Can Calcium Supplements Damage the Heart?

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

Surveys indicate that more than 40 percent of American adults take daily oral calcium supplements in the hopes of staving off osteoporosis. However, a number of studies performed by researchers from many countries reveal that the practice does more harm than good. The nutrients pose a number of health risks, which include increasing the likelihood cardiovascular disease. Statistics indicate that more than 350,000 adults die every year in the United States from vascular heart disease, and calcium could be the cause. 

Researchers Advise Caution

While health institutes recommend that adult men and women get 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily, the mineral is better utilized if it comes from dietary food intake. A group of Swedish researchers published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concerning their findings on calcium supplementation. The data from their studies suggested that individuals of any gender that regularly used oral supplements increased the risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent. Risk factors increase when combining dietary and supplement intake. 

Researchers from John Hopkins University School of Medicine came to similar conclusions. The group evaluated data from a previous, sizable atherosclerosis study data performed on 6,000 adults by scientists from many different facilities and was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The study assessed dietary and supplemental consumption of calcium and took various health-related factors into consideration. The volunteers also underwent cardiac CT scans. The John Hopkins group noted that the imaging studies revealed that adults who took oral supplements were 22 percent more likely to develop calcium-based plaques throughout their cardiovascular system. 

Reason for Risk

Scientists remain unsure why supplements are not better absorbed by the body. Some believe that the body cannot adequately metabolize the larger quantities of the mineral that supplements provide. Others suspect the problem may lie in the type of calcium found in supplements. All agree that getting calcium through foods remains the best option. Therefore, live-in Centennial, CO, caregivers should encourage their loved ones to forego calcium supplements and instead eat calcium-rich foods.

With help from Centennial, Colorado, Home Care Assistance, seniors learn to prepare and maintain nutritious diets to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Contact a trusted Care Manager at 303.957.3100 today to learn about our live-in and hourly services that boost our clients’ confidence, independence and overall wellbeing.

Bootstrap 101 Template