What Studies Show About Calcium For Heart Condition

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The numbers reported in the media about the proportion of the risk of having a heart attack may seem alarming. However, when you consider the actual number of study participants who took calcium supplements and suffered a heart attack, this is actually very small: of the 354 people who had a heart attack, only 20 took calcium supplements.

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More research is needed to understand the relationship between calcium supplements and heart attacks. We know that calcium supplements are beneficial for postmenopausal women because they protect bone health and help prevent osteoporosis and other diseases caused by calcium deficiency. If your general practitioner or other healthcare professional has recommended that you take calcium supplements, it is important to remember that the risk of having a heart attack associated with such supplements does not currently outweigh the benefit you will receive from them. If you have any concerns, consult your general practitioner.

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Interestingly, the researchers did not find that dietary calcium intake posed increased risks to heart health. Therefore, if you do not need to take calcium supplements for a specific health problem and are concerned that you are not getting enough calcium, it is better to try to get the right amount from your diet, rather than taking supplements. This advice doesn’t just apply to calcium: it’s always better to get the vitamins and nutrients you need by eating a healthy, balanced diet, rather than relying on supplements.

The study evaluated approximately 24,000 adults between the ages of 35 and 64 over an 11-year period. At the start of the study, participants filled out a dietary questionnaire and a vitamin and mineral supplement survey (followed up at regular intervals). Cases of heart attack, stroke, or death as a result of cardiovascular disease were reported by the participant or a family member. This was verified by medical records.

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In the UK, the recommended calcium intake is 700 mg/day for adults. The following foods are good sources of dietary calcium:

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  • milk, cheese and dairy products
  • vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
  • calcium-fortified foods, including fruit juices and cereals

So now that you are more educated on this subject, you can have a better understanding of what to expect, and what type of calcium products you should take.

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