By Nurse Mark
A half-truth is a whole lie. Yiddish Proverb
“There you go again” - President Ronald Reagan
- Taking Calcium May Pose Heart Risks – NYTimes
- Calcium Supplement Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk – Yahoo health news
- Calcium supplements may raise heart attack risk – USA TODAY
- Panel to postmenopausal women: Don’t take vitamin D, calcium – USA TODAY
- Calcium supplements ‘double risk of heart attack’, study finds – The Guardian
What do all these headlines have in common?
They are all using a half-truth to create a sensational but misleading headline.
Is there any wonder that we have been rushed off our feet with near-frantic emails and phone calls from patients and customers who are being led to believe that they are being poisoned by this essential mineral?
It never ceases to amaze us here when we see the lows to which Big Pharma will stoop to in order to protect their patent medicine monopoly and profits.
“Don’t take that natural, essential nutrient to protect your bones. Oh no, no, no! Take our patented bone-killing bisphosphonate drug instead!” (We’ve written about the dangers of these drugs before – see: The Ugly Truth About “Bone-Building” Drugs for Osteoporosis )
My take on all this? It’s a bunch of B.S. (Oh, for goodness sake! That stands for Bad Science - not what you were thinking!)
And I’m not alone: other well-known authorities who have spoken out recently about this include Dr. Alan Gaby, writing in The Townsend Newsletter, and even the Great and Powerful Dr. Oz. All agree that the studies are flawed and the reporting is incomplete, and that calcium without magnesium is worse than useless.
OK – so what’s really going on here?
Well, what’s happening, (besides that these studies that have some serious flaws in them) is that they have studied calcium by itself as a supplement. They seem to have forgotten that calcium must be taken with magnesium in order to be safe and effective.
Without proper amounts of magnesium, calcium cannot be assimilated properly and may even build up and become toxic. Magnesium ensures the proper assimilation of calcium and of vitamin D as well.
This is so important that Dr. Myatt has never recommended the use of calcium without magnesium and Her Maxi Multi optimal dose multivitamin provides 1000mg of calcium and 500mg of magnesium per day.
For those who need more calcium she recommends CalMag Amino which provides an additional 1500mg calcium and 600mg magnesium daily.
Finally, because Dr. Myatt knows that magnesium deficiency is so common among Americans, she also recommends Magnesium Glycinate to provide additional amounts of this essential mineral.
Also left unexamined in these sensation-mongering reports is the vital role that Vitamin K2 plays in the utilization of calcium and Vitamin D by our bodies.
Vitamin K2 is needed for the body to to bind calcium into the matrix of bone. It also prevents the calcification of coronary and arterial plaque and without sufficient Vitamin K2, excessive calcium and vitamin D may actually encourage heart disease. Neither the studies nor these breathless, fear-inducing “news articles” bothered to look at this relationship and the fact that many Americans are quite deficient in Vitamin K2 as a result of the miserable Standard American Diet. A study in 2004 called The Rotterdam Study found that people with higher intake of vitamin K2 had 57% less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
The Bottom Line?
There is no need to fear your calcium supplements as long as you are balancing calcium with magnesium and ensuring that you are getting good amounts of vitamin K2 from diet or supplementation.
References and additional reading:
Dr. Alan Gaby: Do Calcium Supplements Cause Cardiovascular Disease? http://www.townsendletter.com/Jan2011/gabyed0111.html
Dr. Oz: “Studies on calcium dangers unproven” http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20100817/ARCHIVES/308179926
Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, Rohrmann S. Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg). Heart. 2012 Jun;98(12):920-5. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2011-301345.
Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, Schurgers LJ, Knapen MH, van der Meer IM, Hofman A, Witteman JC. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5.
Calcium Supplementation Without a Proper Balance of Magnesium Can Increase Risk of Heart Attack, Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/14/idUS164282+14-Sep-2011+PRN20110914
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