Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fletch The Big Calcium Scare

A story in today's news says that according to a new study, those that take calcium supplements could be 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported.
These tiny tablets which carry concentrated doses of calcium were also associated with higher incidences of stroke and death, but they were not statistically significant.
What researchers don't seem to realize is that this is old news. According to someone I know who is into the whole supplement and nutrition thing, Calcium must be taken together with Magnesium. The magnesium directs the calcium as to where it should go to in the body, to prevent the calcium settling in the arteries.

I admit that I am no expert on supplements and/or vitamins (so do not depend upon my info to inform any of your decisions), but it seems as though the medical community is only slowly catching up with what has been known for a long time. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, really.

5 comment(s):

Oswald Bastable said...


A 100% death rate.

Bugger-all exceptions.

Andrei said...

Ignore it Fletch = "Calcium suppliments MAY increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent".

MAY is a weasel word, they have conducted a meta analysis of 12 studies non of which presumably show this effect at a level that meets statistical significance but combined may suggest the effect. I'd have to see the paper but this is what generally has happened when MAY is used like this.

Even if its true and heart attacks are more common amongst those who take Calcium suppliments it doesn't necessarily mean they die earlier.

There MAY be an increased death rate due to complications from broken bones amongst the non Calcium suppliment people. Who knows and at the end of the day who cares because as Oswald says we are all going to die one way or another.

Live your life and enjoy it and ignore epidemiological scare stories. They are mostly not worth the paper they are written on,

Lucia Maria said...

My 13 year old son takes calcium supplements. He's dairy allergic and drinks soy, which we want to keep to a minimum and so needs the supplements. He notices that when he doesn't take them, he gets cramps when swimming. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I.M Fletcher said...

Andrei, true. I don't take calcium supplements, by the way. But when my friend made the comment, I thought it worth posting a small comment :)

David Winter said...

Sometimes I wonder if the whole NZC crew exists just to push my buttons...

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