What’s for Dinner?

Japanese Home-cooked Dinner

The Menu

  • Stewed Chicken With Tomato Sauce
  • Simmered Pork and Tofu in Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • Salmon and Nanohana with Sesame Dressing
  • Pineapple Fruit Brandy on Rock

Afternoon Tea with Chinese Sweet Dim Sum

High Supplemental Calcium Intake May Be Associated with Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Death in Men, Not Women

A high intake of supplemental calcium appears to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) death in men but not in women in a study of more 388,000 participants between the ages of 50 and 71 years, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Calcium supplementation has become widely used, especially among the elderly population, because of its proposed bone health benefits. However, beyond calcium’s established role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, its health effect on nonskeletal outcomes, including cardiovascular health, remains largely unknown and has become “increasingly contentious,” the authors write in the study background.

Qian Xiao, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined whether the intake of dietary and supplemental calcium was associated with mortality from total CVD, heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases. The study participants were 388,229 men and women ages 50 to 71 years from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study in six states and two metropolitan areas from 1995 through 1996.

“In this large, prospective study we found that supplemental but not dietary calcium intake was associated with an increased CVD mortality in men but not in women,” the authors conclude.

During an average 12 years of follow-up, 7,904 CVD deaths in men and 3,874 CVD deaths in women were identified and supplements containing calcium were used by 51 percent of men and 70 percent of women. Compared with non-supplement users, men with an intake of supplemental calcium of more than 1,000 mg/day had an increased risk of total CVD death (risk ratio [RR], 1.20), more specifically with heart disease (RR, 1.19), but not significantly with cerebrovascular disease death (RR, 1.14).

For women, supplemental calcium intake was not associated with CVD death, heart disease death or cerebrovascular disease death. Dietary calcium intake also was not associated with CVD death in men or women.

“Whether there is a sex difference in the cardiovascular effect of calcium supplement warrants further investigation. Given the extensive use of calcium supplement in the population, it is of great importance to assess the effect of supplemental calcium use beyond bone health,” the authors conclude.

Commentary: Are Calcium Supplements Harmful to Cardiovascular Disease

In a related commentary, Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, wrote: “More large studies are needed to further assess the potential health risks or benefits of calcium supplement use on CVD morbidity and mortality.”

“Meanwhile, a safe alternative to calcium supplements is to consume calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat dairy foods, beans, and green leafy vegetables, which contain not only calcium but also a cocktail of essential minerals and vitamins,” Larsson continued.

“These nondairy food sources of calcium have the added health benefits and have recently been reported to improve glycemic control in persons with diabetes. The paradigm ‘the more the better’ is invalid for calcium supplementation.”

Source: American Medical Association.

A Mediterranean Soup with Almond

Ingredients

1 cup blanched almonds
4 oz fresh white bread
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
salt and ground black pepper

Garnish

toasted flaked almonds
seedless green and black grapes, halved and skinned

Method

  1. Break bread into a bowl and pour on 2/3 cup cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Put almond and garlic in a food processor and process until very fine powder. Blend in soaked white bread.
  3. Gradually add olive oil until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Add sherry vinegar and then 2½ cups cold water. Process until smooth.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add some water if the soup is very thick. Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and scatter with toasted almonds flakes and skinned grapes.

Source: Fine Cooking

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