Calcium supplements might hurt your heart, study finds

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 17:45:51-04

A study from John Hopkins Medicine will affect many people because federal data says roughly half of Americans are taking calcium supplements.

Researchers found those who took calcium pills were about 22 percent more likely to develop dangerous plaque in their arteries which can damage the heart.

The research team analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people. 

Eating a lot of calcium in food appeared to be protective and possibly beneficial. Participant consuming over 1,000 milligrams a day had no increase in the relative risk of developing heart-disease in those 10 years.

Women under 50 are recommended to get 1,000 mg a day. Women over 50 are recommended to get 1,200 mg of calcium a day. Men are advised to get 1,000 mg a day unless you’re over 70 and then you need 1,200 mg.

Calcium is very important for bone health.  But you don’t need to take supplements, you can boost your calcium levels naturally. Here are my prescriptions.

How to Boost Your Calcium Naturally:

Eat or drink dairy products as they’re rich in calcium. Great options are milk, cheese and yogurt.

Add dark green leafy vegetables to your meals.  Broccoli and kale have high concentrations of calcium (and are two of my favorites vegetables).

Get enough Vitamin D as it helps your body absorb Calcium. Fortified foods and sun exposure provide vitamin D.  There’s small amounts in egg yolks and canned salmon with bones.

Stick to the Recommended Daily Amount. Dietary calcium is considered safe and getting excessive amounts doesn’t give you more bone protection.

Question: Do we know why supplements and not food cause the buildup?

It could be related to the calcium salts in the supplements or possibly the body not being able to process the large doses all at once. 

Anyone who wants to take calcium supplements should talk first with their doctor to find out if they even need them.