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News: March 10, 2012

Calcium Supplements May Be Bad for Your Heart

March 10, 2012

Many older Americans take calcium supplements to prevent bone loss, but they may be significantly increasing their risk for a heart attack, a new study suggests.

These supplements do not help prevent heart attacks or stroke as some previous research has suggested, the study authors say. But dietary calcium might reduce the risk, they noted.

"While a moderately high intake of calcium from diet may go along with a lower risk of heart attack, this is not true for supplementary calcium intake," said lead researcher Sabine Rohrmann, from the division of cancer epidemiology and prevention at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

"Instead of taking calcium supplements, men and women who want to increase their calcium intake should rely on foods, such as low-fat dairy products or mineral water, [that are] rich in calcium," she said.

The report was published online May 23 in the journal Heart.

For the study, Rohrmann's group collected data on nearly 24,000 people from Heidelberg, Germany, who took part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

All of the participants were between the ages of 35 and 64 when they joined the study between 1994 and 1998.

Researchers asked them about their diet and whether they took vitamin and/or mineral supplements.

Over an average 11 years of follow-up, there were 354 heart attacks, 260 strokes and 267 deaths from cardiovascular causes among all participants, the researchers noted.

Participants whose calcium intake from all sources was moderate -- 820 milligrams (mg) a day -- had a lower risk of heart attack than those whose intake was less, the investigators found.

However, those whose intake was more than 1,100 mg did not have a substantially lower risk. In addition, there was no amount at which calcium was tied to a decreased risk of stroke.

When Rohrmann's team looked specifically at calcium supplements, they found an 86 percent increase in heart attacks among people who took them regularly compared to those who didn't take any supplements.


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December 20, 2009 | Wii, Xbox 360 and Other Video Games Offer Some Benefits

Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation, and other video games are hot on holiday gift lists, but some parents wonder whether these games offer any benefits or are detrimental to kids. The results of a new study may put some minds at ease, ...

December 18, 2009 | Should You Be Shoveling Snow?

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, and soon you will have to think about shoveling snow. But should you be the one doing the work? Who should and should not shovel snow, and how can you do it ...

December 17, 2009 | Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of healing, in addition to risking other long term health problems. Taking anti inflammatory medications before running or other athletic events, is not recommended.. Warden suggests athletes weigh the ...

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December 20, 2009

Wii, Xbox 360 and Other Video Games Offer Some Benefits

Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation, and other video games are hot on holiday gift lists, but some parents wonder whether these games offer any benefits or are detrimental to kids. The results of a new study may put some minds at ease, while others may ...

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December 17, 2009

Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of healing, in addition to risking other long term health problems. Taking anti inflammatory medications before running or other athletic events, is not ...

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