Bisher AKIL, MD

Too much of a good thing,…

In General Health on February 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Calcium intake, both dietary and supplemental, is encouraged to improve bone health, and many older adults take calcium supplements. Recent randomized trials of supplementation suggest an association with cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the studies are heterogeneous, and results are mixed. In this prospective cohort study, U.S. researchers assessed baseline calcium intake — including dietary recall and calcium supplements and calcium-containing antacids and multivitamins — in 390,000 older adults (mean age, 61). About 50% of men and 70% of women used calcium-containing supplements. Median daily dietary intake of calcium in both men and women was 700 mg. During 12 years of follow-up, researchers identified 12,000 CVD-related deaths. In analyses adjusted for multiple CVD risk factors, supplemental calcium was associated significantly with CVD-related death in men but not in women: In men, daily calcium supplementation of >1000 mg, compared with no supplement use, was associated with 20% higher risk for CVD-related death, with the excess risk entirely attributable to heart disease. Calcium intake was not associated with death from cerebrovascular disease.

Published in Journal Watch

Comments: A large trial over a long period of time with convincing results, although somewhat puzzling Men but not women? Heart but not brain? How much is safe for men (should men take it? what age?) BA

Citation: Xiao Q et al. Dietary and supplemental calcium intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: The National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health study. JAMA Intern Med 2013 Feb 4;

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