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15 maart 2011  Calcium Supplements Are Harmful [from McDougall newsletter]


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Calcium Supplements Are Harmful [from McDougall newsletter]

Hope I can stop explaining patients that is not advisable to take calcium as a supplement.

I sent e-mails about this issue already.

Homeopathic calcium [calcium carbonicum etc] is a total different issue , no connection with calcium supplements


Calcium Supplements Are Harmful [from McDougall newsletter]

Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis by Mark J Bolland published in the July 2010 issue of the British Medical Journal found, “Calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. As calcium supplements are widely used these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a large burden of disease in the population. A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis is warranted.”1 This analysis consisted of 12,000 participants from 11 randomized controlled trials. Calcium supplements were associated with about a 30% relative increase in the incidence of myocardial infarction and small increases in the risk of stroke and overall mortality. The authors’ simplified summary of the effects was, “treatment of 1000 people with calcium for five years would cause an additional 14 myocardial infarctions, 10 strokes, and 13 deaths, and prevent 26 fractures.”

Comment: Calcium supplements, given alone, improve bone mineral density, but have little benefit in reducing the risk of fractures and might even increase the risk of fractures.2,3 Likely any benefits that they do provide are because of the alkalinizing effects of the supplement.4 For example, a commonly consumed supplement for bone health is the antacid TUMS, which is calcium carbonate. Rather than the benefits coming from the calcium (the cation), they are from the carbonate (the anion). The carbonate neutralizes the loads of dietary acids that are consumed from the Western diet in the form of meats, poultry, fish, and cheese. These dietary acids would, if not for the antacid supplement, dissolve the bones (to release alkaline materials) and eventually cause osteoporosis. Other antacids, without calcium, such a sodium bicarbonate and aluminum hydroxide, would have similar benefits on neutralizing dietary acids and preventing bone loss.

In addition to being ineffective for preventing fractures, this study suggests taking calcium supplements would increase your risk of disease and death. There is no plausible explanation for why this would occur; however, there is circumstantial evidence that this may be the case. Primary hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which serum calcium levels are raised, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death. Most concerning is the finding that calcium supplements accelerate blood vessel calcification and increase mortality in patients with renal failure.5-7

Certainly, taking isolated concentrated minerals, such as calcium, creates physiological imbalances in the body. Immediately after consuming calcium supplements the calcium in the blood increases. Thereafter, the body must adjust to this large burden of minerals. One of the adverse effects appears to be artery damage. Multiple studies have demonstrated taking isolated concentrated nutrients, such as vitamins (beta-carotene, folic acid, and vitamin E), increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and death. Just to be on the safe side, my recommendation is to consume calcium only from its most natural sources: plants. (Calcium originates in the ground, and then is taken up by various plants. Cows and people get their calcium from plants.)

1) Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Baron JA, Grey A, MacLennan GS, Gamble GD, Reid IR. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ.2010 Jul 29;341:c3691. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691 [http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c3691.long]

2. Tang BM, Eslick GD, Nowson C, Smith C, Bensoussan A. Use of calcium or calcium in combination with vitamin D supplementation to prevent fractures and bone loss in people aged 50 years and older: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2007 Aug 25;370(9588):657-66.

3) Reid IR, Bolland MJ, Grey A. Effect of calcium supplementation on hip fractures. Osteoporos Int.2008 Aug;19(8):1119-23.

4) Maurer M, Riesen W, Muser J, Hulter HN, Krapf R. Neutralization of Western diet inhibits bone resorption independently of K intake and reduces cortisol secretion in humans. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2003 Jan;284(1):F32-40.

5) Goodman WG, Goldin J, Kuizon BD, Yoon C, Gales B, Sider D, et al. Coronary-artery calcification in young adults with end-stage renal disease who are undergoing dialysis. N Engl J Med.2000;342:1478-83.

6) Block GA, Raggi P, Bellasi A, Kooienga L, Spiegel DM. Mortality effect of coronary calcification and phosphate binder choice in incident hemodialysis patients. Kidney Int. 2007;71:438-41.

7) Russo D, Miranda I, Ruocco C, Battaglia Y, Buonanno E, Manzi S, et al. The progression of coronary artery calcification in predialysis patients on calcium carbonate or sevelamer. Kidney Int.2007;72:1255-61.