Trash the Calcium, Save the Patient

A Best Evidence Review

Charles P. Vega, MD


March 07, 2013

In This Article

Clinical Pearls

  • Calcium-containing compounds are the second most popular complementary treatment among adults in the United States, yet most supplements are taken without a recommendation from a physician.

  • It is questionable whether calcium supplements alone contribute to the prevention of fracture.

  • A growing body of evidence suggests that calcium supplements, and perhaps even dietary calcium, can increase the risk for CVD.

  • In the current study, the use of calcium supplements among men was associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular death and death related to heart disease.

  • Calcium supplements did not significantly affect the risk for CVD mortality among women.

  • Calcium supplements are unnecessary among men and should be evaluated critically among women at average risk for fracture.