I’m 73, female and have AV sclerosis.  Should I be concerned about taking calcium supplements?

My echo (taken for AV regurgitation) shows I have AV sclerosis without stenosis and I am seeking to make lifestyle and dietary changes. Should such changes also include a watch on the amount of calcium supplements? I’m 73 and female.

Submitted by Lina from Tamarac, Florida on 09/30/2016

Dear Lina,
You raise a good question. There is no data that I know of to give you a definitive answer. Calcium deposition is part of the inflammatory process. Women who were taking supplements (calcium + Vit D) were found to have increased calcium deposits in their carotid arteries. This could have been due to the intermittent high blood levels following the pills. Since blood calcium levels need to be closely regulated, excess calcium may be deposited in ANY area of inflammation (not necessarily in the bones) including the aortic valve which could theoretically cause it to stiffen. HOWEVER THIS HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN. Therefore until more data becomes available, I would not recommend taking calcium and vitamin D supplements unless prescribed by a doctor.