Description: Calcium is the dominant mineral present in bone and a shortfall nutrient in the American diet. Supplements have been recommended for persons who do not consume adequate calcium from their diet as a standard strategy for the prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures. Whether calcium with or without vitamin D supplementation is beneficial or detrimental to vascular health is not known.
Methods: The National Osteoporosis Foundation and American Society for Preventive Cardiology convened an expert panel to evaluate the effects of dietary and supplemental calcium on cardiovascular disease based on the existing peer-reviewed scientific literature. The panel considered the findings of the accompanying updated evidence report provided by an independent evidence review team at Tufts University.
Recommendation: The National Osteoporosis Foundation and American Society for Preventive Cardiology adopt the position that there is moderate-quality evidence (B level) that calcium with or without vitamin D intake from food or supplements has no relationship (beneficial or harmful) to the risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, mortality, or all-cause mortality in generally healthy adults at this time. In light of the evidence available to date, calcium intake from food and supplements that does not exceed the tolerable upper level of intake (defined by the National Academy of Medicine as 2000 to 2500 mg/d) should be considered safe from a cardiovascular standpoint.