Many people think if a plant, vitamin, mineral, etc. occurs naturally, that it cannot be dangerous. Often people think if a little is good, a lot is better.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 36, and began studying herbal medicine at about the same time. As a result, I spend a lot of time reading information and studies about supplements and using food as medicine.
To make sure I get the calcium I need, I use dairy products and foods that are high in calcium. Actually, my health issues are what made me decide to get dairy animals in the first place, sheep in particular; sheep milk has more calcium than other milk. My feeling is that a body will absorb more of what it needs if you consume the vitamins and minerals you need by ingesting them via foods, rather than supplements.
I am happy that I came to that conclusion, as every day there is some commerical advertising a pill with ridiculous side effects, a new lawsuit about some medication that caused birth defects or deaths (but the research them before they okay them for public use, right???!!!), or a new study, usually in Europe because America is Pharmaceutical Nation, about the use of vitamins.
Today, I share with you a warning regarding the use of calcium supplements. The British Journal of Medicine has found after a study that lasted for 11 years that people in the study who took calcium supplements were more likely to suffer heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
The human body is an amazing thing, and the nutrients contained within the food that you eat all have a purpose, which is why eating whole, natural foods is infinitely better for your body. Your body naturally knows what to do with the food you ingest, and how to take what it needs and throw out what it doesn't. I'm just not sure if the same can be said for supplements. Why not err on the side of caution and just eat more of what you need?
From Science Daily...
Calcium Supplements Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Study Finds
"They found that calcium supplements were associated with about a 30%
increased risk of heart attack and smaller, non-significant, increases in the
risk of stroke and mortality.
The findings were consistent across trials and were independent of age, sex,
and type of supplement."
From the BBC...
Calcium pills 'increase' risk of heart attack
In all 12,000 people aged over 40 took part in the trials of calcium
supplements of 500mg or more a day.
The risk of heart attack was seen across men and
women, was independent of age and the type of supplement given.
A small increased risk of death was seen in the study but was not
statistically significant, the researchers said.
The reason for the increased risk of heart attack is not clear but it is
thought the extra calcium circulating in the blood could lead to a hardening of
Calcium in the diet is safe and the Food Standards Agency recommends adults
have 700mg of calcium a day from milk, cheese and green, leafy vegetables.
From CBS news...
Study links calcium pills to heart attacks..."A dietary uptick in calcium is not harmful, but supplements could lead to heart disease, study finds "
"Additionally, people with a naturally high calcium intake through foods like
milk and cheese tended to have a lower heart attack risk, the study found."
I am not a doctor, nor am I advocating that you stop or start any kind of vitamin or supplement. I study food as medicine for my own use and benefit, but I do want to share information that I think you will find useful, so that you can make up your own mind about your health. Individuals are their own best patient advocate. If you have questions, please ask your physician.