The Shocking Truth About Calcium Supplements

Published: October 21, 2012
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Many experts on bone health (the non-holistic ones) recommend taking 1,200-1,500 mg of supplemental calcium every day. So why is only 100mg of calcium included in the multivitamin powder I recommend??

Because I've always suspected that high levels of supplemental calcium are counterproductive, and may damage health — and that many other nutrients are far more important for protecting and building bone. Recent research confirms that my "suspicions" are turning out to be hard facts — with calcium supplements increasing heart attack risk. The good news? Adding vitamins D and K and magnesium can turn calcium heart-healthy.

Earlier research analyzing data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed that women taking plain calcium supplements had a 30% increased risk of heart attack. In a new study, adding vitamin D to the calcium cut the risk by a third.1

In another study involving more than 61,000 women, those with the highest intake of calcium (more than 1,100 mg a day) actually had a slightly increased risk for a hip fracture!2

Bottom line: Get your calcium from calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens, dairy products, and fatty fish with bones (sardines, salmon), and don't take more than 500 to 600 mg of supplemental calcium daily.

To learn more, see Calcium Supplements and CV Events: New Data, More Debate.

References

1. "Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis." Bolland MJ, et al. BMJ 2011; DOI: doi:10.1136/bmj.d2040.

2. "Dietary calcium intake and risk of fracture and osteoporosis: prospective longitudinal cohort study." Warensjo E, et al. BMJ. 2011;342:d1473.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.  Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health. 

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