Wellbeing News That No Woman Can Afford To Ignore
Women taking calcium supplements to lower the risk of osteoporosis might actually be compromising their cardiovascular health in the process, according to a new study. Wellbeing advice thus far has encouraged the use of calcium supplements to strengthen bones against the onset of brittle bone disease, which up to fifty per cent of women will eventually suffer. Because of this alarming statistic, calcium supplements are readily prescribed by doctors to postmenopausal women. However, it now seems that this practice may represent a one-sided form of health advice that has ignored the very real effect of calcium on our heart health.
New research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that postmenopausal women who take calcium supplements are twice as likely to die from heart disease than those who do not. Professor Karl Michaelsson, of the University of Uppsala, strongly advises that calcium supplements should be reserved to those with a particular deficiency in the mineral, rather than being used as a one-size-fits-all preventative measure for osteoporosis.
The claims form the culmination of a 19-year study into the topic which monitored the calcium intake of 61,443 women. The data was then linked with the amount of calcium found to be present in the body after death. Results showed that the majority of women who died from heart disease had an above average calcium intake. Those with a calcium intake of 1,400mg were seen to be at highest risk of death from this cause. Considering that up to half of postmenopausal women in the UK are thought to be taking calcium supplements, this presents a massive risk factor that has previously been ignored.
The link between calcium supplements and death from cardiovascular disease is not yet proven. However, the study raises questions requiring immediate attention from the medical research community. The possibility of a connection between calcium supplements and heart disease puts the use of supplements into further doubt among wellness advocates, and reaffirms the most solid health advice available – to take your nutrients from food as nature intended. Dairy products, leafy green vegetables and pulses provide abundant sources of calcium and all form vital parts of a balanced and healthy diet.
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