According to a recent meta-analysis elderly women who supplement with calcium are not at an increased risk of either all-cause mortality or coronary heart disease.
Researchers took data from over 18 randomized clinical trials. Over 63,000 individuals participated in the trials with over 3,300 coronary heart disease events (CHD) and over 4,100 deaths. Data from 5 trials showed supplemental calcium did not increase CHD event risks and data from 17 trials found supplemental calcium had no effect on all cause mortality. Also no effects from calcium supplementation were found for chronic CHD, angina or heart attack risks.
Osteoporosis is often seen as a silent killer which affects over 9 million adults in the US. Over 48 million people have low bone mass which puts them at a higher risk for osteoporosis. The Council for Responsible Nutrition estimates that calcium and vitamin D supplementation could save over $1.08 billion per year in healthcare costs. Negative publicity about calcium supplementation causing increased plaque formation in diseased arteries has caused individuals to be concerned about taking calcium in supplement form. Hopefully this meta-analysis will help clear up the controversy.
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