Did you see this recent headline? “Older Women Who Take Calcium Supplements to Maintain Bone Strength May have an Increased Risk of Heart Attack.” When we all thought calcium supplements were relatively safe, we now find out that high dosages of calcium supplements may adversely influence vascular health.
Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand evaluated 1471 healthypost-menopausal women, average age 74, for a period of 5 years. Of them, 732were given a daily calcium supplement and 739 were given a placebo. Participants received either 1 gram of elemental calcium citrate daily(Citracal) or identical placebo.
They were asked to take two tablets (each containing 200 mg of elemental calcium) before breakfast and three in the evening (total of 1,000mg). Over the next few years, heart attacks were more common in the women taking the calcium supplements. What do most doctors tell post-menopausal women? Take 1,200 mg of calcium daily, with no guidlines on picking an absorbable form or to take it with the necessary co-factors for proper absorption.