Calcium's Best Friends
That’s a fairly ominous finding, but does it mean you should stop taking calcium supplements? Not necessarily. The study’s authors even warned people not to jump to conclusions. As is often the case, more research needs to be done, and we have to weigh all the facts. For example, to make matters even more complicated, calcium is also an important contributor to cardiovascular health, helping govern a steady heart rhythm.
Calcium supplementation is an issue for men as well, as there may be a link between calcium consumption and prostate cancer. However, this relationship is somewhat fuzzy, as some studies show calcium increases the risk of prostate cancer, while others find it does nothing to increase risk when compared to a placebo. In other words, the verdict is still out—but it’s something to watch.
This gray area between proven safe and proven unsafe can be very confusing. How should people who need extra calcium react? Fortunately, there are a variety of approaches that can provide the calcium that is so necessary for good health while mitigating potential risk. We’ve been indoctrinated from youth that calcium is an important nutrient— and it is. However, we really want to control where the calcium is going. Calcium in the bones is critical, but too much in blood vessels and tissues can be bad, calcifying tissues and destroying vascular elasticity, leading to blockages, high blood pressure, angina, heart attack, and stroke.
Part of this issue has to do with the right kind of calcium. Many inorganic calcium supplements are not bioavailable for the body to utilize, such as calcium carbonate which can be derived from limestone. Oxide forms are also poorly absorbed. These inferior calcium supplements can be some of the main culprits contributing to calcium deposits and calcification in the body. Choose citrate, malate, or chelate forms for better bioavailability. These forms are also better absorbed if Seafood can be another good source; sardines have 325 mg of calcium for one 3-ounce serving.
there is adequate stomach acid, levels of which often decline as we age. The most significant caveat to the study is that the people who were at the highest risk for heart attacks were only taking calcium. We now know that for optimal utilization, we need to take calcium supplements with magnesium and other nutrients, which can work to balance calcium’s potentially negative effects. This is particularly true in regard to cardiovascular health. In fact, magnesium is just as important as calcium—if not more so—for maintaining bone, heart, neurological, and other areas of health.
Another important nutrient to balance calcium is vitamin K . This vitamin actually serves double duty, acting as a kind of supervisor for calcium distribution. It not only keeps calcium from entering blood vessel walls, but it also helps bones retain calcium, increasing bone density.
Vitamin D is another important nutrient that aids the absorption and