Throughout my nutritional studies, I learned that whole food, in its original God-created form, is the perfect “software” for our bodies. The design is perfect! I also learned that man-made synthetic supplements are not the perfect “software”. At best, they are only partially assimilated, so even if the label says 100% of the recommended daily value for a nutrient, you may only be absorbing about 10%. What’s happening to the other 90%?
The other consideration when taking supplements is that neither too much nor too little is beneficial. Both an excess and a deficiency of nutrients are determined by a fairly narrow range. Random supplementation can upset this balance. Small insufficiencies and excesses can contribute to many health problems.
Often, people ask me about taking calcium and other supplements. As a rule, I don’t recommend isolated supplements. Instead, I recommend eating a better diet and using supplements made from real, whole foods.
With that said, I am going to devote the next several newsletters to why I don’t take calcium and how it can actually be toxic in excess. I will be referencing the book Death by Calcium by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, which is based upon much scientific research and many clinical studies over 25 years.
People in the US take more calcium than anywhere else in the world and have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. We are ranked 33rd in life expectancy and yet are number one in how much we spend on health care.
The current paradigm says that if we have weak bones, we must have a calcium deficiency, so therefore, we need to take calcium. Dr. Levy does not agree with this model.
To clarify, calcium is essential for bodily function but can be toxic in excess. It can promote disease where this excess accumulates. The crazy thing is that these calcium deposits can trigger more calcium to be released from the bones!
Almost without exception, those with osteoporosis have toxic levels of calcium outside of bone tissue. This excess can contribute to heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancer. Excess calcium has also been implicated in fueling and accelerating chronic diseases.
Fifteen independent clinical studies indicate that taking an extra 500 mg. of calcium per day can increase the risk of heart attack by 30% and the likelihood of a stroke by up to 20%. There is also a greater risk of death from coronary heart disease and cancer. To make matters worse, the calcium supplementation failed to improve bone strength.
A study of more than 61,000 people over 19 years reported that those with a calcium intake of over 1400 mg. per day had a 40% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 114% increased risk of death from reduced flow of blood to the heart muscle.
Over one-third of Americans over the age of 45 have some arterial calcification. Much of this plaque is the accumulation of calcium salts.
Advanced MRIs found calcifications in 95% of malignant prostate glands.
Calcifications are frequently found on mammographies of women with breast cancer. Many breast biopsies are done due to these findings. Studies show that breast cancer patients who have calcifications are less likely to survive the disease than those who don’t.
A recently published study found a strong association between increased calcium levels and death from any cause.
Inhibiting calcium uptake seems to make cancer less invasive and less prone to grow new blood cells.
Chronically high levels of calcium in cells seems to play a significant role in degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s (ALS).
Calcium channel blockers are a group of drugs designed to inhibit the uptake of calcium into cells. They have been used effectively to treat high blood pressure and to reduce the events associated with high blood pressure. By limiting the uptake of calcium into cells, calcium channel blockers have an anti-atherosclerosis effect.
Studies that were done involving over 175,000 patients, using three common calcium channel blockers, found that all three significantly reduced death from all causes.
You may be wondering why you’re not hearing about this from your doctor. Between 2010 and 2013, there has been much published in medical literature journals about how calcium can accumulate in the body and become toxic from supplements and excess dairy consumption. Sadly, this information is buried and seldom read. Not to mention, that it is an overwhelming task to change the current business model that includes the medical establishment, dairy industry, and supplement companies, to an individual healthy lifestyle approach.
So, the real problem seems to be not that we have a lack of calcium in our diets, but that calcium is being relocated from our bones to other areas of the body. I’ll continue to explore this further in future newsletters.
If you want to start a conversation about this topic, feel free to post your questions or comments in the Facebook group.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.