Boston, MA—Findings in a new study published in Osteoporosis International show that calcium supplementation (more than 1,000 mg/day) did not increase a woman’s the risk of cardiovascular disease(CVD).

This counters previous research suggesting the contrary.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined data collected on 74,245 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, with a 24-year follow-up. In the end, calcium supplements was associated with healthy behavior—like more physical activity, less smoking and less trans fat intake intake—than women who did not take calcium supplements.

The authors of the study found that, “In this large-scale, long-term prospective cohort study in women, calcium supplement use was inversely associated with the risk of CVD. Our findings do not support an increased risk of CVD with calcium supplement use in women.”

Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs of Council for Responsible Nutrition, notes that calcium is an important nutrient for bone health benefits and Americans don’t get enough of it according to government data. “We encourage continued studies on calcium’s safety and benefits, but this study should help women feel confident that calcium supplements are an appropriate choice if they are not getting enough from food alone,” he says.

This is the fourth study conducted in the past 18 months to confirm calcium safety.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2014