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The Calcium Controversy FYI

May 11, 2011

The Calcium Controversy FYI

Researchers are questioning the safety of calcium supplements as new data published in the British Medical Journal (doi:10.1136/bmj.d204) suggests a link between taking calcium supplements and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Two studies were conducted involving 29,000 people. The studies suggest that supplementing with calcium may increase the risk of heart attack by 25% and stroke by 15%. Both studies were done by the same researchers. The first study examined the long-term effects of calcium alone. The second study included vitamin D, since most people take the two together. The results of the two studies showed exactly the same increase in risk with no difference adding vitamin D.
So, do the apparent risks of taking calcium outweigh its benefits? For every thousand people who took calcium for five years, six heart attacks were caused, but only three fractures were prevented. The researchers involved with this study suggested that calcium supplementation is not a very effective way to prevent fractures, especially considering the risk of developing heart disease. The risks seem to only be with supplementation and not related to eating calcium-rich food, i.e., dairy.
Should you be worried? Most calcium users are very aware you need more than just calcium and vitamin D - the bones also require magnesium, boron, zinc and more. Magnesium being the most important. Most adults are very magnesium deficient in their diets and supplementation (i.e., cramping, restless legs, nerves).
Try to maintain a well varied diet which includes calcium from many sources, low in dairy products and high in whole foods, with a bone mineral formula supplement for bone loss and osteoporosis.
Health & Happiness,
Alcona Beach Health Shoppe

Reference: Bolland, M.J., Grey, A., Avenell, A., Gamble, G.D., Reid, I.R. (2011) “Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis” British Medical Journal, doi:10.1136/bmj.d204.

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