Originally published on Preventdisease.com.
The belief that calcium is the holy grail of what builds strong bones is absolutely ingrained in our society, but has no basis in reality–calcium is but ONE of the many minerals your body needs for building strong bones. Dietary intake of magnesium, not necessarily calcium, may be the key to developing healthy bones during childhood, according to new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in the USA.
Take a Second Peek At Calcium Claims
The mainstream engine has been promoting the use of calcium to prevent weak bones for decades. Age-old myths that calcium supplementation builds strong bones and teeth are reinforced in almost institution. But how effective is calcium supplementation?
A 2004 study showed that people with excess calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17-fold higher risk of heart attacksthan do those with lower arterial calcium levels; researchers concluded that the two most definitive indicators of heart attack were LDL levelsand calcium build-up.
A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has more favorable effects on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal women (Am J Clin Nutr 2007).
A 2008 study found calcium supplements are associated with a greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women (BMJ 2008)
A 2010 meta-analysis showed calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with increased risk for heart attack (BMJ 2010)
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), food will always be the best source of calcium: “People who get the recommended amount of calcium from foods do not need to take a calcium supplement. These individuals still may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Getting too much calcium from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones and other health problems.”
“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures,” said the researchers, led by Professor Sabine Rohrmann, from Zurich University’s institute of social and preventative medicine.
“It is now becoming clear that taking this micronutrient in one or two daily [doses] is not natural, in that it does not reproduce the same metabolic effects as calcium in food,” they added.
Most supplements on the supplement market today contain calcium carbonate which is an inferior form of calcium and manufacturers attach a simple chelating agent like citric acid to make it more absorbable, however the end product is inferior to other calcium supplements such as calcium orotate, which is the only known form of calcium which can effectively penetrate the membranes of cells.
Another fact most people are unaware of is the myth promoted by the dairy industry that consuming pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases calcium levels. This is totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process ACTUALLY CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS. Milk definitively does not do a body good if it’s pasteurized.