Calcium: Yes or No? New Studies on Supplements Disagree

Recent journal articles have come to different conclusions regarding whether there is a relationship between taking calcium supplements and heart problems.

Over the years, a number of studies have argued that calcium supplements might boost the risk for developing heart disease or even stroke. In fact, a study released earlier this month in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that calcium supplements may lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries that could potentially lead to heart damage.

But a new review of existing studies came to the opposite conclusion: If the recommended daily dose (2000mg-2500mg) is taken, there is no evidence to support the idea that the supplements raise the risk of heart disease or stroke.

The new review was commissioned by the National Osteoporosis Foundation and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. But the work comes with an important caveat: The foundation funded the review through a grant from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which manufactures the calcium supplement Caltrate.

The authors do concede that eating calcium-rich foods is still the best way to make sure you are meeting your daily calcium intake. These foods include milk, yogurt and cheese, though other products may indicate calcium has been added on the label.

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