Intakes of calcium above the recommended daily levels may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer by 25 percent, says a new study.
In the population-based, prospective study, data from 23,366 Swedish men between 45 and 79 years of age were analyzed (1). Between 1998 and the end of 2007, 2,358 deaths from all causes, which included 819 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 738 from cancer were documented. Average daily intakes of 1,953 mg calcium were associated with a non-significant lower risk of mortality from heart disease, compared to average daily intakes of 990 mg perday. The highest average intakes, almost double the recommended levels, were associated with a 25 percent reduction in so-called all-cause mortality, compared with the lowest average intakes.
Recommended daily intakes of calcium for people between 19 and 50 years of age are 1,000 mg for both men and women, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
On the other hand, intakes of magnesium up to about 523 milligrams per day were not associated with mortality from all-causes, heart disease or cancer.
The findings relating to heart disease appear to be inline with findings from other studies, which have reported that calcium may lower blood pressure and reduced the risk of hypertension. Such a link is controversial, however.