Calcium supplements

Written by amy on February 26th, 2013

A recent study out of Sweden found that long term use of a calcium supplement was associated with a higher risk for heart disease in middle-aged women. No similar increased risk was seen among women who met their daily calcium needs from diet alone.  Previous research has also shown a link between calcium supplements and heart attacks – so what’s the deal, are calcium supplements doing more harm then good?

Like all things in nutrition, research studies should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.  Nutrition is a new science and we are far from understanding how best to feed ourselves.  Until further studies are conducted, the best strategy is to get calcium predominantly from your diet.  See below for a list of sources.  Obtaining your nutrients from the foods that naturally contain them are always your best bet. If a supplement is needed, such as for severe osteoporosis, reduce the dosage to the smallest level needed. 

 Dietary sources of calcium:

Dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cheese)

Soy products (soymilk, tofu, soybeans)

Dark green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, bok choy, okra, collards)

Sardines, canned salmon (with bones)

Blackstrap molasses

Almonds

Beans, chickpeas

 

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