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Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3691

Calcium supplements are not required and could be toxic

Although I advocate the use of some supplements, I do NOT recommend
calcium supplements.

A new study shows that high vitamin A levels and low vitamin D levels
could be a risk factor for osteoporosis (1).

Calcium supplements do not prevent the risk of fractures, and because
there's some evidence that they cause cardiovascular events, it is more
prudent to obtain calcium from food sources, and avoid these supplements.
Patients can opt for lactose-free milk, yogurt, kale, salmon, and a host
of other natural high-calcium foods, and supplement with vitamin D (with
some healthy fats so it can be absorbed). Vitamin A supplements should be

Some evidence shows that vitamin K can prevent fractures, and
magnesium is important to assimilate vitamin D and thus to strengthen

Thus, although other research is required to prove or disprove their
safety, the evidence shows that calcium supplements are an unnecessary
risk, and that other nutrients are required to prevent fractures.

1. Mata-Granados JM, Cuenca-Acevedo R, Luque de Castro MD, et al.
Vitamin D deficiency and high serum levels of vitamin A increase the risk
of osteoporosis evaluated by Quantitative Ultrasound Measurements (QUS) in
postmenopausal Spanish women. Clin Biochem ; 2010 Sep;43(13-14):1064-8.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 September 2010
Ettore Hector Corsi
Nutrition Consultant