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Can low calcium intake increase heart attack risk?


Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich natural sources of calcium.

Photo: Cats Coming / Pexels

The body needs calcium to keep bones strong. Eating foods rich in this mineral is good for your bone health, but some recent research has also linked bone health and calcium to heart health.

Almost all calcium is stored in the bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and rigidity as explained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Calcium also keeps muscles, nerves, and blood vessels working well. In the long term, low calcium intake leads to low bone mass and an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Weak bones and risk of heart disease

New research published in the journal Heart notes that thin, brittle bones are strongly linked to women’s risk of heart disease.

The analysis included 12,681 women ages 50 to 80, whose health was followed for an average of 9 years. Thinning of the lower spine, upper femur, and hip was associated with a 16% to 38% increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The formal diagnosis of Osteoporosis was associated with a 79% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study conducted in South Korea is observational and does not establish the cause of how bone loss is related to heart disease. Researchers find that inflammation and cumulative oxidative stress play an important role in both age-related bone loss and atherosclerosis, Meanwhile he estrogen helps regulate bone turnover and the vascular system. It is not suggested that the problem is caused by poor calcium intake.

Consumption of calcium, does it decrease or increase the risk of a heart attack?

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements notes that some studies indicate that getting enough calcium could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Other studies indicate that consuming large amounts of calcium through supplements could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The NIH shares that the scientists concluded that if the recommended limit is not exceeded, calcium from foods or supplements does not increase the risk of heart attack or a stroke.

Mayo Clinic indicates more research is needed to determine how calcium supplements affect overall heart attack risk. But what is known is that Getting bone-building calcium from food is not a cause for concern. In fact, the NIH recommends that people get most of their nutrients from food. Milk and yogurt are two of the rich natural sources of calcium.

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