Are calcium supplements safe based on science?

Scientific research shows that our diet can have a significant impact on our health. Therefore, a well-balanced is a must if we want to be healthy. The question is what is really healthy for us? Are calcium supplements safe and healthy for us based on science? Let’s find out in this article.

Calcium supplements and cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Meta-analysis of 13 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials showed that the use of calcium supplements was significantly associated with the increased risk of CVD and CHD by 15%, specifically in postmenopausal women. [1]

One meta-analysis of the British population says that compared to a dietary calcium intake below 770 mg/day, intakes between 771–926 mg/day and 1074–1254 mg/day may be protective against both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The study has also shown that, when compared to intakes below 770 mg/day, higher dietary calcium intakes below 1255 mg/day may be protective against incident stroke. [2]

One more meta-analysis says that calcium supplementation with or without vitamin D does not increase coronary heart disease or all-cause mortality risk in elderly women. [3]

However, another meta-analysis says that calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. [4]

And one more meta-analysis shows that calcium supplements used with or without vitamin D modestly increase cardiovascular risk. [5]

Calcium supplements and fractures

Two meta-analyses of 33 and 25 randomised controlled trials showed that the use of calcium, vitamin D, or both was not associated with a lower risk of fractures in community-dwelling older adults. [6, 7]

A systematic review of 2 randomised controlled trials of dietary sources of calcium and 44 cohort studies of relations between dietary calcium, milk, or dairy intake and fracture outcomes says that dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture, and there is no evidence currently that increasing dietary calcium intake prevents fractures. [8]

This systematic review suggests that clinicians, advocacy organisations, and health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake for fracture prevention, either with calcium supplements or through dietary sources. [8]

Calcium supplements and cancer

Meta-analysis of 12 studies says that total calcium intake increases total prostate cancer. In seven studies with doses <750 Mg / day, the relationship between calcium intake and localized prostate cancer was not significant with the RR of 1.06 (95% CI: 0.96-1.17) and also in one studies with a dose > 750 Mg / day, this relationship was not significant with RR of 1.07 (95% CI: 0.82-1.39). [9]


So, are calcium supplements safe based on scientific research? It looks like the majority of studies say that calcium supplements may not be safe and the best way to get calcium is naturally with our diet instead of calcium supplements.

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