Get into medicine News - Calcium supplements may pose heart risk

Posted by Get Into Medicine 2012

German researchers have shown that calcium supplements, which are used daily by millions of people, may cause an increased risk of heart problems.

Calcium is taken as a supplement in order to maintain the strength of bones, and is believed to reduce the likelihood of developing certain conditions, such as osteoporosis. However, in a study carried out at the German Cancer Research Centre, it was shown that the risk of heart attacks is higher in those who take calcium supplements than in those who do not. 

The studied followed over 23,000 people throughout a period of more than 10 years. The British Heart Foundation has advised that people can carry on taking prescribed supplements but should speak to their Doctor if they are concerned.

Calcium is a very important part of a balanced diet and there are many natural sources, such as milk and cheese. There have been calls for people to view calcium as one element in a healthy lifestyle, and for people not to be over-reliant on supplements they buy over the counter.

As an applicant to medical school, think about these issues:

  • When there is conflicting medical advice on offer -what should the patient do?
  • How can you be sure that this study was carried out correctly and is of worth?
  • Why do many post-menopausal women develop Osteoporosis?
  • Are supplements always safe? Give reasons why and why not
Posted by Get Into Medicine 2012