(HealthDay News) – Increasing dietary calcium intake might not offer significant cardiovascular benefits, but intake through calcium supplements might raise myocardial infarction (MI) risk.

Kuanrong Li, from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and colleagues analyzed data from 23,980 participants (ages 35–64 years) of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) upon enrollment.

The researchers identified 354 MI and 260 stroke cases and 267 CVD deaths, during an average follow-up of 11 years. Individuals in the third quartile of total dietary and dairy calcium intake had a significantly decreased MI risk (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69 and 0.68, respectively), compared with those in the lowest quartile. There were no associations found between calcium and stroke risk and CVD mortality. Users of calcium supplements had a statistically significantly increased risk of MI (HR, 1.86), which was even stronger for calcium supplement only users (HR, 2.39), compared to supplement nonusers.

“Increasing calcium intake from diet might not confer significant cardiovascular benefits, while calcium supplements, which might raise MI risk, should be taken with caution,” the authors write.

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