Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
Re: Taking Calcium & Heart Attacks
avatar
phototaker posted:
I just heard on the news tonight of a new study that people who take calcium supplements have a 31% chance of getting a heart attack. Add to that my being a diabetic who already has two different heart problems, and I smell trouble ahead! Gosh! Looks like a call to my heart doctor is in order.

Any experts want to comment on this newest study? I'll see if I can find it on the web to post.
Reply
 
avatar
phototaker responded:
Here's the url for this: It has some parts that refute what was said on the news. You have to make up your own mind about it
and what to do.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/16/health/webmd/main3719794.shtml
 
avatar
NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS FOUNDATION
Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN replied to phototaker's response:
The article "Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis" recently published in BMJ, suggests a possible link between calcium supplements and heart attacks. We realize that this information may raise concerns for people taking calcium supplements. In this article, the authors analyzed the results of 11 randomized trials that looked at the use of calcium supplements. Due to multiple weaknesses of the analysis, more conclusive research is needed to suggest a true association between calcium supplements and heart attacks. If additional information becomes available, NOF will share this information with the WebMD community. NOF's recommendations for calcium intake are listed below:

-Adults under age 50 need a total of 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources every day.

-Adults 50 and older need a total of 1,200 mg of calcium from all sources every day.

NOF believes that food remains the best source of calcium. Calcium supplements should only be used when adequate dietary intake cannot be achieved. Getting too much calcium from supplements can increase the risk of kidney stones and may cause other health problems. If you are unable to get enough calcium from your diet and have concerns about taking calcium supplements, you should discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider.
 
avatar
phototaker replied to Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN's response:
Susan, thanks for your reply. I have IBS(irritable bowel syndrome). Does this greatly reduce the calcium I'm getting through food? I would love to do the food route, and do eat calcium rich foods, like broccoli, but still am taking my calcium and Vitamin D supplements.
 
avatar
Tomato05 replied to Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN's response:
I try to follow the "happy medium" route: getting half of my calcium through supplements, and half through food (sometimes a bit difficult, as I don't eat a lot of dairy, mainly yoghurt).

On days when my calcium intake through food wasn't the best (those fish-free or dairy-free days) I may take an additional calcium tablet, but generally I take only one 600mg calcium tablet a day. My daily multivitamin also has about 200mg calcium, but I take it at the same time as my calcium, so my body probably doesn't absorb all of that calcium (the experts say 500g is the maximum absorbed at once).

I also exercise a lot, so hopefully that will strengthen my heart to make up for the "heart dangers" calcium supplements may pose, if the study has any truth in it!
 
avatar
Sharbear50 responded:
Great, I missed that on the news. I take 1200 mg a day in supplements. I am a little lactose intolerant so I only eat yogurt occasionally and use soy milk. I think I will cut back on the calcium supplement.
 
avatar
bonebabe replied to Sharbear50's response:
Don't cut back on your calcium intake because of this one news story. While dairy products are the main source of calcium (a fact not mentioned in the top food sources in this report) plenty of foods are either naturally high in calcium (almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon) or have calcium added. Most cereals, breads, juices and pastas now have calcium added. Your body will only absorb about 500 mg at a time so it's important to spread out your intake throughout the day. Keep track for a few days and see if you're getting 1200 mg. You need 1000 IU of Vit D each to send the calcium to the bones. Also, when you read the food labels for the calcium content, know that if the amount is given in a % form, just drop the %, add a zero and you have the calcium content. Ex: 25% = 250 mg.
 
avatar
NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS FOUNDATION
Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN replied to phototaker's response:
Having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) does not necessarily mean that you have problems absorbing calcium. People with inflammatory bowel disease, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, but not IBS, tend to have problems absorbing calcium and vitamin D. If you have not been definitively diagnosed with IBS by your healthcare provider, you may want to have a conversation about this issue. Sometimes the symptoms of IBS and celiac disease can be confused, and celiac disease can interfere with your body's ability to properly absorb nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. If appropriate, your healthcare provider can order a test to check for celiac disease. You can also ask whether there are any other tests you should have (e.g. tests to check your calcium and vitamin D levels). If you increase your calcium intake from foods and cut back on your calcium supplements, you still may need to take a separate vitamin D supplement. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
 
avatar
phototaker replied to Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN's response:
Thank you, Susan. I read up on celiac disease a week ago, and really feel that I don't have many symptoms of that. My gynecologist that had IBS himself, diagnosed me with IBS. From many of the symptoms I have, I seem to have a lesser case of it, mostly just bloating, sharp pains at times, constipation(not the opposite part of it, thank goodness), etc. If I eat the wrong foods, I can feel the symptoms more. I have been having a lesser sugar oatmeal packet for breakfast lately, and that has tremendously helped me with the elimination problem I had been getting. It's gone!

It's really reassuring to know that people with IBS are not affected as much with the absorption of calcium.

Thanks so much for your answer.


Helpful Tips

Bisphosphonate use in premenopausal womenExpert
The potential benefits and risks of bisphosphonate use may be quite different in premenopausal women compared to postmenopausal women. ... More
Was this Helpful?
16 of 25 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems to the
Food and Drug Administration

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website