COMMENTARY

Rethinking Calcium: Bone Health or Heartache?

Sandra A. Fryhofer, MD

Disclosures

October 25, 2010

In This Article

No Trials of Calcium Plus Vitamin D Were Included

The type of calcium supplement did not seem to matter, but the current meta-analysis looked at calcium supplements alone. Researchers did not include any trials looking at calcium plus vitamin D.

An accompanying BMJ editorial questions the role of calcium in bone health in reducing fractures. It even goes so far as to say that only patients with osteoporosis who are also taking medication for it should take calcium supplements, alone or with vitamin D ,and calls for further research on calcium supplement safety and efficacy.[5]

The Women's Health Initiative evaluation of combined calcium and vitamin D found no effect on heart attack and stroke.[6] A recent systematic review in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that moderate to high doses of vitamin D may reduce cardiovascular risk, whereas calcium alone had no significant effect.[7]

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