New Study: Don’t Take Calcium Supplements! 


Calcium supplements have been linked to heart attacks according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal last year. Researchers found a 24-27% increased risk of heart attacks for those who took 500 mg of elemental calcium a day. Americans consume an enormous amount of calcium already from cow’s milk and its products per person than most populations in the world.  There are many women who were told by their physicians to take calcium supplements for stronger bones.  We have the highest rates of heart disease and osteoporosis (bone disease) now.  Another study highlights the issues American women aged fifty and older face from consuming calcium from dairy and supplements. These women have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world. For example, in countries such as India, Japan, and Peru where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. recommendation for adults, ages 19 to 50), the incidence of bone fractures is quite low.  Shouldn’t it be the opposite?  “Drink milk for calcium and strong bones”, they say.  But why are we still suffering from bone lose, fractures, and now calcium supplements linked to heart attacks?  

The United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) actively promotes dairy products — it administers the National Milk Processor Board that gave us the ubiquitous “Got milk?” media campaign.   I don’t know not one person who doesn’t know that stupid slogan. Really!! Get this! Did you know that consuming animal products also decreases bone health and causes excess metabolic acid load in the body? (I’ll link the studies for these below.)  Animal products causes our bodies to be more acidic. A more acidic body leads to diseases/toxicity/inflammation.  Now according to The China Study, the body does not like this acidic environment, so in turn, our bodies fight it. In order for the body to neutralize the acid, the body secretes calcium from our bones, and then calcium loss weakens the bones, thus causing the greater risk for fractures. There’s no win-win situation here. The higher the consumption of animal products, including dairy and meat, may lead to an acid overload and weakened bones.  

I DO NOT recommend taking calcium supplements or eating dairy for calcium.  However, I do believe consuming a whole food plant-based diet is the best option.  A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.  Foods like green leafy vegetables, including spring greens, cabbage, watercress, kale, broccoli and parsley are excellent sources of natural calcium.  Then there’s oranges, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods are also filled with vital vitamins and minerals our bodies depend on for healthy bones, teeth and strong muscles. The plant-based diet is healthier and better for our bodies to digest and absorb nutrients.  To learn more about adapting a whole food plant-based diet visit Nutrition Studies website.  


Resources:

Study: The effect of dietary sulfur-containing amino acids on calcium excretion.

Study: The dietary protein, Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), skeletal health axis.

Study: Estimation of net endogenous noncarbonic acid production in humans from diet potassium and protein contents.

Must Reads: Getting Clarity About Calcium, The 4 Keys to Strong Bones

Website to visit:  Vegan Society


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Why Vitamin K2 is Crucial if You Take Vitamin D and Calcium …

Vitamin K2 engages in a delicate dance with vitamin D; whereas vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it — i.e., your organs, joint spaces, and arteries. As mentioned, a large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”

Vitamin K2 has also actually been found to decalcify certain tissues undergoing pathological (also known as ectopic) calcification. Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries.

In other words, without the help of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D so effectively lets in might be working AGAINST you — by building up your coronary arteries rather than your bones. This is why if you take calcium and vitamin D but are deficient in vitamin K, you could be worse off than if you were not taking those supplements at all.  

Top 10 Vitamin K Rich Foods List

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables (Kale) – ½ c: 444 mcg (over 100% DV)
  2. Natto (fermented soy) – 2 oz: 500 mcg (over 100% DV)
  3. Spring onions (Scallions) – ½ c: 103 mcg (over 100% DV)
  4. Brussels Sprouts – ½ c: 78 mcg (98% DV)
  5. Cabbage – ½ cup: 82 mcg (over 100% DV)
  6. Broccoli – ½ c: 46 mcg (58% DV)
  7. Dairy (fermented) – ½ c: 10 mcg (10% DV)
  8. Prunes½ c: 52 mcg (65% DV)
  9. Cucumbers – 1 medium: 49 mcg (61% DV)
  10. Dried basil – 1 Tbsp: 36 mcg (45% DV)

Try consuming 2-3 of these vitamin k rich foods daily. 


Sources

Breast Cancer and Heart Attacks: A Deadly Side Effect of Calcium Supplements?

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Story at-a-glance
Taking elemental calcium supplements (with or without vitamin D) in amounts of 500 mg or more may actually increase your relative risk of heart attack by up to 27 percent, and may even increase your risk of stroke…

Taking the wrong type of calcium and in isolation, without complementary nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K, which help keep your body in balance, can have adverse effects, such as calcium building up in coronary arteries and causing heart attacks…

Osteoporosis, as defined by DXA bone screenings using the T-score, are highly misleading, because they compare your bone density to a 25-year old (and not your age group) as the standard of normality. Bone density and bone strength are two different things, and having highly dense bones may increase your risk of breast cancer as a woman by 300% or more…

Evidence that supplementing with calcium safely prevents fractures is lacking, but plentiful research suggests calcium deposits are major contributors and even causative factors in many health conditions…

In order for calcium to do your body good, it must be in a biologically appropriate form and balanced out with vitamins D and K and other important trace minerals, as part of a total nutritional plan…

To read up more on this please visit:
Breast Cancer and Heart Attacks via Dr. Mercola
Article: Evidence that calcium supplements reduce fracture risk is lacking
Article: Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study

Make Your Own Calcium Supplements

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Written by Lacy Boggs Renner    

There are lots of legitimate reasons you might need to take calcium supplements—especially if you’re a woman of a certain age—but over the counter calcium pills can cause more problems than they solve. Recent studies have linked calcium supplements to heart problems and kidney stones.

But the problem isn’t with the calcium itself, its with the way the supplements are processed.  If you aren’t getting enough calcium from your diet, you can bypass all that by making your own calcium at home with just two simple ingredients.

Lemon Egg Calcium Supplement

You will need organic eggs and organic lemons.

  1. Carefully place whole, clean, uncracked eggs in a wide-mouthed jar or container and cover with freshly squeezed, organic lemon juice. 
  2. Cover the jar loosely and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours. You will see bubbles form around the egg as calcium leeches from the egg and dissolves the eggshell. You can gently (very gently!) agitate the jar a few times a day to speed the process.
  3. Once the bubbles have stopped, carefully remove the eggs from the liquid, being careful not to break the membrane. Cover the jar tightly and shake well, then store in the refrigerator.

You can take up to 2oz of the lemon liquid per day straight, in tea or water, or in place of lemon juice in recipes. 

The calcium citrate you will get from the lemon and egg mixture is one of the very best and purest forms of dietary calcium you can get.

Always consult your doctor whenever you add a supplement to your diet.

How Too Much Calcium Can Break Your Bones

ImageDid you know that most calcium supplements on the market today are basically limestone? Yes, that’s chalk. Conceal it within a capsule, a slickly glazed tablet, or in the form of a silky smooth liquid, and it is magically transformed into a “calcium supplement”: easy to swallow, “good for the bones” and a very profitable commodity for both the dietary supplement and mining industries. After all, a sizable portion of the Earth’s crust is composed of the stuff.

Calcium carbonate comes very cheap. But does it work?  A review published in Osteoporosis International Aug. 2008 concluded that calcium monotherapy (without vitamin d) actually increases the rate of fracture in women.  If we believe the results of this study, it would appear that calcium alone may do nothing to prevent bone fracture or the loss of bone quality. Were this the end of the story, we might write off the $100 or more we spend on calcium supplements every year as a loss, and start drinking more milk. Not so quick!

In the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, a review tracking 78,000 nurses for 12 years found that the more cow’s milk they consumed, the higher rate of bone fracture they experienced; in the study, the relative risk of hip fracture was 45% higher in those women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day versus those who drank one glass or less.

In fact, in countries where both dairy consumption and overall calcium levels in the diet are the lowest, bone fracture rates are also the lowest; conversely, in cultures like the United States where calcium consumption is among the highest in the world, so too are the fracture rates among the highest (see: The China Study).

Osteoporosis, after all, is a complex disease process, involving lack of strenuous exercise, chronic inflammation, multiple mineral and vitamin deficiencies, inadequate production of steroid hormones, dietary incompatibilites and many other known and unknown factors, the least of which is in any probability related to a lack of elemental calcium in the diet. Also, osteoporosis, as defined by X-ray analysis, e.g. Dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, can only directly measure bone mineral density and not structural integrity/strength, which is the real-world indicator of whether your bone will resist breaking when under the trauma, say, of a serious fall.

If we rule out drug (e.g. steroids, synthroid, acid-blockers) and hyperparathyroidism-induced osteoporosis, arguably the two main contributing factors associated with lower-than-normal bone mineral density are:

1) Dietary Acidosis: caused by the excessive consumption of acid forming foods like starchy grains, dairy (excluding goat’s milk) and meat, all of which result in the leaching of the alkaline mineral stores in our bones. (Additionally, the consumption of highly acidic substances like coffee, alcohol, sugar, over the counter and prescribed drugs, and even the metabolic byproducts of chronic stress can all put the acid/alkaline balance beyond the tipping point).  The flip-side is the under-consumption of alkalinizing fruits and vegetables, which disburden the mineral stores within the skeletal system of their sacrificial, acid-neutralizing role.

2) Malabsorption Syndrome: caused in large part by the excessive consumption of wheat, cow’s milk products, soy (non-fermented) and corn.* All four of these foods, in fact, can be used to produce industrial adhesives, e.g .wheat = book binding glue, cow’s milk protein (casein) = Elmer’s glue, soy = plywood glue, corn = cardboard glue, and while not a problem for everyone, for many, their ingestion leads to a disruption of the absorptive capacity of the villi in the intestines by producing a “gluey coating,” contributing to inflammation and atrophy of the villi. Other causes include dysbiosis, an overgrowth of unfriendly and undergrowth of friendly bacteria in the alimentary canal, as well as acute and/or chronic stress which depletes the glutamine without which the intestinal villi die (villi cell turnover occurs within 2 days, indicating even acute bouts of stress of short duration can cause profound damage). You don’t see a lack of calcium or Boniva in this picture, do you?

Fortunately these two factors are completely preventable and treatable through dietary and lifestyle changes. It is increasingly clear that osteoporosis is not caused by a lack of calcium; to the contrary, it appears that excessive calcium intake may actually cause greater bone fracture rates, especially later in life! After all, the traditional Chinese peasant diet, based as it is on eating a calcium-poor, plant-based diet, included approximately 250 mg of food calcium a day – not the 1200 mg (or more!) a day the National Osteoporosis Foundation claims is necessary for women and men over 40 to maintain strong bones. 

To read more click here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/how-too-much-calcium-can-break-your-bones