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Study linking calcium to heart attack risk flawed, says doctor

Monday, August 16, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: flawed, calcium study, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the British Journal of Medicine claims that people who supplement with calcium are at an increased risk of having a heart attack. But Dr. Steven Joyal, MD, President of Scientific and Medical Affairs at the Life Extension Foundation, says that the study is completely flawed and misleading, and that calcium is a vital nutrient for preventing heart problems.

In a rebuttal, Dr. Joyal explains why the methodology used in the study was flawed, and why calcium supplementation is actually highly beneficial in preventing heart attacks, especially when used together with vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium.

According to Dr. Joyal's analysis, study authors excluded participants who took vitamin D and magnesium in conjunction with calcium, which skewed the results. These two nutrients work together with calcium to protect bone health. Most of those included as part of the study, though they were taking some level of calcium, were deficient in vitamin D, and vitamin D deficiency increases cardiovascular risk. None of these factors were made plain in the study paper.

Dr. Joyal also emphasizes that study authors conveniently eliminated many of the studies directly linking calcium intake to reduced cardiovascular events. Even when taken alone, calcium has been shown to be beneficial to heart health. But these studies were not included as part of the official paper, either.

Scientific experiments have shown that people who are calcium deficient actually have a 170 percent increased rate of blood vessel calcification, which is a factor in causing heart problems. Those who supplement with calcium, on the other hand, reduce their calcification levels by 62 percent.

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