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Study Finds That Calcium May Actually Decrease Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Previous research on the link between calcium supplementation and the risk of cardiovascular disease has been contradictory. A recent study examined the associations between the two and found that not only do calcium supplements not increase the risk of a cardiovascular event in women, they may actually reduce it by up to 29%.

Participants in the study included approximately 750,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984-2008. During that 24 year period, there were 2,709 heart attacks and 1,856 strokes.

After examining the data, the researchers found that there was no association between calcium supplement intake and risk of a cardiovascular event. In fact, they discovered an 18% reduced risk in cardiovascular disease and up to 29% reduced risk in coronary heart disease for women taking 1 gram of calcium per day when compared with women not taking calcium supplements.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted the study. It was published in the May 2014 issue of Osteoporosis International.

Calcium is best known for its effect on bone health, but previous studies suggest it can also help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of colorectal cancer and stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with increased longevity.

Calcium absorption decreases as we age, so it is especially important to make sure you are getting enough. Try adding more dairy products or start taking a high quality supplement if you’re trying to increase your calcium intake.

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