Death in a bottle?
Monica Reinagel is a smart and media-savvy nutritionist who brought me on board as a blogger at NutritionData many years ago. Click the link below for her surprising conclusion on calcium supplementation.
“The National Osteoporosis Foundation published a new report this week, insisting that calcium supplements are safe for your heart. Two weeks ago, Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos published a paper saying the opposite.
She claims that the NOF review (which was funded by a pharmaceutical company that makes calcium supplements) omitted certain studies (such as the ones she included in her own review) that might have changed the conclusion.
These are just the latest two volleys in a five-year-long tennis match between experts on whether you should or shouldn’t take calcium supplements. And you thought politics was divisive.”
Source: Calcium Supplements: Safe or Not?
A new European study suggests that calcium supplements almost double the risk of having a heart attack, at least in Germans. You can read the full report in the current issue of Heart.
The medical literature on this issue is a confusing mess. In other words, lots of conflicting results.
Huge numbers of women in the U.S. are taking calcium supplements either to treat or prevent osteoporosis and the associated broken bones (e.g., hips, wrists, spine).
What I’d like to know, and what nobody knows, is what is the effect of calcium supplementation on average longevity and quality of life. Maybe I’d accept a higher risk of heart attack if calcium supplementation prolonged lifespan by two years.
In the interest of brevity, I’ll just say that the best way to get your calcium is probably through food rather than supplements.
Shereen Jegtvig has an article at About.com listing foods rich in calcium.
Exercise can also help keep your bones strong and break-resistant.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: If your doctor has you on a calcium supplement, you’d best get his blessing before you stop it.