The study published in online Issue of the Journal Heart has shown that excess intake of calcium supplements doubles the risk of heart attack. The findings of this study also indicate that inclusion of more and more calcium sources in diet does not help in staving off heart attack or stroke.
Even some studies to know the effect of calcium intake on health have shown that higher intake of calcium supplements shoots up the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart problems.
The study is based on the analysis of around 24,000 participants (aged between 35 and 64 when they joined study in 1994) from the German arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, which was done in Heidelberg.
Throughout the preceding year, normal diet and food frequency of the participants were assessed. In addition, intake of vitamin and mineral supplement was also enquired. For 11 years, the health conditions of the participants were analysed. In these years, 354 heart attacks, 260 strokes, and 267 deaths due to heart attack or stroke occurred.
Participants whose daily diet included 820mg of calcium, which is considered as moderate amount, were found to have 31 per cent lower risk of heart ailments whereas people with calcium intake lesser than 820mg only, had 25 per cent lower risk. Those who took more than 1100 mg daily were at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
People using calcium supplements regularly are 86 per cent more likely to suffer from a heart attack, than those who use them in moderation or do not use at all. Risk level of participants, who only took vitamins or mineral supplements was low, compared to participants who consumed only calcium supplements daily.