The National Osteoporosis Society has urged people who might be worried about calcium supplements not to panic, following recent news stories that calcium supplements could raise the risk of heart attack. These headlines are based on the findings of a large German study that looked at the association between calcium intake and incidents of heart attack, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease over a period of 11 years. Researchers found no link between the amount of calcium in people’s diet and their risk of stroke or cardiovascular deaths. However, people using calcium supplements as their only form of supplement had more than twice the risk of heart attack compared with people who didn’t take any vitamin supplements. Dr Claire Bowring of the National Osteoporosis Society said: “This study further highlights the need for care when considering taking calcium supplements. If you get all of the calcium that you need from your diet then a supplement will not be necessary. Boosting calcium beyond recommended levels has no extra benefit for bones. If you have a heart condition or if you feel you may be at risk of a heart attack it is important to talk to your GP who will discuss with you the risks and benefits of taking a supplement.” To read the study visit http://heart. bmj.com/content/98/12/920.full