Taking Calcium Supplements May Increase Risk of Heart Attack

We have all heard about the increased risk of osteoporosis that older women face. Many middle-aged and senior females have been taking calcium supplements to try to reduce their risk, whether they have been diagnosed with this health concern or not.

The results of a new study indicate that taking calcium in this form has little or no effect on the likelihood that a bone fracture will occur. Women are far better off ingesting calcium from the foods they eat than getting it in pill form, since doing so does not increase their risk of having a heart attack.

Dr. Ian Reid headed a team of researchers from the University of Auckland have looked at the test results of more than 12,000 patients. The results of the study were posted in the online version of BMJ last Thursday. The risk of heart attack increased by 31 percent. Approximately 143 women who took the calcium supplements had a heart attack.

A person who is eating low-fat dairy products or other calcium-rich foods may not need to take calcium supplements at all. They may underestimate the amount of calcium they are getting from the foods they eat.

If a patient has concerns about the amount of calcium they are getting in their diet, they should consult with a registered dietician. These professionals have the expertise to provide good quality advice about how to get calcium-rich foods into the diet.

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