A new review concludes that elderly women who take calcium supplements do not have an increased risk of coronary heart disease or mortality.
The meta-analysis included data from 18 randomized clinical trials with a total of 63,563 participants with 3,390 coronary heart disease (CHD) events and 4,157 deaths (1). In the analysis, results from five trials indicated that calcium supplementation did not increase the risk of CHD events, while data from 17 trials found no overall effect on all-cause mortality. In addition, no significant effects were found for heart attack risk, angina, or chronic CHD.
The researchers concluded that although food-derived calcium is the optimal source to achieve the recommended dietary intake of calcium, in cases where this cannot be reached from food sources alone the use of long-term calcium supplementation with vitamin D in older women should be considered, given the beneficial effects on falls, bone mineral density and fracture outcomes, and all-cause mortality. Despite the clear benefits of calcium and vitamin D for bone health, some scientists had reported significant adverse cardiovascular effects that may be related to excessive calcium intake in different populations.