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Why taking a calcium supplement might do more harm than good


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Photo: Stocksy/Alita Ong

As giving up dairy goes mainstream (in case you haven’t heard, it’s one of the biggest sources of inflammation), the hunt for alternative calcium sources is on. But it turns out that getting your fill in pill form might not be the best route. According to a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, taking calcium supplements is linked to a greater risk of heart disease—yikes!

How could something that’s good for your bones be bad for your heart? Researchers found that the supplements can clog your arteries, which  (which can lead to a heart attack). The good news? If you don’t get your calcium in a concentrated pill form (which researchers found the body just can’t handle) and through diet instead, you don’t have that risk.

So, what should you eat—particularly if you are living the dairy-free life and can’t get your calcium through foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt? Leafy greens like kale, arugula, and bok choy really deliver on the calcium front. Broccoli, okra, and soy are all good sources, too.

The takeaway here: Not all supplements are bad (so no, don’t stop popping your daily probiotic, for example), but when it comes to calcium, it may be better to go straight to the source.

Speaking of vitamins, find out if spray supplements actually work—or are just a lot of hype. Plus, is fulvic acid the secret to absorbing your vitamins?