Two current studies have required us come take another look at a habit that many women have actually taken increase in recent years: acquisition calcium supplements for healthier and stronger bones. Before we take it a look in ~ those studies, permit me provide you a little background.

You are watching: Are calcium supplements bad for your heart

A calcium primer

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and also is discovered in bones and teeth. Calcium helps her body preserve balance in its natural procedure of building and also rebuilding bone.

Only 1% the the full calcium is present in the blood to support a number of metabolic functions. The remaining 99% is save on computer in bones and teeth as a reservoir for sustaining their structure and also function.

Throughout life, old bone material is naturally removed by her body and brand-new bone material is formed using easily accessible calcium.

Calcium and menopause

During childhood, bone development exceeds bone breakdown. In aging adults, an especially postmenopausal women, bone development is reduced and bone massive falls. Momentary calcium deficiency will reason symptoms favor numbness, study abroad of the fingers, fatigue, muscle cramps, convulsions and decreased appetite. Permanent deficiency is believed to contribute to osteoporosis (loss that bone density) and also increased threat of bone fracture.

To protect against calcium deficiency, that is recommended that you gain 1,000 come 1,200 milligrams of calcium a work in her diet.

Some calcium-rich foods incorporate those in the dairy food team like cheese, yogurt, and also milk; dark leafy greens like spinach and kale; and fortified foodstuffs like whole grain cereals, soymilk, and orange juice, etc.

Calcium absorption from food varies, but on average, your body can retain about 30% that the calcium you eat. And by the way, caffeine and alcohol decrease your ability to absorb calcium.

As a result, many people take additionally of calcium, together with Vitamin D, i beg your pardon can help with the body absorption the calcium.

But, is taking calcium supplements an effective strategy for bone health? walk it have actually implications for her heart health?

Controversy over calcium supplements

Three major studies provide us something to think around when it concerns taking calcium supplements for better health.

A Women’s health and wellness Initiative (WHI) study supplemented healthy and balanced postmenopausal women through 1,000 mg calcium carbonate plus 400 IU of Vitamin D day-to-day or a placebo. After seven years, the females who received calcium to add Vitamin D had rise in bone density without a diminish in bone fractures, but with a small increase in kidney stones.Earlier this year, a large Swedish study suggested that ladies consuming high diet calcium or calcium additionally (above 1,400 mg/daily) could be much more likely to dice from love disease, however not from stroke, 보다 those with calcium entry of 600-1,000 mg/day.Also report in 2013, a re-analysis of the WHI clinical psychological data linked with the data indigenous the WHI observational study adhered to 93,000 females for 8 years and also concluded the there to be not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that calcium and also Vitamin D raised the risk for love attack, coronary heart disease, complete heart disease, stroke or total cardiovascular disease.

My recommendations

Here is what us know:

Calcium supplements perform not prevent bone fractures in healthy and balanced post-menopausal women.Calcium supplements increase the hazard of kidney stones.Calcium supplements may increase the risk of love attacks.

See more: Aarp Best Places To Retire On Social Security, The Best Places To Retire In 2022

If you are healthy, physically active, and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you probably do not require a calcium supplement uneven you are specifically said by your doctor to take one.

The best method to identify if friend are gaining 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams daily is to start tracking her consumption. In enhancement to reading nutrition labels, over there are countless online tools that will offer you nutrition information around foods, including the USDA nationwide Nutrient Database.

It is vital to note that decisions concerning calcium and also Vitamin D supplements may depend on multiple factors like age, sex and also individual risk factors. Together always, consult with your physician before including medications or supplements. Protecting your bones and also your heart together needs combining the right dietary balance with physical activity. You can do both!

Until following time!


Stephanie Coulter, MD

Do you have a topic that you would like to learn more about indigenous Dr. Stephanie? Send us an e-mail at women