Calcium supplements have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack in women.
Over a period of 11 years, researched followed 23,980 German men and women aged between 35 and 64.
During the time, 354 heart attacks, 260 strokes and 267 associated deaths were recorded.
It was found that while a diet naturally high in calcium reduced the risk of heart attack by 31 per cent, people taking supplements that included calcium were 86 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those taking nothing.
More worryingly, those who only took calcium supplements doubled their risk of heart attack.
The researchers have now urged people to be cautious about taking the supplements and insisted that are vitally different to natural sources of calcium.
Professors Ian Reid and Mark Bolland, from the University of Auckland, commenting on the research, said: "The evidence is also becoming steadily stronger that it is not safe, nor is it particularly effective. Therefore, the bolus administration of this micronutrient should not be encouraged, rather, people should be advised to obtain their calcium intake from an appropriately balanced diet."
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