Calcium supplements may make heart attacks more likely in older patients, a new study suggests. Researchers looking to confirm calcium supplements' ability to prevent bone fractures instead found the patients taking the supplements were 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack, the BBC reports. And it turns out the pills are not very good at preventing fractures, either.
The researchers speculate that the extra calcium floating in the bloodstream may contribute to arterial blockages. Some medical experts advise caution, because the study was not specifically designed to assess the risk of heart disease in people taking calcium supplements. One doctor notes that with proper diet, the point should be moot: "If you get all of the calcium that you need from your diet and adequate vitamin D from exposure to sunshine, then a supplement will not be necessary."