Too much calcium increases the risk of cardiac death
Calcium is considered a widely used and popular dietary supplement - but now a US observational study has shown that the valuable mineral may not only have positive effects, but may also pose risks: “We have found that an additional calcium intake helps Men increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, "said the research team led by Qian Xiao from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda / Maryland in a recent article in" JAMA Internal Medicine ".
Calcium: vital mineral for humans Calcium is one of the essential minerals for humans: it strengthens and stabilizes bones and teeth and is also involved in elementary body functions such as the flow of information in the nerves, blood clotting and muscle tension. The mineral is also necessary for the activation of enzymes and hormone regulation - a calcium deficiency, on the other hand, can cause muscle spasms and feeling disorders, under certain circumstances also rickets and osteoporosis. And too much calcium can also have a negative impact on health, because the mineral can deposit on the walls of the vessels and thus contribute to hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) - with sometimes considerable consequences for the heart and circulation, e.g. an increased risk of heart attack.
Numerous studies on the relationship between calcium and cardiovascular diseases Accordingly, calcium is a popular research subject and numerous studies have dealt with the connection between calcium and cardiovascular diseases over the years - for example, one study recently caused a sensation who showed that women who took calcium plus vitamin D daily were 15 to 22 percent more likely to develop coronary artery stenosis, heart attack and stroke than participants in the control group.
US researchers are evaluating data from a large-scale study Now a US study has also looked into this topic - with the aim of "investigating whether calcium intake from food and nutritional supplements influences the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases" , the researchers said in their article. To this end, the scientists evaluated data from the large "National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study", in which more than 388,000 men and women aged 50 to 71 years participated between 1995 and 1996. The subjects were followed for an average of twelve years, the dietary behavior was noted at the beginning of the study, not only noting what and how much was eaten, but also which dietary supplements were taken. In the end, the deaths plus the cause were recorded.
Men significantly more at risk than women The evaluation of the data revealed astonishing things: Over the course of 12 years, more than 7900 men and almost 3900 women had died of cardiovascular diseases - more than half (51 percent) of the men and women had More than two thirds (70%) of women swallowed calcium supplements. Men who consumed more than one gram of calcium daily were 20 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-users. In contrast, women taking calcium supplements had no effect on possible cardiac death.
The relative risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, it was shown, was dependent on how much calcium was ingested by the food or food supplements: it increased with a deficiency (less than 500 mg) as well as with too high a dose (from 1,500mg) - in the "middle field" (about 1000mg), however, it was shown that the intake of calcium could even have a protective effect, which means that men who eat (milk products, but (also cabbage, spinach or beans) absorb too little calcium, dietary supplements can in principle make sense.
Women may be more accustomed to calcium from dietary supplements However, the researchers still have no explanation for the difference between the sexes - the mostly earlier start of calcium intake in women could possibly help, according to the researchers' theory. Because women have had a balance in the body for longer than men, which could lead to the negative effects of the dietary supplements in the study no longer having any effect. Men, on the other hand, would often only start taking calcium as a food supplement late in life - so there is a presumption that the negative effects could not be offset by the lack of habituation.
The results of the study, however, should not be over-interpreted by the scientists, since in principle they would only provide information that too much calcium in the form of dietary supplements could increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular complaints - a proof of this thesis However, given the results of the study, there would not be, so that the presumed connection would have to be checked in a next step according to the researchers in a randomized clinical study. (sb)