Have you ever asked yourself if taking a calcium supplement is safe? Maybe you’ve read an article recently or heard a report on the news that seemed to suggest that taking calcium could be dangerous. We have had this question asked to us so many times that we decided to designate an entire blog to this very important topic. We also cover the topic in-depth in our new book Rebuild Your Bones – The 12 Week Osteoporosis Protocol! Based on the many emails and phone calls we get on the subject of calcium safety we have a very good grasp on the fears and misunderstandings that are circulating about the dangers of taking calcium supplements. The biggest and most widespread fear seems to be rooted in the belief that taking a calcium supplement may increase your chances of developing cardiovascular health risks, specifically through the progression of atherosclerosis. In fact, as you can see from the Health.com article below, as recently as October 19th 2016, medical professionals were cautioning the public against taking calcium supplements citing research that seemed to point to the conclusion that “Calcium supplements may damage the heart.”
However, that all changed, just 6 days later, on October 25th, 2016, when (as you can also see below) even Health.com had to issue a story update reversing the previous held belief that calcium supplements were harmful. This was due to new joint clinical guideline issued on calcium from the National Osteoporosis Foundations (NOF) and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC) which stated, “As long as total intake of calcium (from food and pills combined) does not exceed the tolerable upper intake level of 2,000 to 2,500 mg/day, calcium supplements should be considered “safe from a cardiovascular standpoint.”
GUIDELINES GIVE THE GREEN LIGHT
The new guideline, published October 24th 2016 in the Annals of Internal Medicine is game changing for calcium supplementation. It is important to point out that this includes calcium supplements consumed either alone or with vitamin D. And not only did the NOF and ASPC joint expert panel evaluate 31 studies and grade the strength of evidence regarding the effects of calcium and cardiovascular disease, only to find no clinically significant effects on coronary heart disease or mortality; but one study actually found lower cardiovascular and mortality risk in women who took more than 1000 mg supplementary calcium per day compared with those who did not take supplements. Additionally, Stephen L. Kopecky, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the authors of the new guidelines, cautions; “Discontinuation of supplemental calcium for safety reasons is not necessary and may be harmful to bone health when intake from food is suboptimal.”
Ironically, not only does a deficiency of calcium cause bone and tooth loss, difficulty with muscle contractions and diminished nerve function, too little calcium also accelerates atherosclerosis by causing excess leaching of calcium from bone into the bloodstream where it calcifies arteries. In validated models of atherosclerosis, calcium-deficient diets increase the rate of tissue calcification by 170% while calcium-supplemented diets reduce calcification by 62%. This is the exactly the opposite of what everyone was so worried about! Now, even with the new guidelines giving the green light to calcium supplementation in general, we want to be very clear that there are several steps you can take to improve the likelihood that the calcium supplement you take has the greatest possible chance of improving and protecting your health. We researched calcium extensively when formulating our patented multivitamin – nutreince, because it was such a key player in helping Mira reverse her advanced osteoporosis. During that time, we discovered 8 facts that you should know about calcium to ensure the greatest absorption and utilization potential possible.
8 TIPS TO BOOST THE BENEFITS OF CALCIUM:
- Make sure you are getting the right form of calcium.Did you know that there are many different forms of calcium? Calcium needs an acidic stomach environment to properly be absorbed, which is why we recommend calcium potassium phosphate citrate, calcium citrate, or calcium malate, as they are more absorbable when taken away from food. We don’t want you to take your calcium with food because the different vitamins and minerals in that food can compete with your supplemental calcium for absorption and reduce or eliminate calcium’s beneficial effects. Since bone mineral is predominately calcium phosphate, we recommend the calcium potassium phosphate citrate form because it comes with the bone-building micronutrients potassium and phosphate, similar to how it comes in dairy products. Studies have found that calcium that contains phosphate helps maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis- that’s why our multivitamin, nutreince, contains beneficial forms calcium potassium phosphate citrate in the liquid multivitamin and calcium citrate in the encapsulated form. Learn more about calcium absorption and beneficial forms in our new book, Rebuild Your Bones!
- The body can only absorb 500 – 600 mg of calcium at one time. This makes taking a calcium supplement with 800, 1000, or ever 1200 mg of calcium per serving a big waste of money and possible dangerous as the body is not sure what to do with excess calcium. nutreince contains 500 mg of calcium in the AM serving. Most multivitamins contain little to none- leaving you at risk of osteoporosis, tooth decay and nerve failure.
- The body’s ability to absorb calcium is beneficially increased when vitamin D is sufficient.This is why if you are taking a calcium supplement you should also be taking adequate amounts of vitamin D3 to ensure sufficiency. nutreince contains 2000 IU of vitamin D3 to ensure optimal calcium absorption and utilization.
- In addition to vitamin D, calcium needs vitamin K2 in order to move from the arteries to the bone where it can be used to treat and prevent osteoporosis.Taking calcium without being sufficient in vitamin K2 can still leave you at a much greater risk of developing osteoporosis. nutreince contains both types of vitamin K2 (MK-4 and MK-7) and it is the only major multivitamin to do this. As you’ll learn in Rebuild Your Bones, many bone-building supplements have a problem with their MK-7 form of vitamin K2 because it is not very shelf stable and degrades in formulations that include calcium and/or magnesium! To solve this problem, we have spared no expense to bring you the most stable form of MK-7 on the market, K2VITAL Delta. This double-coated, microencapsulated form of MK-7 is the only form of vitamin K2 MK-7 on the market that has been shown to stay stable after months on the shelf, even in the presence of alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium!
- Magnesium matters. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker. Any deficiency in magnesium can induce elevated intracellular calcium concentration and accelerate atherosclerosis. nutreince is one of the only multivitamins on the market to contain a full 420 mg of magnesium in its most absorbable state. But watch out! You don’t want to take a supplement that combines calcium and magnesium in the same formula. These two micronutrients are naturally competitive and each will decrease the absorption and/or utilization of the other.
- Be aware of the micronutrients that compete with calcium for absorption. Copper, magnesium, and zinc can all inhibit calcium absorption and calcium can also inhibit the absorption of these three micronutrients – make sure to always take your calcium separately from copper, magnesium and zinc. nutreince is formulated with patented Anti-Competition Technology, which separates calcium from its natural competitors as well as more than 40 other micronutrient competition that reduce the absorption of other essential micronutrients in the typical multivitamin.
- Beware of calcium depleting foods.Above and beyond food containing micronutrients that can compete with your supplemental calcium for absorption, some foods also contain naturally occurring anti-nutrients – such as phytates, oxalates, lectins, trypsin inhibitors, phosphoric acid, caffeine, tannins, sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – which all deplete calcium. nutreince can be taken away from foods that contain these anti-nutrients, and can help to replace any calcium lost from ingesting these anti-nutrients.
- Timing matters.Although we love and recommend exercise, it is also a micronutrient depleter and that includes the depletion of calcium. Research shows that taking your calcium supplement 30 minutes prior to a workout can offset some of the calcium depletion caused by exercise. nutreince is a delicious multivitamin drink that can be taken 30 minutes prior to exercise on an empty stomach.
THE BOTTOM LINE: CALCIUM IS ESSENTIAL, BUT SUPPLEMENT SMARTLY!
The bottom line is that calcium is an essential micronutrient in which you must be sufficient in if you are going to achieve optimal health, and a deficiency in calcium may actually cause the atherosclerosis that was being blamed on calcium supplementation. According to a new guideline issued by the National Osteoporosis Foundations (NOF) and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC), calcium has also been shown to be safe to take as a supplement in quantities less than 2000 – 2500 mg per day. However, not all calcium supplements are equal. Make sure you find one that contains the best forms (such as calcium potassium phosphate citrate or calcium citrate), the correct quantity (500 – 600 mg) as well as one that eliminates the competition between calcium and other micronutrients (copper, magnesium, and zinc) while pairing calciums beneficial synergists (vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K2) to ensure you are getting the most out of your calcium supplement.
Just listen to this incredible testimonial from a client who experienced miraculous results after following the Rebuild Your Bones 12-week osteoporosis protocol. After years of working with the Caltons she became micronutrient sufficient and had calcium-infused success at stopping her osteoporosis in its tracks!
“In 2014 I saw Mira Calton on TV and as I watched her I felt she was talking directly to me and my situation. I had been told my Osteoporosis was worse and they tried putting me on Fosamax.
“When I heard Mira’s story I had to know more. What are micronutrient dense foods? How did Mira reverse her osteoporosis? I went back to the specialist (after two months and feeling sorry for myself) and asked him to give me time to prove I could stabilize or reverse my Osteo through natural means. He agreed but gave me 6 months before another bone density and blood tests to see where I was. My Vitamin D3 and Calcium levels were bottoming out even though I was taking one of the best Calcium supplements and liquid D3 5000 IU a day. I immediately called Mira (yes, she answered) and ordered the Nutreince Multivitamin. I had already read Rich Food Poor Food, as well as Mira and Jayson’s other books and wow, what a wakeup call and education on Micronutrient Dense Foods. My family had called me the Food Nazi for years, so I felt I was doing the right things. Boy did I have a lot to learn!
“I’m NOW reversing my osteo, I have energy, and teaching yoga – Never thought that would happen in a million years at 61 and having had advanced Osteo! . Mira’s (and Jayson’s) advice (which they have now taken everything they told me and put
it in their new book – Rebuild Your Bones: The 12-Week Osteoporosis Protocol) has totally changed my life and has got me feeling fantastic!
“My osteoporosis is no longer a problem for me. My doctor thinks my progress is fabulous and he is putting exclamation points across my medical charts! I didn’t want to take any pharma, and this has allowed me to continue on my journey of being drug-free. It is so easy. I didn’t get here overnight – it’s a journey, but it is the best thing you can ever do for your life and for your loved ones.
“Oh… before I started with Caltons I was told I had degenerative disc disease and now my osteopath says there is very little in my spine at all if any!! She showed me my X-ray and it was really positive news!
“ – Micki, age 61 “