JRPMS Vol 3, No 1, March 2019, p.26-31
The role of the calcium intake in the development of cardiovascular calcification
Evaggelia E. Pitaraki
- Clinical Dietitian - Nutritionist, Athens, Greece
Keywords: Calcium intake, Dietary calcium, Supplemental calcium, Cardiovascular calcification, Cardiovascular
disease (CVD) risk
Calcium covers a wide range of body functions. Adequate calcium intake is critical for skeletal health. Dietary calcium intake is considered safe, while supplemental calcium raises concerns, regarding cardiovascular health. Calcium can be administered alone or in combination with vitamin D. Supplemental calcium can be provided if people cannot meet their dietary needs or as a prescription in patients receiving medication for osteoporosis. The last ten years, a major research debate has been ongoing, regarding the possible relationship between calcium intake and cardiovascular risk. Possible mechanisms have been investigated, concerning the possible effect of calcium supplementation on cardiovascular calcifications. Further analysis is needed regarding levels of calcium intake that could possibly promote calcifications. It is also significant to evaluate the effect of the duration of supplemental calcium administration and the possible protective effect of concomitant administration of vitamin D supplementation. Until there are clinical studies to address those hypotheses, the current recommendations include that calcium (dietary and supplemental) can be given safely, within normal limits, to all healthy people and patients, possibly excluding those with chronic kidney disease.