A National Institute of Health (NIH) study shows that men who took calcium supplements were at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In a Feb. 20 press statement, The Nutritional Magnesium Association (NMA) points to this study as confirmation of claims they have made that diets heavy in calcium must be balanced with magnesium to prevent serious health problems.
The study gathered information from nearly 400,000 Americans, ages 50 to 71, about their diets, including use of nutritional supplements, their lifestyles and general health. The group was tracked for 12 years, with researchers recording the number of deaths in the group, and the causes of death.
Men who took 1,000 milligrams or more of calcium each day were found to have a 20 percent increase in cardiovascular mortality. There was no similar relationship between calcium supplements and mortality found in women. Calcium supplements are generally considered safe and are commonly used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. An excess amount of calcium in the body can lead to kidney stones and calcification of blood vessels.
According to the NMA, magnesium, a mineral found in whole grains, nuts and green vegetables, regulates calcium levels in the body and consuming excess calcium with insufficient amounts of magnesium can be toxic.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, magnesium deficiency is rare, but can be brought on by certain medical conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism or intestinal disorders. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, confusion, muscle spasms and restless leg syndrome.