Men who take calcium supplements are more likely to die of heart disease than those who do not take supplements.

The finding came from a new study by a team of experts led by Qian Xiao, from the National Institutes of Health, and supports prior research from last year which indicated that calcium supplements are linked to a higher risk of heart attack.

The experts observed 388,229 middle-aged adults between 50 and 71 years old in the United States for the purpose of their research. The subjects were questioned about their lifestyle, overall well-being, and diet, including supplement use, between 1995 and 1996.

The participants were monitored for the next 12 years so that the researchers could see how many people died and know the reasons of their death.

Approximately 50% of men and over two-thirds of women reported taking calcium supplements or multivitamins containing calcium at the onset of the investigation.

Nearly 12,000 people (3%) died of heart disease throughout the 12 years.

The scientists discovered that males who took at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day had a 20% higher chance of dying from heart-related causes compared to those did not take calcium supplements.

“It’s possible that calcium build-up in the arteries and veins may affect cardiovascular risks in some people,” explained Xiao.

The results support what magnesium specialist Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Medical Advisory Board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association, has been indicating for years:

“Magnesium is the key to the body’s proper assimilation and use of calcium, as well as vitamin D. If we consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing calcification of the arteries, leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease.”

Prior reports on females taking calcium supplements have demonstrated comparable results.

In a study from 2009, called Use of Calcium Supplements and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in 52-62-Year-Old Women, experts revealed that “Calcium or calcium+D supplementation appears to increase the risk of coronary heart disease among women before old age.”

One recent study, also from February of this year, showed that women who have a high intake of calcium (relating to diet and supplements) have a higher chance of death from all causes, but heart disease in particular.

Michael F. Roizen, MD, Chief Wellness Officer for Cleveland Clinic and New York Times best-selling author, said:

“It has been known for some time that heart attacks are less common in areas where the water supplies are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is also known to lower blood pressure, dilate the arteries, and, when given after a heart attack, restore normal heart rhythms. Magnesium is especially important in the regulation of calcium. Because we do know that taking calcium helps reduce RealAge (physiologic age), it is also vital to get enough magnesium to allow for the proper absorption of calcium.”

There is an increasing amount of research-based verification suggesting that high calcium – low magnesium intake results in atherosclerosis (calcification, or hardening, of the arteries), which is the leading cause of death in the U.S, according to Dr. Dean.

He added that several individuals, particularly those consuming dairy products, have diets high in calcium, which may cause an elevated amount of calcium that is unabsorbed.

New York Times best-selling author Dr. Joseph Mercola said: “If you decide to supplement with calcium, it is important to understand that its complementary partner is magnesium. So you should use both.”

According to the nutritional magnesium association; “The majority of nutritional supplements contain twice as much calcium as magnesium.”

Dr. Dean suggests getting the minimum requirement of magnesium each day (resource no longer available at, “and going for an even calcium-magnesium balance.”

Written by Sarah Glynn