Could calcium supplements be doing more harm than good?

Could calcium supplements be doing more harm than good?According to a recent study, calcium supplements which are taken by thousands of individuals in the home for brittle bones could be doing more harm than good, with figures suggesting they could increase the risk of heart attack by 86 per cent.

Calcium is one of the most commonly prescribed supplements in the UK, with thousands taking it everyday to aid conditions such as osteoporosis.

However, a large scale study involving around 24,000 35 to 64 year olds who were tracked for a period of 11 years were found to have an 86 per cent higher risk of a heart attack than those who didn’t take the supplement.

The British Heart Foundation has said that more research is needed in order to determine whether or not the risks of taking the supplements outweigh the benefits, but until then they recommend you continue to take your medication but speak to your GP should you have any concerns.

Both doctors and the public have welcomed calcium supplements for many years now, as it was believed that because they are natural they are a safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures.

However, it is now becoming clear that taking a micronutrients a couple of times a day does not produce the same effects as the calcium we gain from food.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health has said that they will consider the study in question carefully once it has been published, but generally speaking the majority of people do not need to take a calcium supplement.

“A healthy balanced diet will provide all the nutrients, including calcium, that they need. Good sources of calcium include milk and dairy foods, fortified dairy food alternatives, e.g. soya drink and green leafy vegetables.” They said.

View and comment on the original Independent article.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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