree with most of what you said, but I’ve heard for years that milk is over-rated as a calcium source. Because of all the ‘extras’ that are put into milk, it’s not easy finding a milk source that’s actually good for you.
    If you listen to the dairy industry, you’re getting
    part of what you need to know and you wind up hoping for the best. The dairy folks are not to be trusted. They jumped into bed with Washington a long time ago. I’d put more faith in minerals and leafy veggies than milk.

  • Gaga Man

    Have been giving my mother calcium/magnesium/potassium pills from Country Life (not affiliated with them in anyway) and natural vitamin d-3 from ANOTHER COMPANY for years .

    She fell several years ago and broke her upper arm, even when she had been taking Calcium pills but it was NOT from Country Life above, I was disappointed. I usually change supplement suppliers when I feel it should of worked.

    She recently fell again and hit that same area. Complaining of being sore the next day, I took her to the ER and was found NOT to have broken anything. Only bruised.

    So, you take this story where you want to.

  • Tony

    Hi B.
    Calcium in vegetables is the recommended calcium source.
    Magnesium is the super glue of the elements.
    Instead of supplementing with calcium try Magnesium it wii keep your calcium in your bones etc.Magnesium Chloride is recommended.
    I take a small teaspoon a day.
    Cheers
    TG

    • Gaga Man

      Some expert said it should be magnesium aspartate which my pill does contain, but I don’t know how much.

  • Jerry

    THe problem with Magnesium that I have found is that most forms in supplements give me the runs and that just isn’t any fun. In fact, when I had a colonoscopy they gave me a bottle of magnesium citrate to drink 12 hours before and wow, was I cleaned out. There supposedly is a form of magnesium that you can take if you have to based on a poor diet that will not cause this problem. Does anyone know what that form might be? thanks soooo much!

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