Taking calcium supplements to build stronger bones may be bad for the heart, according to a new study that suggests getting similar doses from calcium-rich foods is a safer alternative.
The study, which followed nearly 24,000 German men and women between the ages of 35 and 64, found those who regularly took calcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who did not. Study subjects who relied completely on supplements for their daily calcium intake were 139 percent more likely to have a heart attack.
"Calcium supplements, which might raise [heart attack] risk, should be taken with caution," the authors wrote in their report, published today in the journal Heart.
Calcium is critical for strong bones and teeth. But the new study suggests supplements, many of which are sold as tasty gummy candies and chocolates, are no replacement for healthy foods.