Circulating Calcium Concentrations, Vascular Disease and Mortality: a Systemic Review (Reid IR, et al.)

Recent studies have suggested that calcium supplementation increases the risk of myocardial infarction and possibly stroke. A paper recently published in Journal of Internal Medicine, offered a systematic review of literature to determine whether circulating calcium concentrations are related to the risk of cardiovascular disease in populations not selected for the presence of hypercalcaemia.

The present analysis demonstrated an association between serum calcium levels within the normal range and the risks of death and of cardiovascular disease.

According to the review, blood pressure, lipids, weight, and glucose metabolism may be contributors to the calcium-vascular relationship, as several of the studies reviewed demonstrated that adjusting for these variables attenuates the association. Collectively, there is a residual relationship between vascular risk and serum calcium, suggesting that there are direct effects of calcium on other targets, such as the arterial wall or blood coagulation.

Where cause-specific mortality has been examined, some studies find a stronger dependence of vascular mortality on calcium, although others find effects on both vascular and nonvascular deaths. These findings in normocalcaemic populations complement the body of evidence suggesting that hypercalcaemia is associated with increased mortality and cardiovascular disease.

The present observational data cannot definitively address the issue of causality. However, the similarity of the findings in these studies with those of calcium supplements suggests that high calcium levels contribute to vascular disease.

“While these findings cannot determine causality, this review marks another opportunity to discuss the benefit of pairing Vitamin K2 with calcium supplementation,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Specifically how calcium affects arterial walls. If the body has adequate Vitamin K2, there is potential to inhibit calcium from depositing in artery walls, providing protection from cardiovascular damage.”


Reid at al. Circulating calcium concentrations, vascular disease and mortality: a systemic review. J Intern Med. 2016; doi: 10.1111/ joim.12464.

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