New Zealand researchers say that calcium supplements can boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in postmenopausal women. Scientists from the University of Auckland randomly assigned 223 women to take either 1000 milligrams of calcium daily, in the form of calcium citrate, or an inactive placebo, for one year.
At the end of the trial, HDL cholesterol levels and HDL to LDL ratio had increased more among women taking calcium supplements than in women taking placebo. On average, women taking calcium saw an HDL cholesterol level increase of 7%. However, calcium supplementation had no effect on levels of triglycerides, another type of fat.
These findings provide another reason to encourage postmenopausal women to take calcium.
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