Research has that suggested increased calcium intake could possibly lead to an increased risk for heart disease. However, a large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that there is no clinical link between calcium intake and heart disease.
Researchers with the Farmingham Offspring Study included 588 men and 690 women who were evaluated for calcium intake through questionnaires between 1998 and 2001. Calcium could have been ingested either through food or through supplement form. They then performed CT scans from 2002 to 2005 to view the amount of calcification in the arteries, which is a key indicator of heart disease.
Researchers determined after analyzing the data and cross matching the results that their subjects had no clinical or statistical correlation between calcium intake and plaque buildup in the arteries. Lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Samelson further broke down the results to conclude, “There was no increased risk of calcified arteries with higher amounts of calcium from food or supplements.”
So what does this mean for you? Calcium is extremely important for strong bones and teeth as well as for good muscle function, so make sure you get the needed amount. But, talk to your personal physician on the amount you need per day. Too much calcium, particularly in supplement form, may lead to other health complications such as kidney stones or it can interfere with some medications.
Our top five sources of calcium through food are:
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale or collard greens
- Nuts such as almonds and Brazilian nuts
Interested in reading more? Check out our Top Five Sources of Vitamin D