Calcium supplements are not good for the heart, claims a recent study. Meanwhile another study extends the claims to include a majority of the supplements, stating they do nothing for healthy people.
Two separate studies have claimed that the supplements majority of the Americans consume religiously, might not be as supplemental to their health as claimed, promised or advertised. On the contrary, some of the supplements, especially the ones that offer Calcium, can be detrimental to the cardiovascular system and cause heart disease if taken for prolonged periods of time, reported CBS News.
There have been studies in the past which have cautioned against taking calcium and other supplement pills on a daily basis. But unlike calcium that enters the human body through the food, the synthetic variety is harmful to the heart, and more specifically, the arteries.
According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who took calcium pills were 22 percent more likely to have plaque buildup in their arteries, than people who did not take them. Interestingly, people who ingested foods rich in calcium were protected from the harmful buildup, discovered the team at Johns Hopkins University. Speaking about the research, Dr. Erin Michos, an expert in heart disease prevention who helped lead the study, said the following.
“Based on this evidence, we can tell our patients that there doesn’t seem to be any harm in eating a heart-healthy diet that includes calcium-rich foods, and it may even be beneficial for the heart.”
“But patients should really discuss any plan to take calcium supplements with their doctor to sort out a proper dosage or whether they even need them.”
The findings certainly aren’t new or trailblazing. They merely back what health and medical experts already know about calcium supplements and have been trying to caution the common public about the perils of regularly consuming supplements without actually needing them.
What happens when you consume calcium supplements when you don’t truly need it? Calcium is advertised as one of the basic building blocks of bones. While the statement is absolutely true, there’s no one absolute standard about the amount of calcium pills a person has to ingest. Hence, if calcium supplements are taken without doctor’s approval, they might be doing harm and nothing else.
Taking calcium pills when you don’t need them can send the calcium straight to the blood vessels. The excess calcium starts building up in the major arteries, eventually clogging them in the long run. Experts aren’t sure why the calcium starts to build up in the vessels, indicated John Anderson, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who worked on the study.
“There is clearly something different in how the body uses and responds to supplements versus intake through diet that makes it riskier. It could be that supplements contain calcium salts, or it could be from taking a large dose all at once that the body is unable to process.”
43 percent of American men and women regularly consume calcium pills. Women over the age of 60 pop these pills in the hopes of staving off osteoporosis. While many of them might truly need to take the pills, it is a bad practice to simply start consuming them without doctor’s supervision. If the body permits, instead of reaching for the synthetic version, medical experts advise consuming dairy products to boost calcium content.
The supplement industry in the United States is worth $32 billion. Unfortunately, it is one of the least regulated, and hence, suggestive advertisements often convince people to start popping supplement pills even when they don’t truly need them. Over 50 percent of Americans regularly take vitamins or supplements of some sort. It is high time a doctor’s consultation is sought to confirm if the pills are healthy for them or causing them harm. Perhaps a doctor could ask patients to share information about the supplements they take.
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