Even as a prophylactic measure against osteoporosis, few patients need calcium supplements.
Taking calcium overdoses carries a risk of myocardial infarction, say German doctors.
A research team from the Center for Cancer Research in Heidelberg, Germany, conducted a study involving 23,980 volunteers between the ages of 35 and 64. Their health has been monitored for 11 years. When processing and analyzing the data, the doctors are impressed by the following fact: heart attack is much more common in people who take calcium supplements.
After the group of 15,959 people who do not take calcium, the number of heart attacks is 851, in those who take the trace element as a prophylactic measure to strengthen bones, the risk of heart attack increases by 86%, scientists estimate.
This does not mean stopping calcium therapy when it is prescribed by a doctor and medical indications require it, the researchers commented, but that it is necessary to assess the risk of developing complications of the cardiovascular system in individual patients. In people at risk and without indications, it is more appropriate to choose another form of prevention of bone disease, giving preference to building and adhering to an appropriate, calcium-rich diet, they added. The role of vitamin D in the absorption of calcium by the body should not be neglected.
Such prophylactic measures, providing enough calcium and vitamin D to the body, are extremely important for postmenopausal women, when their risk of osteoporosis is particularly high.
According to experts, it is necessary to clarify in more detail the relationship between the effect of calcium on cardiovascular health and finding the optimal dose of calcium, which can be taken as a supplement for the prevention of osteoporosis, but without the risk of heart attack.
Most people generally do not need calcium pill therapy, experts say. Although this is an overdose of the mineral, it is still advisable not to abuse its unnecessary use, they note. Moreover, we have good food sources of calcium, such as milk and dairy products, soy drinks, green leafy vegetables, experts add.
The analysis of the study was published in the journal Heart .