Calcium Supplements May Cause Harm to the Heart

December 24, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. supplement / ˈsʌp lə mənt / (n.) – a substance taken by a person that contains vitamins or minerals
Example: She takes a tablet of Vitamin E supplement daily.

2.  brittle / ˈbrɪtl / (adj.) – easily broken
Example: Bones gradually become more brittle because of old-age.

3. dosage / ˈdoʊ sɪdʒ / (n.) – the amount of medicine recommended to be taken
Example: He has a serious infection, so he is taking a high dosage of antibiotics.

4. intake / ˈɪnˌteɪk / (n.) – an act of taking in or swallowing something
Example: I easily get colds because my vitamin C intake is not enough.

5. heighten / ˈhaɪt n / (v.) – to increase the degree or amount of something
Example: Smoking heightened his risks for lung cancer.


Read the text below.
A new study has found that taking calcium supplements may not be good for the heart.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medicine found that taking calcium supplements may put an individual at a higher risk of heart damage. The researchers analyzed data from the medical tests done on 2,700 people. They found that those who have taken calcium supplements were more likely to have hardened and narrowed arteries due to calcium deposits.

Nutritionist John Anderson, who co-authored the study, said that calcium from supplements may accumulate in a person’s blood vessel because they may not reach a person’s bones or get eliminated fully through urination.

According to the  US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many women past the age of 60 take calcium supplements even without the advice of a doctor because they believe that these will reduce their risk of having brittle bones. However, an associate professor from Johns Hopkins Medicine believes that people should consult with a doctor before taking supplements, so that they can find out what dosage is suitable for them.

Adults need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. According to experts, supplement intake should depend on how much calcium is found in a person’s diet. Going over the recommended daily amount is not good for the health, and may pose several health risks. Aside from increasing risks of heart disease, extra levels of calcium in the blood or urine may also heighten the risk for kidney stones, as well as other kidney problems.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the advantages of taking vitamin/mineral supplements?
·         Aside from supplements, where else can people get the nutrients that they need?

Discussion B

·         What would you recommend to someone who plans on taking vitamin supplements?
·         What is the importance of consulting a doctor before taking any medicine?

December 24, 2016