Calcium is a mineral that your body needs in order to function properly. It is essential for strong, healthy bones throughout your life. That is why it’s common advice to take calcium supplements as you start to become older to aid with issues like fractured bones and osteoporosis.
A study that was released on Monday, April 30 revealed that calcium supplements may harm your heart as you get older, adding to concerns about the supplement’s long-term health effects.
According to the research that was published in BMJ, researchers studied over 2,600 people who were on average 74 years old. They were also individuals who suffered from aortic valve calcification that was seen as being in the moderate to severe range. The last group had taken no supplements, while one-third of the participants had taken calcium pills and another third had received both calcium and vitamin D tablets.
As a result, the researchers discovered that those who had received the calcium pill had a 24% higher risk of mortality after more than five and a half years. The percentage went up to 31% when vitamin D supplements were combined with calcium.
“Supplementing with extra calcium does nothing to help you and may end up being harmful to your health,” added senior researcher Dr. Samir Kapadia, the Cleveland Clinic’s chair of cardiovascular medicine.
This is why Dr. Kapadia advises that, if you are taking supplements, you should first talk to a professional about whether or not you should continue doing so.
“I believe that calcium supplements should be taken only when its absolutely required,” says Dr. Arielle Levitan, M.D. Two Physicians Clear Up the Confusion About your health and vitamins. “We have long known that taking them in large amounts can lead to a slew of negative effects, including constipation, kidney stones, and even more serious problems such as calcium accumulation in tissues like the heart and perhaps breasts.”
Instead, Levitan explains that most people should get enough calcium from their diet alone. It is found in things like “dairy products, almonds, substitute milk products, dark greens, chickpeas, and more.”