Calcium and Heart Health

A recent study entitled “More dietary calcium may lower risk of cardiovascular disease” Date:  April 3, 2016 Source: The Endocrine Society found that “In older people, higher dietary calcium intake may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, but not of stroke and fracture, new research suggests.”

Expert Commentary – Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

It is important to note that this is a dietary calcium study – not a supplemental calcium study.

Past studies on the harmful effects of too much calcium were always concerned with supplemental calcium NOT with dietary calcium. In fact, Dr. Mark Bolland, whose team produced the half dozen studies showing the ill effects of calcium supplementation says the following in his 2015 paper, “Calcium Intake And Risk Of Fracture: Systematic Review”:

1. Increasing calcium intake from diet or supplements did not result in a clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture.

2. Bolland found that calcium supplements can cause kidney stones, acute gastrointestinal events, and increase the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

3. Bolland concluded that any benefit of calcium supplements in preventing fracture is outweighed by an increased risk for cardiovascular events.

4. There is little evidence to suggest that dietary calcium intake is associated with cardiovascular risk, there is also little evidence that it is associated with fracture risk. Therefore, for the majority of people, dietary calcium intake does not require close scrutiny.

5. Bolland and his team concluded that because of the unfavorable risk/benefit profile, widespread prescribing of calcium supplements to prevent fractures should be abandoned.

Additionally, the new wisdom now emerging is that magnesium is actually the key to the body’s proper assimilation and use of calcium as well as vitamin D. If we consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing painful conditions such as some forms of arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease.

Many medical doctors, research scientists and nutritionists now believe magnesium supplementation is more important than calcium in order to maintain healthy bones as well as a healthy heart.

Magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood. Without the proper balance of magnesium to calcium, about a 2:1 ratio, calcium ends up depositing in kidneys and can create kidney stones, in coronary arteries where it can lead to clogged arteries; and in joint cartilage, rather than in bones where we need it most. The more calcium taken without the balancing effect of magnesium, the more symptoms of magnesium deficiency and calcium excess you are liable to experience.

I would recommend that women determine how much calcium they typically get through their food sources before taking calcium supplements.

Medical Disclaimer:

The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained in this article are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your physical health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this article.


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