The weight of evidence for calcium demonstrates that little scientific evidence exists for plausible biological mechanisms to link calcium supplement use with adverse cardiovascular outcomes (e.g., heart attacks), according to a panel of calcium experts during the second annual Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) in June. The panel, “Calcium Supplementation and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease,” sponsored by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), explored the benefits and risks of calcium supplementation and addressed when supplementation is necessary. Additionally, the panel reviewed the latest information on calcium supplementation from published studies and the recent statement issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The panelists included Stephen Kopecky, M.D., Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, and Connie Weaver, Ph.D., Department Head of Foods & Nutrition, Purdue University. The panel was moderated by Richard Kahn, Ph.D., ASN.
“It is important to listen to the perspectives of these expert panelists as they represent the strong scientific evidence supporting the benefits of calcium in promoting bone health, and they reinforce the safety assurance consumers should have in taking a calcium supplement,” said Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., senior director, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “If consumers are not getting enough calcium through dietary sources (i.e., three servings of nonfat dairy per day), they should supplement with approximately 300 mg of calcium for each absent serving for optimal bone health.”