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Calcium Supplements and Heart Attacks
Old 05-24-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Calcium Supplements and Heart Attacks

So here I've been taking calcium for years, both as a pre- and post-menopausal woman (husband as well to supposedly make strong bones). Turns out that it doesn't prevent weakened bones and fractures as much as it increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke. It seems that it is safe to get calcium from food, but not from supplements that release too much too quickly into the bloodstream. Glad that I can save some money in the future not buying calcium. On to decide about multi-vitamins, lutein, and flax seed oil....

Calcium supplements linked to significantly increased heart attack risk, study suggests

What do y'all think?

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Old 05-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Oh dear, now I am getting worried. My gynae prescribed me Calcium/Vit D (though low dosage) 12 years ago and I have been taking that since. I do ask him whether I should not take it so regularly since I exercise, drink soya milk, eat my greens and get sunshine regularly but he said it is no harm as my dosage is just 500 mg. Instead of taking them daily as advised, I take them 5 times a week. I wonder whether the stone in my left kidney (which I had for the last 5 years and have not grew in size) is due to the calcium intake. The problem \with these reports and studies are that they change overtime. So, not sure what to believe in. In such situations, I usually exercise moderation. Right now, my moderation thinking cap says continue with my low dosage calcium pills 5 times a week.

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Old 05-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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I think I am just going to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and seafood, drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, exercise and get my scheduled checkups.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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The report is a little confusing to me, in one section it states that supplements may decrease the heart attack risk if taking in moderate amounts (<820mg)

After taking account of factors likely to influence the results, those whose diets included a moderate amount (820 mg daily) of calcium from all sources, including supplements, had a 31% lower risk of having a heart attack than those in the bottom 25% of calcium intake.
Then they state that calcium supplements were shown to increase the risk of heart attacks but never state the amount that one would have to take to have this effect.

But when the analysis looked at vitamin/mineral supplements, it found that those who took calcium supplements regularly were 86% more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn't use any supplements.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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Here's the full study:

As usual it's not an experiment, it's a study. So the people who took calcium supplements may have been more likely to have heart attacks that those who did not.

64-year-olds are more likely to take supplements and are more likely to have heart attacks than 35-year-olds, so we have to trust that the authors' age-adjustments took that into account correctly.

The blood pressure book I read noted that if calcium levels are too low or too high, it can raise blood pressure.

I can't judge whether this study is significant or not, but I'm sure it will be on the nightly news.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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About a year ago my internist seeing some of the interim reports said to get off calcium supplements; calcium from diet only. Because I have osteopenia she also wanted me to see a rheumatologist to measure the bone-turnover rates. So I ended up being his (annual) patient also. He wasn't pleased that I'd gone off the calcium. Should have taken notes but the jist of what he said was that the recalculation of some of the early data (possibly more than one study at issue here) suggested that moderate calcium would be fine. But now this ... ?

Haven't been too diligent about organizing the relatively quick reading I've done and can't provide links. But there's also a school of thought that vitamin K2 is essential for the calcium to be absorbed into the bone and not end up clogging arteries.

The rheumatologist (though this was before this last spate of news articles that may or may not reflect new analysis ) recommended no more than 500 mg of calcium daily with 1000 mg thru diet. I've gone back to taking the 500 mg. at night - but this time with K2.

My gynecologist *also* wanted to weigh in (after seeing my latest DEXA scan) but never did make an appointment with her. Juggling potentially 3 different opinions was a bit too much ...

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