High calcium linked to heart disease

A high intake of supplemental calcium appears to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease death in men but not in women a study reveals.

In a study of more 388,000 participants between the ages of 50 and 71 years, according to a report published in the American medical Association’s journal, Internal Medicine. This does not surprise me. In the November issue of my newsletter I explained why I’m not a fan of high dose calcium supplementation. While the RDA is 800 to 1200mg, and the average intake is at least 800mg, some people erroneously supplement 1,000mg of calcium on it’s own, which is way too much in my opinion. This study found that men who supplemented more than 1,000mg of calcium a day had a higher risk of cardiovascular death, but not stroke-related deaths.

Calcium, especially when taken without magnesium and vitamin D, encourages deposition in arteries and raised blood pressure. Many women take calcium believing it will strengthen their bones, but there is no good evidence for this, unless calcium is taken with vitamin C. In any event in this study women supplementing calcium were not found to be at higher risk of dying from heart disease. Given that the highest need, in elderly people, is 1200mg, and that most people achieve 800mg from their diet, the highest supplemental need would be 400mg, taken with magnesium, vitamin D and other bone-friendly nutrients. If you’d like to find out more about calcium in diet and supplements and who really need it, read ‘who needs calcium’ in my 100% Health newsletter.