Thursday, February 28, 2013

Danger and lack of effectiveness in Calcium supplements....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 2-28-2013

Generally I favor supplements and often the “official’ recommended amount is too low due to ignorance or purposely failing to use the available research.

But calcium is a glaring and dangerous exception. 

The common practices and “official” recommendation have been to take calcium supplements and often in amounts research now shows to be dangerous AND ineffective and not even needed!

Here are several important facts about Calcium supplements that are NOT yet well enough known.

1.  Now, studies have been done for BOTH men and women showing an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and hardening of the arteries in people who take 1,000 mg a day of calcium supplements or more. (Hardening of the arteries tends to also cause high blood pressure or make it worse.)

One researcher who I think correct noted that this likely is made worse by taking calcium supplements on an empty stomach.  Since the calcium is NOT in food or with food, he says, and I agree, the calcium tends to build up in the blood of the person taking it and deposit directly into the walls of their blood vessels.  Oops!

Note that since it’s common for multivitamin and mineral supplements to contain 150 mg of Calcium and for calcium supplements to be in multiples of 500 mg.  So this suggests the highest likely safe dose for extra calcium is just 500 mg.

And, clearly both the multivitamin and mineral supplement with 150 mg of Calcium and any added calcium supplement should only be taken after a meal to slow the absorption of the calcium and its delivery into your blood.

2.  Taking calcium supplements is NOT on the list of the things that are effective in preventing or reversing osteoporosis!

Eating foods high in calcium AND doing the things that ARE effective at building bone or preventing its breakdown DOES provide enough calcium to do the job.  And unlike the supplements, eating foods high in calcium is both much more slowly delivered and more bioavailable for actual use by your body!

We did a recent post on the things that are most effective in halting or preventing osteoporosis. 

But here are the most important ones:

a)  THE most important one is doing super slow speed repetition strength training. In fact, it was originally developed to see if it would help halt or reverse osteoporosis.  It was found extremely effective at doing so! 

(This kind of strength training -- which you only need to do once or twice a week!  -- also helps fat loss by adding pounds of muscle that burns 3 times as many calories as the fat it replaces AND you burn extra calories for hours after you exercise due to how hard your body works to build you back up after you work that hard.)

See our post on it: “Breakthrough in fatloss and health.”  Our post for:  Tuesday, 1-29-2013 which describes it.  Or check out to see the information from the company that introduced me to this concept.  I've tried it and am delighted with how effective it is!

b) Take 3,000 to 5,000 mg a day of vitamin D3.  This is what people used to get from sunshine when everyone lived and worked mostly outside. And current research is showing it to be the real optimal intake.

And, research shows that people who take that much vitamin D3 do build bone better and lose it less.

Recently a pronouncement came out that taking calcium and vitamin D was ineffective to build bone.  This is accurate about calcium supplements but totally false about vitamin D.

How is that possible?  They limited their intake of vitamin D3 to 400 to 800 iu a day!

This is 8 to 10 times too low to work! 

c)  Never drink soft drinks!  Both regular and diet have phosphoric acid that makes the drinks feel “refreshing”.  But every drink of it you take removes calcium from your bones

d)  Take at least 400 mg a day of magnesium supplements and more may better.  Like vitamin D3 your body uses magnesium to install calcium into your bones. (Other studies show that people seriously deficient in magnesium tend to have far more bone breaks and hip fractures!)

e)  If, and possibly only if, you do the first 4 things, it does help to get enough calcium but from foods high in it!  500 to 900 mg a day of calcium from foods, or maybe even a bit less, will do the job.

But you have to cause bone building to happen with the strength training, and give the calcium the co-factors it needs and NOT take calcium out of your bones first by drinking soft drinks every day!

f)  Taking vitamin K2 supplements also helps because K2 to sends calcium to your bones and AVOIDS sending it to your blood vessel walls.


Is it wise or safe to take 1,000 mg a day or more of calcium supplements or take the ones you do take on an empty stomach?

No. The research shows it is NOT safe.

Can you halt osteoporosis  or reverse it in its early stages without taking calcium supplements at all?

Yes.  The research says that using the effective methods and getting calcium in your food will do the job!

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5:53 PM  
Blogger David said...

Vince del Monte is a good guy.
And his information is about adding muscle to your body.

Since that is a reliable way to better health and to losing fat or avoiding gaining excess fat, I published it here even though it is not an exact fit for the topic.

Such exercise however does do what people have been taking calcium supplements want for bone building.

My one gripe about Vince is most of his stuff is video only. I can't watch it at work. But I could read the content in 3 or 4 minutes. Then when I'm home, I find fitting in an extra 15 to 20 minutes to watch a video, just never happens in practice.

So, I hope he fixes this!

9:39 AM  

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