A small number of previous studies have suggested that supplementation with calcium may be associated with increased cardiovascular health risks. A new, comprehensive analysis of previous clinical trials found no association between calcium supplementation and increased cardiovascular health risks.
Researchers from the National Clinical Research Center of Cardiovascular Diseases included 11 clinical trials in their review, including placebo-controlled studies with just calcium supplements and those combining calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
The trials of calcium supplementation alone included 8,634 participants with an average age of 71. The calcium and vitamin D trials included 46,804 participants with an average age of 65. All the trials assessed the association between calcium supplementation and the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality. A high majority of the subjects were women.
The researchers found that supplementation with calcium alone or in combination with vitamin D was not associated with any significant increase in risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or all-cause mortality.
The study was published online ahead of print on February 15, 2023 in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition.
Free sugars are refined sugars that are added to a food or drink during processing and sugars that are naturally present in honey and syrups. A new study has found that high consumption of free sugars may be associated with numerous negative health outcomes.
For their study, the researchers reviewed the findings of 8,601 randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, and cross-sectional studies. The studies evaluated the consumption of free sugars and a variety of health outcomes including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
The researchers found that the highest consumption of free sugars was associated with increased body weight, increased liver fat accumulation, and increased muscle fat accumulation. The highest consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with a 35% increased risk of gout and a 35% increased risk of hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid in blood) compared to the lowest consumption.
The highest consumption of free sugars was also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. In addition, each 8-ounce increase in sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a 17% risk of coronary artery disease and a 4% higher risk of all-cause mortality.
The researchers recommend consuming no more than 6 teaspoons per day or free sugars and consuming no more than 1 sugar-sweetened beverage weekly.
The study was conducted by researchers from Sichuan University. It was published online ahead of print on April 3, 2023 in The BMJ.
In a previous study, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was found to increase fat production in the liver.
Curcumin is a substance found in the spice turmeric that has antioxidant properties. It has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines. A new review has found that curcumin may provide weight management benefits.
Researchers from Mahidol University included 50 randomized clinical trials in their review. The trials examined the effect of curcumin supplementation on body weight, BMI, and waist circumference. The trials used whole compound curcumin with dosages ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 mg daily, curcumin extracts with dosages ranging from 500 to 1,950 mg daily, or bioavailability-enhanced curcumin with dosages ranging from 500 to 1,000 mg daily.
Curcumin supplementation was found to significantly reduce body weight compared to placebo. It also significantly reduced BMI and waist circumference compared to placebo. The greatest reductions were seen with supplementation of bioavailability-enhanced curcumin.
The study was published online ahead of print on March 9, 2023 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In a previous study, the probiotic Lactiplantibacillus Plantarum was found to provide weight management benefits.