Ian Reid: Can calcium supplements cause heart disease?

People taking calcium supplements to mitigate their risk of developing bone disease (osteoporosis) may be doing more harm to their health than good. That’s because a growing body of research shows the supplements confer little benefit and increase the risk of developing heart disease.

Calcium supplements have also traditionally been thought to reduce the risk of heart attacks because they produce small beneficial changes in both blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. We set out to test this idea in a trial we had originally designed to check the effect of calcium supplements on fractures and bone density.

To our surprise, what we discovered was that heart attacks were actually more common in the (randomly selected) women who received calcium supplements than those who had randomly been given inactive tablets.

The Conversation

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One response to “Ian Reid: Can calcium supplements cause heart disease?

  1. Yes women die from heart disease. Mainly because they live so long. Heart problems are rare in younger women so a 20% to 30% increase in risk would be applied to a small number and is probably irrelevant. Finding problems is selected for in medical studies and sometime results are not worth the paper they are printed on.

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