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HealthPartners Institute confirms calcium supplements do not increase heart disease risk

October 24, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Keep drinking those glasses of milk. In fact, make sure you get enough calcium by adding supplements. A new HealthPartners Institute article confirms that calcium pills do not increase the risk of heart attack or other heart disease. The findings were just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Some earlier studies raised concerns that calcium supplements may increase heart disease risk,” said Karen Margolis, MD, HealthPartners Institute researcher. “A new review shows they don’t have harmful effects on heart health.”

Margolis, along with JoAnn Manson, MD, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, suggests getting enough calcium (1000-1200 mg/day) through food when possible. Sources include milk, yogurt and cheese. Canned oily fish with bones, tofu, calcium-fortified juice and leafy greens are also good sources. Three servings per day will come close to meeting your needs. And you can make up any gap with calcium pills.

“Most people won’t need more than 500 mg/day of extra calcium,” Margolis said.

The research review was commissioned by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

About HealthPartners Institute

HealthPartners Institute is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. One of the largest medical research and education centers in the Midwest, the Institute has about 450 studies underway each year, trains more than 500 medical residents and fellows and more than 500 students and provides continuing medical education for 25,000 clinicians as well as patient education and clinical quality improvement. For more information, visit

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Vineeta Sawkar
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