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 review of studies found that calcium supplements increased the risk of heart disease, particularly in healthy, postmenopausal women. But other studies have said calcium supplements don't increase the risk.
More research is needed to know how calcium supplements affect a person's 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. Ask your doctor if a calcium supplement is right for you.
March 23, 2023
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
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.
Thank you for subscribing!
You'll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Heravi AS, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplements: Helpful, harmful or neutral for cardiovascular risk? Methodist Debakey Cardiovascular Journal. 2019; doi: 10.14797/mdcj-15-3-207.
- Myung SK, et al. Calcium supplements and risk of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Nutrients. 2021; doi:10.3390/nu13020368.
- Yang C, et al. The evidence and controversy between dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation and the risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2019; doi: 10.1080/07315724.2019.1649219.
- Morelli MB, et al. Calcium supplements: Good for the bone, bad for the heart? A systematic updated appraisal. Atherosclerosis. 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.12.003.
- Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. March 8, 2021.