Too much calcium increases your risk of heart death

Too much calcium increases your risk of heart death / Health News

Too much calcium increases your risk of heart death


Calcium is widely regarded as a popular dietary supplement - but now an American observational study has revealed that the valuable mineral may not only have positive effects, but may also present risks: „We have found that adding calcium to men increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease“, said the research team around Qian Xiao from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda / Maryland in a recent article in the „JAMA Internal Medicine“.

Calcium: vital mineral for humans
Calcium is one of the vital minerals for humans: It strengthens and stabilizes bones and teeth and is also involved in elementary body functions such as the flow of information in the nerves, blood clotting and muscle tension. The enzyme is also needed for the activation of enzymes and hormone regulation - a calcium deficiency, however, may cause muscle spasms and feelings, possibly also rickets and osteoporosis. And also too much calcium can have a negative effect on the health, because the mineral can be deposited on the vessel walls and thus contribute to arteriosclerosis (arteriosclerosis) - with sometimes significant consequences for the heart and circulation, such. an increased heart attack risk.

Numerous studies on connections between calcium and cardiovascular diseases
Accordingly, calcium is a popular subject of research and numerous studies have been exploring the relationship between calcium and cardiovascular disease over the years. For example, one recent study caused a great stir, showing that women taking calcium plus daily Taking vitamin D, 15-22 percent more frequently with coronary stenosis, heart attack and stroke than participants in the control group.

US researchers evaluate data from a large study
Now, a US study has also dealt with this topic - with the goal, „to investigate whether dietary calcium supplementation and dietary supplements affect the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease“, so the researchers in their article. To this end, the scientists evaluated data from the large „National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study“ in which between 1995 and 1996 more than 388,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 71 participated. The volunteers had been followed for an average of twelve years, was noted at the beginning of the study nutritional behavior, which was not only collected, what and how much was eaten, but also, which dietary supplements were taken. In the end, the deaths plus each cause were finally registered.

Men clearly more at risk than women
The analysis of the data revealed astonishing facts: more than 7,900 men and just under 3,900 women had died of cardiovascular diseases over the course of 12 years - more than half (51 percent) of men and even more than two-thirds ( 70%) of women swallowed calcium-containing supplements. Among men who consumed more than one gram of calcium daily, there was a 20 percent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than non-consumers. For women, however, the intake of calcium supplements had no effect on a possible cardiac death.

The relative risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was found to be dependent on how much calcium was ingested by the diet or supplements: it increased with both deficiency (less than 500 mg) and increased too high a dose (from 1,500mg) - im „midfield“ (about 1000mg), however, showed that the supply of calcium could even have a protective effect, which means that in men who take in the diet (dairy products, but also cabbage, spinach or beans) too little calcium, dietary supplements in principle can be quite useful.

Women may be more used to calcium by supplementation
However, the researchers still have no explanation for the difference between the sexes - possibly the most earlier beginning of the intake of calcium in women could contribute, according to a theory of researchers. This would mean that women would have a longer physical equilibrium in their bodies than men, which could mean that the negative effects of dietary supplements would have had no effect in the study. Men, on the other hand, would often start taking calcium as a dietary supplement late in life - so there is a presumption that the lack of habituation would not offset the negative effects.

However, according to the researchers, the results of the study should not be over-interpreted as, in principle, they merely suggest that too much calcium in the form of dietary supplements could increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease - proof of this thesis However, given the study results, there would be no, so the suspected relationship must be reviewed by the researchers in a next step in a randomized clinical trial. (Sb)