Calcium and the effects on the heart

Recent literature pieces in BMJ and the online journal Heart of states in summary, “that calcium supplementation with or without vitamin D increases the risk of cardiovascular events: disease and myocardial infarction (heart attacks).  This is now calling for a reanalysis and reassessment of the supplementation of calcium.

For literally three decades, physicians have recommended 1500mg/day of calcium carbonate (oyster shell calcium) and 400 IU of vitamin D a day for bone health.

For literally the last fifteen years, I have railed against these recommendations. Why?

First, there is absolutely no evidence that calcium alone builds bone. Bone is a complex interaction of a lattice network that is dynamic in nature. Bone is highly dependent on multiple nutrients: magnesium, boron, vitamin K1, vitamin K2, strontium, selenomethionine, zinc, vitamin D… and more. We have pinned bone building squarely on the shoulders of calcium, which is totally wrong.

Second, typical OTC calcium supplements are un-ionized forms of calcium carbonate, which is poorly absorbed by the body. We must balance calcium with other nutrients first, but the forms of calcium are critical. Calcium aspartate, calcium citrate, and etc. are more absorbable and easily taken up through digestion.

I am not surprised by these recent findings and information. I have told my listeners and patients for years not to use calcium alone and to really evaluate the form that you are using. This much calcium alone can adhere to lining of the arteries and create serious concerns for cardiovascular health. Also, it is important to re-evaluate the foods that you are eating to get sources of calcium.

 

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