November 15, 2016 – Food Not Supplements


Anchor lead:  Is calcium found in foods dangerous? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Taking a calcium supplement may promote the formation of calcified deposits in the arteries of your heart, a study by Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has found.  Yet the study only found supplements risky, not calcium obtained from foods people ate.

Michos: In our study when we looked just at diet, we didn’t see any increased risk of calcium in the heart arteries from dietary calcium, from food sources. So our study confirms other studies that at least food sources seem to be safe. We think the body processes calcium differently when it comes from food versus supplements. When you’re taking calcium from food you’re usually taking it in smaller amounts, throughout the day with other nutrients. But typically when people take calcium supplements they’re taking a large bolus all at once.  :29

Michos says high calcium foods include dairy products and some leafy greens, and says while most people may have to try to consume calcium this is preferable to the increasing evidence against taking calcium supplements, known to increase kidney stone risk as well as atherosclerosis.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.