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Aug 16, 2010

Controversy over Calcium

Recently, there was a study published in the British Medical Journal, which stated that they found nearly a 30 percent increased likelihood of having a heart attack among people older than 40 who were taking calcium supplements. The study combined data from 8 previous studies and pooled them together to determine risk. The risk was not increased in those who got their calcium from natural sources, or in those who took vitamin D with their calcium supplements.

There are some who say this study is flawed. There are thousands of studies on calcium; the authors of the study only selected 8 to do the analysis. None of the selected studies had cardiovascular outcomes as end-points, and data on cardiovascular events were not gathered in a standardized manner, so it would appear much more of a predetermined outcome versus one of great scientific rigor. In addition, it is shown that majority of Americans do not eat a balanced diet to get sufficient enough calcium for daily needs. There is not enough proof yet to steer people away from calcium supplements, especially among populations with a high risk for fractures.

Dr. Kerry Ferguson