Ask Clark’s

I heard that calcium causes heart disease, is that true?

A Question from an anonymous reader

By Clark’s Nutrition

Calcium consumption from foods and supplementation has become somewhat controversial in the last few years. Osteoporosis prevention has centered on the consumption of calcium from foods and supplementation. Recently, (in October 2016) the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) released a research article that suggested higher consumption of calcium from supplementation might increase the risk of coronary artery calcification (also known as CAC). The information contained in this article helped many individuals see a different view of calcium supplementation. Although it is important to note the JAHA study also suggested that total atherosclerosis was less with individuals who consumed more total calcium via foods and supplementation but suggested the food group was best.  There are also some other responses have come out in support of calcium supplementation. The National Osteoporosis Foundation and American Society for Preventive Cardiology convened an expert panel to look at research to determine other positions for calcium supplementation. These two groups concluded that supplemental calcium with or without vitamin D have no relationship either good or bad to the risk of cardiovascular disease and cerebralvascular disease mortality. They also found that generally there was no cause of mortality in healthy adults when using calcium supplementation. They also recommend that individuals consume no more than the upper daily limits for calcium at 2000-2500mg per day including foods and supplementation. Additionally the NOF suggested that calcium is a nutrient that is lacking in many individuals. Although there is a lot of negative press about the use of calcium, the Council for Responsible Nutrition also reported that the American Heart Association’s Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis suggests that there is proof of safety in supplementation because of the positive association with total calcium consumption and reduction in lower rates of atherosclerosis. As always, if you have any questions about the use of supplementation, please consult with your doctor before using any products.

References

  1. Lack of Evidence LinkingCalcium With or Without Vitamin D Supplementation to CardiovascularDisease in Generally Healthy Adults: A Clinical Guideline From the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the American Society for Preventive CardiologyKopecky SL, Bauer DC, Gulati M, Nieves JW, Singer AJ, Toth PP, Underberg JA, Wallace TC, Weaver CM.Ann Intern Med. 2016 Oct 25. doi: 10.7326/M16-1743 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2777636
  2. Calcium supplements could increase risk of heart disease, new study findsByAndrea K. McDaniels October 17https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/calcium-supplements-may-raise-risk-of-heart-disease/2016/10/17/a80285fe-9215-11e6-9c52-0b10449e33c4_story.html
  3. http://www.crnusa.org/CRNPR16-NewStudyAffirmsCalciumSafetyHeartHealth101116.html
  4. oRIGINAL RESEARCHOpen AccessCalcium Intake From Diet and Supplements and the Risk of Coronary Artery Calcification and its Progression Among Older Adults: 10‐Year Follow‐up of the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)John J.B. Anderson,Bridget Kruszka, Joseph A.C. Delaney, Ka He, Gregory L. Burke, Alvaro Alonso, Diane E. Bild, Matthew Budoff and Erin D. Michoshttp://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/5/10/e003815