Calcium Supplements May Have Been Shitty For Women This Whole Time


As osteoporosis is far more common in women than men, ladies are often encouraged to consume copious amounts of dairy and dark leafy greens as well as over-the-counter calcium supplements for the recommended daily quota of 1000 mg. However, a massive new Swedish study links an overenthusiastic calcium intake to possible future cardiovascular disease. And there’s not really much point if bones will be really strong but your heart is shot to shit.

Researchers kept files on over 61,000 women born from 1914 to 1948 in order to investigate any detrimental effects that may come from calcium supplements (about 25% of the women took some form of them via tablet or as part of a multivitamin). It appears that the women who took 1400 mg or above per day had double the risk of dying “from any cause”—gah, sinister—and a higher risk of passing away of cardiovascular disease than those women whose intake was 600-1000 mg per day.

While the head researcher admits that they’re still unsure of the reason for this link, she has a hypothesis: “The plaque found in coronary arteries is calcified, so one might guess it has something to do with the calcification of plaque. But much of that relationship remains to be determined, if in fact it holds true.”

Instead, she suggests that it’s easy to get 1000 mg a day via diet (other non-dairy sources of calcium are spinach, sardines, nuts and seeds), and certainly no more than 500 mg via supplement—and only if you have severe osteoporosis already.

‘Can calcium supplements kill? The safe way to strengthen your bones’ [NYDN]

Image via Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

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