Calcium Supplements vs. a Calcium Rich Diet
Is a Healthy Diet Better Than Supplements?
The results are in and when it comes to calcium, a healthy diet is better than supplements. After 10 years of analysis on over 2,700 patients, researchers at John Hopkins discovered that taking calcium as a supplement may lead to an increased risk of plaque buildup in arteries as well as heart damage. Although there is not enough evidence to show a direct cause and effect, researchers are warning against excessive or unsupervised use of supplements, especially for the many Americans who take calcium without consulting a doctor.
While tracking participants’ eating habits, supplement intake and plaque buildup, researchers discovered two key trends.
Throughout the ten-year span, they found that patients taking calcium supplements had a 22 percent increased likelihood of having their coronary artery calcium scores rise higher than zero. In other words, those scores indicate a development of heart disease.
Participants who consumer a diet high in calcium saw no increase in either risk indicating that your body processes dietary calcium, different than calcium supplements. Researchers doubt that a substantial portion of the calcium from supplements actually makes it to the skeleton. Instead, that excess calcium may be accumulating in the body’s soft tissue including the arteries and the heart leading to further health issues as time passes.
This study adds to the growing concern that some dietary supplements may prove more harmful than beneficial. As research into this topic continues, researchers encourage you to always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.