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Calcium supplements may be bad for you? Featured by Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine treating over 300+ holistic and medical conditions in Phoenix, AZ, at the Scottsdale Center, Arizona. Call 480-240-2600.

Calcium supplements bad? Just consider the source.[1]

Submitted by Dr. Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H) and Dr. Jonathan Murphy, M.D.
Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, Scottsdale, Az.

Recent media reports have highlighted the association between daily calcium supplements and the risk of coronary artery disease, the number one cause of death inAmerica. The reason for the association is not clear. Simple association does not prove cause and effect.

A New Zealand research group led by Mark Bolland MD pooled the results of 11 trials (RCTs) measuring calcium supplementation and risk for osteoporosis or colon cancer, as well as data about heart attacks, stroke, and sudden death. There was a clear association between taking daily calcium supplements over 500 mg and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and sudden death. A 58% increase in myocardial infarction (heart attack) was seen among individuals who are taking calcium supplements daily.[2]

In another study reported in the British medical Journal postmenopausal women who were taking over 500 mg of calcium supplements daily showed an increased risk of heart attack of more than 20%.[3]

It is not immediately clear whether those who take calcium supplements put more calcium into their bones or their blood vessels. Judging by the above results, it would appear more likely that calcium supplements go into the blood vessel walls.

There is now a simple test to determine the amount of calcium present in the walls of an individual’s coronary arteries (coronary artery calcium score). It utilizes a form of CT scan (EBCT or MDCT) to measure directly the amount of calcium within the coronary artery walls. The advantage of the test is that it can measure without invading the body. The disadvantage is the radiation which is used to perform the test.

This coronary artery calcium score is most useful to help doctors determine who among people at moderate risk for a heart attack actually need treatment.[4] One published study showed no correlation between daily calcium supplementation and coronary calcium score.[5] On the other hand, there does appear to be increased risk of sudden coronary death when one takes calcium supplementation.

As a licensed medical professional, Dr Murphy is of the opinion that supplemental calcium intake does not prevent osteoporosis, osteopenia, or any other disease.  The one exception to this is individuals who have had radiation to the neck or thyroid/parathyroid surgery that may affect the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for maintaining normal blood calcium levels.

So what can we do, should we decide not to take calcium supplements? We know that we need calcium, otherwise our bones turn to rubber, and our calcium/magnesium energy pumps no longer work.

There are many non-dairy and non-supplement forms of calcium.[6]

Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy or Chinese cabbage are good sources of calcium.

Other sources of calcium that can help meet your body’s calcium needs:

  • Salmon and sardines canned with their soft bones
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, tahini, and dried beans
  • Blackstrap molasses

In the discussion of cardiovascular risk and coronary calcium score, I would like to call attention to recent research into one of the possible explanations of vascular calcification. This research may have nothing to do with daily calcium supplementation. Kajander and colleagues in Finlandand in TampaFloridahave reported on a newly discovered bacterium which appears to be responsible for the formation of vascular calcification and they have named it Nanobacterium Sanguineum.[7] As its name implies, N. sanguineum is a nanometer size bacterium found in blood. It was initially discovered in the blood of cows (bovine serum for research purposes) and later found to be present in human blood as well. It has as one of its properties the ability to take calcium out of tissue fluid and fix it as hydroxyapatite, a calcium and phosphorus molecule similar to that found in bone. These crystals then serve as cell wall protection for this tiniest of bacteria. Its unique characteristics include heat resistance, resistance to disinfectants, and sensitive only to tetracycline among antibiotics. It is self-replicating and secretes a biofilm which is pro-inflammatory and has prothrombinase activity, affecting blood clotting. This ‘bug’ certainly appears to have all of the characteristics of the proverbial smoking gun between vascular calcifications and cardiovascular disease. There is much more to report later as this is a new discovery and has plenty of ongoing interesting research.[8]

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Dr Jon Murphy has researched some additional information below for you to consider…

Calcium supplements and heart attack: Implications for a nutrient hungry nation.

By Loren Grush, FoxNews.com

After studying over 24,000 men and women, researchers found that those who took calcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than people who did not – and the risk was more than doubled for those who were only taking calcium supplements.

Read the entire article Calcium supplements and heart attack: Implications for a nutrient hungry nation.” click here >> http://goo.gl/MTqgi.

Study: Calcium May Increase Heart Attack Risk.

But Experts Say Evidence Is Not Convincing

By Salynn Boyles, WebMD Health News

Millions of people who take calcium supplements in hopes of lowering their risk for bone fractures may actually be increasing their risk of having a heart attack, new research suggests.

An analysis of close to a dozen clinical trials involving about 12,000 patients found calcium supplementation to be associated with a 20% to 30% increase in heart attack risk.

 To view the entire article “Study: Calcium May Increase Heart Attack Risk”, click here >> http://goo.gl/Cnj2 .

Non-Milk Sources of Calcium

U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA). Nutrient data laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy or Chinese cabbage are good sources of calcium.

To view the complete article “Non-Milk Sources of Calcium”, click here >> http://goo.gl/S2Xfj .

Calcium Supplements May Raise Heart Attack Risk
By Janice Lloyd

Many Americans take calcium supplements to prevent bone loss, but they may be significantly increasing their risk for a heart attack, a new study suggests. The study of about 24,000 people ages 35 to 64 found those who regularly took calcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t.

To View the entire article “Calcium Supplements May Raise Heart Attack Risk”, click here >> http://goo.gl/zdehL .

Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg)

It has been suggested that a higher calcium intake might favourably modify cardiovascular risk factors. However, findings of an ultimately decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are limited. Instead, recent evidence warns that taking calcium supplements might increase myocardial infarction (MI) risk.

To view the complete article “Heart and education in Heart Calcium”, click here >> http://goo.gl/sOVwJ .

Could too much calcium cause heart disease?

By PJ Skerrett, Senior Editor, Harvard Health

Oh, the ruckus a single study can raise. A report about calcium and cardiovascular disease had people fromSan Diego to Caribou,Maine worriedly calling their doctors or throwing away the calcium supplements they were taking to keep their bones strong.

Here’s what prompted the concern: New Zealandresearchers pooled the results of 11 randomized, controlled trials—the so-called gold standard of medical research—comparing the effects of calcium supplements and placebo on preventing osteoporosis or colon cancer. All the trials also had information on the volunteers’ cardiovascular health. As reported online in the BMJ, more of the volunteers taking calcium had heart attacks, stroke, or died suddenly than did those taking the placebo. Media reports duly noted a 30% increased risk of cardiovascular disease with calcium supplements, which sounds scary. Another way to put the findings: 5.8% of those taking calcium had a cardiovascular event, compared with 5.5% of those taking placebo.

View the complete article “Could too much calcium cause heart disease”, click here >> http://goo.gl/by6Nt .

Effect of calcium supplements on risk of cardiovascular and myocardial events: meta-analysis.

Objective To investigate whether calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

View the entire article, click here >> http://goo.gl/WDj6V.

Dr Murphy and Dr Grout have provided the article noted reference sources below…

[1] Skerrett PJ, Harvard Health Blog 08/12/2010 http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/study-links-too-much-calcium-to-heart-disease-20100812204

[2] Kuanrong Li, Rudolf Kaaks, et al. Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg). Heart 2012;98:920-925 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2011-301345

[3]Bolland MJ, Avenell A et al. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010; 341: c3691. doi:  10.1136/bmj.c3691.

[4] Kavousi M, Elias-Smale S, et al. Evaluation of newer risk markers for coronary heart disease risk classification: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Mar 20;156(6):438-44.

[5] Bhakta M, Bruce C, et al. Oral calcium supplements do not affect the progression of aortic valve calcification or coronary artery calcification. J Am Board Fam Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;22(6):610-6.

[6] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002412.htm

[7] Schwartz MA, Lieske JC et al. Human-derived nanoparticles and vascular response to injury in rabbit carotid arteries: proof of principle. Int J Nanomedicine. 2008;3(2):243-8.

[8] Schwartz MA, Lieske JC et al. Human-derived nanoparticles and vascular response to injury in rabbit carotid arteries: proof of principle. Int J Nanomedicine. 2008;3(2):243-8.

Give the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine Scottsdale Center a call to schedule a time to come see us, visit our new beautiful expanded clinic, ask lots of questions, and make an informed decision for good health.

The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine treats over 300+ conditions. Contact Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine for a FREE consultation at 480-240-2600, or click here >> http://goo.gl/R2cGE

Order Dr Martha Grout’s new book “An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World”

More information on Dr Grout’s book and to ORDER with a special offer, click here >>  http://goo.gl/aDihW.

Hear Dr. Grout’s radio show interview on “Good Health in a Sick World”, (the actual interview starts at 4:14 minutes) click here >> http://goo.gl/gnihJ

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