Your Doctor may advise you to stop taking calcium supplements for osteoporosis… But question him/her.

MedPage Today, a leading news and information source for physicians ran a headline article of “Risk of MI (Heart attack) May Go Up With Calcium Supplements” It says that from a meta-analysis of studies done to study the effects of calcium supplementation on osteoporosis that there was a 30% increase in MI (Heart attacks).

The report goes on to suggest that doctors should consider if it is prudent to recommend that their patients take calcium supplements because if the risk.

Don’t panic though and toss your calcium supplements in the trash. You need to read the fine print and between the lines to see how and why they arrived at this:
  • They excluded any studies which combined vitamin D with calcium. Why, because vitamin D is known to be beneficial to the heart.
  • The researchers have also accepted research support from several drug companies: Wyeth, Mission Pharmacal, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Nycomed. 
  • They performed a meta-analysis, this means that they didn’t actually perform a study, but simply looked at a number of other studies, hand picked the ones they wanted, and then looked at their results.
So what is between the lines:
  • When scientists look at a drug to see if it is effective they look at that drug in isolation, it either works, doesn’t work, or the test subject dies.  They can’t apply this logic though to supplements. You don’t eat just calcium in nature, you’d get calcium complexed with manganese, boron, silicon, vitamin D, and many other vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are not drugs, they are part of our everyday diet and never eaten in isolation. Problems only arise when we are deficient. (Scurvy, beri beri, pellagra, rickets, etc.)
  • Pharmaceutical drug companies spend billions supporting research, some specific to their drugs, others generic and even sometimes to study nutritional supplements. Now fold in human nature. If a company (or companies) are putting money in your pocket, and you know you could get more money to do further research if they like your results. So there is a strong correlation that if a drug company sponsors research involving vitamins & minerals then the outcome will be negative vs if the funding comes from a non-drug company.
  • Lastly they hand picked the studies they wanted to include and more importantly which to exclude. By excluding those which also supplemented with vitamin D they selected they skewed the results to favor an un-natural intake of pure calcium without other nutrients that it would naturally be found with.  As we all know, our bodies must have vitamin D in order to move calcium into the bone matrix, without the Vitamin D, the calcium will just accumulate in the blood, and yes, that could lead to arterial calcification. But why would a reasonable person take calcium without vitamin D and the other nutrients necessary to help reverse osteoporosis?
If you watch TV or see the hundreds of prescription drug ads you’ve surely seen that a one page, or 15 second, ad is followed by two pages or 45 seconds of dangers and warnings. This sure makes taking calcium supplements seem much safer than stroke, heart attacks, liver and kidney damage, etc. So In this case I believe the researchers are playing into their drug companies who are putting dollars into their pockets to persuade doctors to not recommend inexpensive nutritional supplements to their patients, but to prescribe expensive prescription drugs.
So what does your body need to move calcium into the bone matrix? Well of course Calcium, but also Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Magnesium (as a chelate), boron, and silicon. If a supplement has all of these ingredients and in the proper ratios, then your body has what it needs to build bone density. The calcium supplement I use and recomend has all of these ingredients and is manufactured to pharacutical standards to insure that what is on the label is in the product, and nothing else.

Click Here to see the full article on Med Page Today