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Do Calcium Supplements Damage the Heart?

By Paul Lacovara, 9:00 am on

Many seniors, especially women, are on supplemental calcium to enhance bone health and prevent osteoporosis. This has been the standard practice for many years. However, it’s possible that this isn’t the best option. Some seniors may actually be harmed by calcium supplementation. At-home caregivers in Milford, CT, should consider the latest research before giving their senior loved ones supplemental calcium.

A recent study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that taking supplemental calcium can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. The study included over 2,700 people and was conducted over a period of 10 years.

The consumption of supplemental calcium was found to increase the buildup of plaque in arteries, though it can also damage heart tissue. Interestingly, the consumption of calcium-rich foods provides protective benefits to arteries and the heart. Scientists are uncertain why supplemental calcium isn’t absorbed in the same way as the calcium found in foods.

Furthermore, many previous studies have shown that the use of supplemental calcium in older people fails to improve bone health. The Johns Hopkins study shows that excessive supplemental calcium consumption leads to calcium deposition in vascular tissues. The plaque found in the research subjects was shown to be calcium-based.

Calcium-rich foods, on the other hand, don’t seem to have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. In fact, there seems to be a mild protective effect. The researchers recommend a diet that includes calcium-rich foods. A few examples include: milk, kale, yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and bok choy. Milford, CT, at-home care providers recommend buying high-calcium foods that your senior loved one enjoys. Remember, it won’t do any good if your senior won’t eat it.

More than 50 percent of women over the age of 60 take calcium supplementation; many without the supervision of a physician. In light of this recent study, seniors should discuss their current calcium supplementation plan with their physician. Consider mentioning the results of this study when discussing your concerns with your senior’s doctor.

Contact Home Care Assistance at 203-444-8575 today to learn more about the role nutrition plays in senior health. We provide flexible live-in and hourly care Milford families rely on to help their senior loved ones age in place with dignity. Learn how when you schedule a free in-home consultation.

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