I've read that calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart attacks. Is this true?

Answer From Rekha Mankad, M.D.

There is some evidence that calcium supplements can increase the risk of heart attacks. Calcium supplements are usually taken to treat or prevent bone disease, such as osteoporosis.

A recent analysis of peer-reviewed, double-blind studies concluded that calcium supplements increased the risk of heart disease, particularly in healthy, postmenopausal women. Other studies have said calcium supplements don't increase the risk.

In general, more research is needed before doctors know how calcium supplements affect your overall heart attack risk. What is known is that calcium from food sources, such as dairy products and leafy green vegetables, isn't a concern.

Taking calcium — with vitamin D — does provide a benefit for those who have too little calcium or bone loss. As with any health issue, it's important to talk to your doctor to determine what's most appropriate in your case. Check with your doctor before taking any type of supplement to determine if there's a need.


Rekha Mankad, M.D.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

May 06, 2021 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Angina treatment: Stents, drugs, lifestyle changes — What's best?
  3. Anxiety disorders
  4. Blood tests for heart disease
  5. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  6. Cardiac catheterization
  7. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid
  8. Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?
  9. Chest X-rays
  10. Coronary angiogram
  11. Coronary artery disease
  12. Coronary artery disease: Angioplasty or bypass surgery?
  13. What is coronary artery disease? A Mayo Clinic cardiologist explains.
  14. Coronary artery disease FAQs
  15. Coronary bypass surgery
  16. Daily aspirin therapy
  17. Dizziness
  18. Drug-eluting stents
  19. Echocardiogram
  20. Ejection fraction: What does it measure?
  21. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  22. Excessive sweating
  23. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  24. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  25. Fatigue
  26. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  27. Flu shots and heart disease
  28. Four Steps to Heart Health
  29. Grass-fed beef
  30. Healthy eating: One step at a time
  31. Healthy Heart for Life!
  32. Heart attack
  33. Heart attack
  34. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  35. Heart attack symptoms
  36. Heart Attack Timing
  37. Heart disease
  38. Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors
  39. Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
  40. Heartburn or chest pain?
  41. Infographic: How heart-healthy people can suffer a heart attack
  42. Interval Training
  43. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  44. Nausea and vomiting
  45. Niacin to improve cholesterol numbers
  46. NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
  47. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  48. Omega-3 in fish
  49. Omega-6 fatty acids
  50. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  51. Protein: Heart-healthy sources
  52. Pseudoaneurysm: What causes it?
  53. Put fish on the menu
  54. Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol
  55. Shortness of breath
  56. Silent heart attack
  57. Sleep disorders
  58. Heart disease prevention
  59. Stress test
  60. Symptom Checker
  61. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  62. Nutrition and pain
  63. Pain rehabilitation
  64. Self-care approaches to treating pain
  65. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  66. What is meant by the term "heart age"?
  67. Infographic: Women and Heart Disease