For many years, there was anecdotal evidence that calcium intake could have a postive influence on lowering blood pressure in elderly women. However, After research done in a large scale study of women between the ages of 45 and 65, there was no correlation found between calcium intake and blood pressure. While this is a disappointing result, it is also not surprising as the effects of calcium within the cardiovascular system are minimimally associated with blood pressure. While there was hope within the medical community that such a link could be found as calcium supplements are often necessary for women of that age to reduce the symptoms or prevent osteoporosis. Having a second purpose for calcium supplements would have been a nice bonus.
While the link between calcium and blood pressure in women has been firmly dismissed, this does not diminish the importance of both calcium supplements in post menopausal women, nor the importance of lowering blood pressure.
Osteoporosis is a condition found in older people that is characterized by the drop in bone density. Bones become brittle and break easily. The cause of this is that bone matter is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than it is being built. While Osteoporosis mainly occurs in older adults, it starts early in life. At about age 30, humans are at maximum bone density. After that age, however, the body begins to absorb more bone tissue than it is forming. One of the reasons for this is the lack of calcium in diets. Calcium, phosporus, strontium and vitamin D are all vital for proper bone formation and the prevention of Osteoporosis.
Calcium is an important mineral in regards to the cardiovascular system as the heart is made up of muscles, and all muscles use calcium while constracting or relaxing. However, as the hypertension study revealed, the amount of calcium really has no effect on final blood pressure. The body places the priority of calcium on muscles, so that if intake of calcium is lacking, the body will reabsorb calcium from bones. Only in very extreme deficiencies will low calcium levels have any impact on muscle contraction, let alone cardiac contractions. Before this would happen, the bones would literally be snapping when you walked.
While it would be beneficial for the women if calcium helped lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension, the research has shown no connection. Women are encourage to increase intake of calcium anyway as osteoporosis is a serious threat to good health.