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Calcium Supplements Tied to Heart Risk in Men

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"Calcium supplements probably have a null effect on the cardiovascular system," he said.

Wallace noted that in the new study, the data that researchers used to draw their conclusions looked at diet and the risk for cancer, not whether calcium supplements were bad for the heart.

"What is needed, to close the chapter on this, is a large randomized control trial that is specifically designed to look at cardiovascular disease and calcium supplements," he said.

Although the study tied supplement use to increased risk of death from heart disease in men, it didn't establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

One medical expert said that neither men nor women should be taking calcium supplements without first checking with their doctor to assess the risks and benefits of these supplements.

"While further studies are needed, calcium supplements should be used only after careful consideration of whether the potential benefits in terms of bone health outweigh the potential cardiovascular risks," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a spokesman for the American Heart Association and a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

More information

To learn more about calcium supplements, visit the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements.

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