While calcium is vital for our bones, studies in recent years have uncovered potential links between too much of the mineral and heart disease. But a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition helps push those worries aside.
The study comprised about 1,300 older adults; in that patient base, it found no link at all between the amount of calcium you take in and “coronary artery calcification,” a condition that puts you at risk of a heart attack.
Women were spooked a while back by two studies that said calcium supplements could increase deposits in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis. As a result, a lot of women dangerously just stopped taking calcium supplements, which may be critical in keeping their bones healthy.
But experts have questioned those studies, and there have been behind-the-scenes arguments over the results since they came out. So, just back in November, a new study came to the rescue!
Researchers tested the link between calcium and coronary artery calcification in adults enrolled in the famous Framingham Heart Study. Researching calcium intake and looking at CT scans of arteries, researchers arrived at their conclusion.
There was no link; calcium supplements were safe to take in this regard. We know because people getting the most calcium from food or pills had the same calcium scores as the people consuming the lowest amount of the mineral. By the way, the highest group took in roughly 1,600–2,800 milligrams for women and 1,050–3,050 mg for men.
This is a nice helping of evidence that shows calcium doesn’t pave some kind of trail to heart attacks or heart disease. Calcium builds bone. Combined with vitamin D, it may help diabetics control their blood sugar levels. And, calcium may even be of help for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Fret not over that little white pill!
Sources for Today’s Articles:
The Real Truth About Calcium and Your Heart
Samelson, E., et al., “Calcium intake is not associated with increased coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Study,” Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96(6): 1,274–1,280.