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.

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. 4 Ways to Prevent Heart Attack
  6. Fact or Fiction? Debunking Exercise & Nutrition Myths for Preventing Heart Disease and Risk Factors
  7. Healthy Heart Numbers
  8. Heart disease in women
  9. Mayo Clinic - Holiday Heart Attack and Stroke Risk
  10. New Route to the Heart
  11. Sports Cardiology Program
  12. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  13. Cardiac catheterization
  14. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid
  15. Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?
  16. Chest X-rays
  17. Coronary angiogram
  18. Coronary artery disease
  19. Coronary artery disease: Angioplasty or bypass surgery?
  20. Coronary bypass surgery
  21. Daily aspirin therapy
  22. Dizziness
  23. Drug-eluting stents
  24. ECG at Mayo Clinic
  25. Echocardiogram
  26. Ejection fraction: What does it measure?
  27. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  28. Excessive sweating
  29. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  30. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  31. Fatigue
  32. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  33. Flu shots and heart disease
  34. Four Steps to Heart Health
  35. Grass-fed beef
  36. Healthy eating: One step at a time
  37. Healthy Heart for Life!
  38. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
  39. Heart attack
  40. Heart attack
  41. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  42. Heart attack symptoms
  43. Heart Attack Timing
  44. Heart disease
  45. Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors
  46. Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
  47. Heartburn or chest pain?
  48. Infographic: How heart-healthy people can suffer a heart attack
  49. Interval Training
  50. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  51. Nausea and vomiting
  52. Niacin to boost your HDL, 'good,' cholesterol
  53. NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
  54. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  55. Omega-3 in fish
  56. Omega-6 fatty acids
  57. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  58. Protein: Heart-healthy sources
  59. Pseudoaneurysm: What causes it?
  60. Put fish on the menu
  61. Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol
  62. Secondhand smoke
  63. Shortness of breath
  64. Silent heart attack
  65. Sleep disorders
  66. Heart disease prevention
  67. Stress test
  68. Symptom Checker
  69. Testosterone therapy side effects: What are the heart risks?
  70. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  71. Lifestyle strategies for pain management
  72. Nutrition and pain
  73. Pain rehabilitation
  74. Self-care approaches to treating pain
  75. Treating pain: Conventional medical care
  76. Treating pain: Overview
  77. Understanding pain
  78. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  79. What is meant by the term "heart age"?
  80. Infographic: Women and Heart Disease