Too much calcium is bad for your heart
Women who get too much calcium in their diet increase their risk of dying prematurely, especially from cardiovascular disease. Especially high is the risk for women who, on top of getting too much calcium from their diets, also take calcium supplements. These new findings come from a study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute and which has been published in British Medical Journal. More than 61,000 women in Uppsala and Västmanland counties, over the course of eight years, twice answered questions about their diet and drinking habits. During the study, close to 12,000 of the women died—3,900 of them in cardiovascular disease. When the researchers looked closer at these deaths, they saw that the mortality among the women with a calcium intake of over 1400 mg a day, or under 600 mg a day, had an increased risk to die prematurely compared to those who followed the guidelines for recommended daily calcium intake. Especially high was the mortality among those women who took calcium supplements. However, the researchers could see no connection between taking calcium supplements and an increased mortality in women who got less than 1400 mg of calcium though their diet. Also, the increased mortality was primarily with regard to cardiovascular diseases; researchers could not find any relation between calcium intake and stroke. According to professor Karl Michaëlsson at Uppsala University’s clinical research center, eating a varied and normal diet is the best way to avoid getting too little or too much calcium. “When it comes to calcium the Swedish word ‘lagom’ is perfect. There is in fact evidence that not only is a pronounced calcium deficiency harmful to the bones, but a recent analysis of several controlled studies showed that the consumption of calcium supplements increased the risk of hip fractures,” Michaëlsson explains.

Swede to compete for Germany?
Swedish singer Betty Dittrich may very well compete on behalf of Germany in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (which will be held in Malmö later this spring). Dittrich was born and grew up in Hölleviken but moved with her family to Germany (her father is German). “But we never spoke German at home,” the 28-year-old Dittrich says in an interview for Swedish daily DN. Dittrich has lived in Berlin for two years and her “Lalala” is one of twelve songs to be presented as Germany selects who they want to send to Malmö. “I’m already nervous,” says Dittrich. “But that’s good, that means I will do my best. When it comes to pop, my motto is ‘less is more.’ It should be simple. And for me, being a Swede, the Eurovision Song contest is a huge thing.” Dittrich is not the only Swede to possibly compete for other countries: Thomas G:son is the writer of Georgia’s entry, and in Hungary another Malmö girl is hopeful to win and present Hungary in the finals: Monika Hoffman will present a song written by Swedes Jonas Gladnikoff and Johnny Sanchez. Swedish Ace of Base producer John Ballard has all of four songs lined up in Moldavia’s selection. Four Swedish songwriters have written two songs that will compete in Latvia (Erik Anjou and Peter Svensson and a duo from Piteå Patrik Öhlund and Madelene Hamberg). For more on Betty check out her webpage: