New research suggests that dietary calcium in the form of supplements, but not calcium-rich foods, might have a harmful impact on the heart. The study couldn’t prove the supplements help cause heart trouble, but its authors believe the finding should give consumers pause for thought.
“When it comes to using vitamin and mineral supplements, particularly calcium supplements being taken for bone health, many Americans think that more is always better,” said study lead author Dr. Erin Michos. During the study, it was found that people who took calcium supplements had a significant increase in the risk of plaque buildup in their arteries, as well as in their odds for heart disease, compared to people who didn’t take the supplements.
The study also found that while calcium supplements may pose a risk to the heart, foods that are naturally high in calcium do not — and may even help protect the heart.