Should Women Take Calcium and Vitamin D or Not?

One of my patients recently brought in a magazine article whereby a popular mainstream magazine article was citing an article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) from April 2011 regarding calcium increasing risk for heart attacks.
She was concerned that taking her usual low dosage -- 400-800mg of calcium supplement per day -- would put her at higher risk of heart attacks. This incident spurred me to write this article to clarify this issue for all women who were concerned about their bones, but are now concerned about their heart as well as their bones.
The article, published in BMJ in 2011, was one in which the authors re-evaluated the data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study on calcium supplementation where 36,282 women were looked at in a seven-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study as to how calcium and vitamin D supplementation affected them.[1]
In the initial study meta-analysis, there was no increased risk of heart disease seen in the study for women on calcium and vitamin D. But in the re-evaluation of a sub-group of the study (about 16,718 women), which then was published as the 2011 article in BMJ, the women who were not taking any personal calcium supplements were lower in risk of heart attacks then those women who were taking the treatment dosages of calcium and vitamin D.[2]

Source  - Huffington post