The Calcium Supplement Debate
Calcium from food is good for you but the calcium supplements you may be taking to prevent osteoporosis could increase your risk of a heart attack. Or not. The debate about these supplements continues as a new study from Switzerland suggests that they may have an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. The results were published online May 23rd in the journal Heart.
HealthDay reports that lead researcher Sabine Rohrmann, from the division of cancer epidemiology and prevention at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich and colleagues found an 86% increase in heart attacks among people who took calcium tablets regularly compared to those who didn't take any supplements.
On the other hand, HealthDay quotes Dr. Robert Recker, director of the Osteoporosis Research Center at Creighton University and president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, as saying, "I am doubtful of these findings. It's hard to understand why calcium in the diet can reduce the risk of heart attack, but supplements increase the risk."
Recker added that because the mechanism can't be described, the findings may be flawed. He also stressed that calcium supplements prevent a significant number of fractures.