(Bloomberg) — Use of calcium supplements leads to a higher heart risk for men than women, a study finds.
Men who took 1,000 milligrams or more of calcium supplements a day had a 20% higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease then those who didn’t take the supplements, according to research published this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. There was no similar link between calcium supplement intake and death in women, the authors said.
Researchers studied 388,229 men and women ages 50 to 71 who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Calcium supplements were used by 51% of men and 70% of women. Over the length of the study, there were 7,904 deaths from cardiovascular disease in men and 3,874 from women.
The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that men and women ages 19-50 consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Women should increase that intake to 1,200 milligrams at age 50 while men can wait until age 71, the board has said.
“Calcium should preferably be obtained from foods. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy foods, beans and green leafy vegetables,” Susanna Larsson, an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, wrote in an accompanying editorial.
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