Calcium Supplements Increase Heart Attack Risk by 86 Percent
New research published in the journal Heart has confirmed the findings of two controversial studies on calcium supplementation and heart attack risk published in the British Medical Journal last year, and which found a 24-27% increased risk of heart attack for those who took 500 mg of elemental calcium a day. 
The results of this newest review, involving 24,000 people between the ages of 35 and 64, were even more alarming. Those participants who took a regular calcium supplement increased their risk of having a heart attack by 86% versus those who took no calcium supplements at all.
Why Do We Obsessively Consume Rock, Bone And Shell Calcium?
People really should not be so surprised at the idea that calcium supplementation may be toxic to cardiovascular health. After all, many subject themselves to coronary and cardiac calcium scans in order to ascertain their risk of cardiovascular events and/or cardiac mortality. This is because we know that calcium of the wrong kind in the wrong place can result in serious adverse health effects. There are, in fact, quite a few in the field of nutrition who have long warned against supplementation with elemental calcium; which is to say, calcium from limestone, oyster shell, egg shell and bone meal (hydroxylapatite). There are also those who have not needed to be "experts," because they exercised common sense when it came to not eating rocks or shells.
The seemingly universal popularity of taking elemental calcium supplements results from the promotional efforts of conventional health "experts" and organizations like the National Osteoporosis Foundation (whose corporate sponsors include the calcium manufacturers Oscal and Citrical). Also, the World Health Organization created a radically new definition of "normal" bone density in 1994 when it took the 25-year old young adult standard (which is peak bone mass in a women's life cycle), also known as the "T-score," and applied it to all women, irrespective of their age.
This resulted in redefining the normal and gradual loss of bone mineral density that comes with aging as a disease, essentially medicalizing a non-condition. It also resulted in millions of women being coerced into taking unnecessary (and dangerous) "bone-building" drugs and inorganic calcium supplements to drive bone mineral density higher, by any means necessary. Suddenly, healthy women were being told they had a disease called "osteopenia" or "osteoporosis," even while their bone mineral density was normal for their age, gender and ethnicity (which would have been clear as day, had the age-mediated "Z-score" been used). Moreover, the #1 and #2 cause of death in women are heart disease and cancer, respectively, with heart attack and breast cancer being the primary causes of morbidity and mortality.
When you consider that the risk of death as a side effect of fracture associated with low bone mineral density is infinitesimal relative to that of dying from calcium-induced heart attack, and/or high bone mineral density associated malignant breast cancer (300% higher risk for those in the top quarter percentile of BMD), the justification for promoting osteopenia/osteoporosis prevention and/or treatment in women's health above far more serious and likely health threats completely falls apart. In fact, it appears that this myopic fixation may be significantly contributing to their premature death.
Turned To Stone: When Calcium Goes To The Wrong Place
The reality is that the habit of consuming inorganic, elemental calcium simply does not make sense. After all, have you ever experienced visceral disgust after accidentally consuming eggshell? If you have, you know your body is "hard-wired" to reject low-quality calcium sources (stones and bones as it were), in favor of getting calcium from food.
Inorganic or "elemental" calcium, when not bound to the natural co-factors, e.g. amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients, found in "food" (which is to say other living beings, e.g. plants and animals), no longer has the intelligent delivery system that enables your body to utilize it in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking this "delivery system," the calcium may end up going to places you do not want (ectopic calcification), or go to places you do want (e.g. the bones), but in excessive amounts, stimulating unnaturally accelerated cell-division (osteoblasts), resulting in higher bone turnover rates later in life (this is explained in the article below).
Or, the body attempts to disburden itself of this inappropriate calcium and dumps it into the bowel (constipation), or pushes it through the kidneys (stones). Worse, high levels of calcium can accumulate in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can contribute to destabilizing the atherosclerotic plaque through the formation of a brittle calcium cap on the atheroma, can contribute to thrombosis (clot) formation, hypertension (that's why we use calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure), and perhaps causing arrhythmias/fibrillation and or heart muscle cramping, or coronary artery spasm (a rather common, though rarely recognized trigger of 'heart attack').
The breasts too are uniquely susceptible to ectopic calcification, which is why we use the same x-rays to ascertain bone density that we do to discern pathological microcalcifications in the breast, i.e. x-ray mammography. Due to the fact that the hydroxylapatitate crystals found in malignant breast tissue may act as a cellular 'signaling molecule' or mitogen (inducing cell proliferation), it is possible that certain breast calcifications may be a cause, and not just an effect, of the tumorous lesions ("breast cancer") found there. This may also help to explain why women with the highest bone density (often obtained through massive, lifelong calcium supplementation) have up to 300% higher incidence of malignant breast cancer.
"Brain gravel" is also an increasingly prevalent phenomenon, where autopsied patients have been found to have pebble-size calcium deposits distributed throughout their brains, including the pineal gland ('the seat of the soul'). The wide range of existing calcium-associated pathologies, and their increasing prevalence in calcium-fixated cultures, demand further investigation and explanation. One aspect of this, no doubt, is our obsessive cultural fixation on mega-dose calcium supplementation for non-existing "conditions" associated with bone mineral density that is normal-for-our-age, but not for our doctors and the "experts" who guide them with industry-friendly misinformation.
Thanks NYS. I have heard some of this information before. Since I am 52, my doctor has been pushing me to take a calcium supplement, even though I eat yogurt and drink milk every day. I have resisted taking the supplement so far, and especially will now. It seems that so many things that are supposedly good for us, is eventually found to be not so good. I try to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If that isn't good enough, so be it.
Yes, thanks nys...
I want to join Joanne in thanking you for this info. If there is any calcium in the vitamins I currently take, I will stop taking them! I can honestly say I haven't felt right about using calcium supplements and stopped even tho so many sources recommended them. A good source for what we should and should not be putting in our bodies is Dr. Mercola. He is a thinking doctor who does much research on nutrients, GMO's, fluoride, etc. His website is Mercola.com . I recommend subscribing to his daily newsletter. It is a real eyeopener. Thanks again. Love, C.
Oy!!! So here's another point of view !You wonder why we are soooo confused?? Calcium good? Calcium bad? Caffeine good? caffeine bad? Mammograms good/mammograms useless? Eggs good? Eggs bad?? My philosophy in life is everything in moderation and exercise at least 3x week doing something you like, 45 minutes to increase heart rate. I still take a 1000mg. daily Okinawa Calcium.My blood ca level is normal.I'm menopausal,(surgically induced 6 yrs. ago)take bio-identical hormone creams ,wild salmon oil,flax oil or ground seed,vit.D an occasional basic vitamin supplement,plenty of water,fruits and veggies,eggs,chicken,fish 3 x wk.,brown rice pasta,minimal bread,almond milk,yogurt a few times a week . Trying to get calcium through dietary alone for me ,doesn't work,so I supplement. Bone density good considering I had wiffs of estrogen and progesterone for a year.Now that I noticed!!! Apparently those little ovaries of ours can spit out estrogen into our 80s!! Small amts. but still makes a difference! Anyroads,I guess it is up to the individual to listen to your body,be discerning with all the 'evidence' that comes flying past us.Goodluck!!
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:56PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 25, 2013 11:26PM EDT
The benefits of calcium supplements have been the subject of hot debate in recent years, with some studies suggesting that the pills long recommended to prevent osteoporosis might actually be dangerous to the heart. Now, a new study is pushing the pendulum once again in favour of the pills.
In a study to be published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Canadian researchers have found a link between taking calcium supplements and a longer lifespan.
While the study was observational and couldn’t determine whether calcium pills actually lengthen one’s life, the researchers say they noticed a link between daily calcium intake and a lower risk of death.
Canadian researchers have found a link between taking calcium supplements and a longer lifespan.
A study finds daily calcium intake increases the lifespan for women.
The study was based on data from the large-scale Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study, which monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died.
The data showed women who said they took daily calcium supplements appeared to have a lower risk of death during the study. Interestingly, the researchers could find no such link in men.
The study's lead author, Dr. David Goltzman, the director of the Calcium Research Laboratory at McGill University in Montreal, says the benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg of calcium supplements a day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.
He added that the link between calcium and longer lifespans in women held regardless of the source of the calcium – whether from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements.
Those taking more than 1,000 mg a day saw no added benefit.
"Our analysis showed that total calcium intake among women was more likely to be beneficial than harmful, and that the same was true of calcium intake from dairy sources, nondairy sources, and supplements," they wrote.
This latest study flies in the face of other research over the last few years that has questioned the benefits of calcium.
Two years ago, a major study in the British Medical Journal found that women taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events -- especially heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
The researchers in that study suggested that calcium supplements could cause sudden spikes in blood levels of calcium, leading to heart attacks and other events. As well, they said that high blood calcium levels over the longer term were linked to calcification or hardening of the arteries.
The BMJ study suggested that calcium from food, on the other hand, would likely not cause the same problems, because the calcium would be absorbed slowly over many hours.
They concluded that the heart risks posed by calcium supplements might outweigh any benefits they offer in reducing bone fractures.
Amid those studies, Health Canada is currently conducting an ongoing review of the benefits and risks of calcium supplements.
The health agency currently recommends most adults aim for a total of 1,000 mg of calcium a day, ideally through their diet. Adults aged 51 and over are advised to aim for 1,200 mg a day.
The authors of this latest study say their research suggests that moderate intake of calcium is safe.
“We feel our evidence suggests that intake of calcium in moderate doses is safe and that it is beneficial for bone health and we would hope that is what women would take away from this,” Goltzman said.
The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Amgen, Merck Frosst Canada, Novartis, and Eli Lilly.
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/calciu...6#ixzz2XvEpO7IW
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