Cancel The Calcium.

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Articles, Nutrition

The following is a guest post about why you may actually be doing more damage than good with those calcium supplements you are taking – this post comes straight from the desk of Dr. Carolyn Dean (visit her fantastic website by clicking here). Leave your comments and questions below!

Calcium is prominent in the news these days. A July 29, 2010 British Medical Journal meta-analysis says that “Risks outweigh benefits for calcium supplements.” This study indicates that calcium supplements cause more cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and stroke) than the number of fractures they prevent.

The study analyzed data on 12,000 people involved in the 15 trials. The increased risk was about 30 percent. The seven authors of the study say the risk is modest but they are concerned that with so many people taking calcium supplements “even a small increase in incidence of cardiovascular disease could translate into a large burden of disease in the population.” They even go so far as to “suggest that a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is warranted.”

That’s a huge admission of failure of the main treatment for osteoporosis—high dose calcium supplementation.

Now, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve heard me say all this before. Most calcium supplements are only absorbed 4%-15% and the other 85%-96% deposits in various body parts. These deposits create gall stones, kidney stones, heel spurs, atherosclerotic calcium plaques and breast calcifications. It’s the calcium deposits that are the problem. If these supplements were 100% absorbed we wouldn’t need so much and there would be nothing left over to cause problems.

What will you do for your bones instead of taking calcium supplements? Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Eat calcium rich foods. If you go to you could research calcium-rich foods. Add up the amount you get in your diet.
  2. Eat magnesium-rich foods and add up the amount you are eating on a daily basis.
  3. Take twice as much magnesium as you do calcium. (Ben recommends: MagSRT)
  4. If you aren’t getting enough magnesium, take supplements. Magnesium differs from calcium because if it’s not absorbed the excess is eliminated through the bowels as a laxative effect.
  5. If you feel you need more calcium than you get in your diet, take an angstrom form of calcium to avoid the non-absorbed forms. Angstrom minerals are a bit smaller than a picometer…and that’s very small. You only have to take a small amount because these minerals are 100% absorbed.
  6. Check your vitamin D levels. Have your doctor use the 25(OH) D test. If your levels are not in the high normal range, get out in the sun for 20-30 minutes a day without sunscreen and take a few thousand IU’s of Vitamin D3 per day. (Ben recommends: Longevity Blood Testing Panel For Men and Longevity Blood Testing Panel For Women for checking vitamin D levels)

You can read more about the treatment of osteoporosis and 133 other conditions in my Future Health Now Encyclopedia. Find out before the researchers what you need to know to take care of your own health!

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15 thoughts on “Cancel The Calcium.

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  4. toddhouston says:

    Hey Jerry/hexclimber,

    I would encourage you to correspond with Bioletics before doing any testing, as they are very open to questions about their services and products. In my own experience, I've found that the testing and products aren't as linked as you may think. Once I get my results, they always respond with recommendations for supplementation, but never push their supplements. However, through extensive research online and locally, they do offer many of their products at prices lower per month than through other sources. They are also constant searching for better, more cost effective products all the time.

    I don't mean to sound like a commercial for them, but I truly believe the Bioletics are committed to working with people on their performance first, and not driven my the almighty dollar.

    My 2 cents,

  5. Jerry,

    Your local hospitals, doctor offices and health care networks can provide the tests to you (but not necessarily the proper analysis / interpretation for athletes). However, if you wanted a 100% unbiased approach, that would be the way to go…I like Bioletics because it is run by active people for active people, but I do understand your concerns.

  6. hexclimber says:

    Ben, do you know of any companies that offer similar testing services as Bioletics does, but that don't also sell any other products? I would have more faith in the credibility of the results if I were dealing with a lab that didn't pose this potential conflict of interest.

    1. Want2RunAgain says:

      Hi hexclimber – Check out ZRT Laboratories – They might have some tests that would interest you, and they don't sell products.

      1. Yes, ZRT Labs would be another. That's actually one of the labs Bioletics uses….

  7. Paula says:

    Ben, here is a quote from the Nutrition Diva's podcast of 7/2/10: "Another reader asked whether drinking mineral water might cause kidney stones. To the contrary! If you are at risk of kidney stones, your doctor will probably suggest that you increase your intake of fluids and get more calcium and magnesium. Mineral water to the rescue! In fact, one study found that drinking mineral water reduced kidney stone formation in people prone to get them." It has been my personal experience that urologists actually do suggest that calcium be increased. You might want to look further into this.

    1. Paula,

      You're right and she's right…but Big difference in mineral water absorption (which I encourage) vs. calcium supplements with fillers (discussed above).

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