Calcium pills raise heart attack risk

May 24th, 2012 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 24 (IANS) Taking calcium supplements can push up the risk of a heart attack, and could do more harm than good, warn researchers.

People take calcium supplements as they are recommended for strengthening bones against osteoporosis. But, according to the study, the supplements can no longer be seen as a low-cost panacea against thinning bones, Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Instead, the scientists suggest, people should eat more calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese and green, leafy vegetables.

Researchers looked at records for 24,000 people in Germany aged 35 to 64 taking part in a nutrition research project in the 1990s.

Their diet was analysed and they were asked if they had taken vitamin or mineral supplements in the previous month.

The volunteers were tracked for 11 years, during which there were 354 heart attacks, 260 strokes and 267 associated deaths, the Mail said.

Those taking any supplements, including calcium, were found to be 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who did not take any. But the risk for those taking only calcium was even higher.

Ian Reid and Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, said people should be discouraged from taking the boosters.

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