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Over the past several years calcium supplementation has become popular for bodybuilders. This makes sense, as calcium plays a key role in fat loss
, muscle contraction, and testosterone production
. Calcium supplementation may be necessary for bodybuilders, since most limit their dairy intake (a major source of calcium) and calcium is excreted in high protein diets through urination (due to high levels of dietary phosphorus).
But what if you aren't calcium deficient? Is supplementation beneficial or can it be detrimental?
Well, according to several studies, calcium supplementation in healthy people is associated with risk of myocardial infarction (heart disease). However there are several research reports that claim calcium is safe when taken as directed and not mega-dosed. Further, there has been no solid evidence describing the biological mechanism that would cause calcium supplements to evoke heart problems. Based on the current research, you should monitor your calcium intake and see if you are getting adequate amounts from your diet. If a supplement is necessary, then take as directed and you should remain risk free.
Shaker HK, Stigleman S. Clinical Inquiry: Can calcium supplements cause serious adverse effects in healthy people? J Fam Pract. 2012 Oct;61(10):620-1.
Heaney RP, Kopecky S, Maki KC, Hathcock J, Mackay D, Wallace TC.A review of calcium supplements and cardiovascular disease risk. Adv Nutr. 2012 Nov 1;3(6):763-71.