Weighing up the evidence onOur most abundant mineral
Calcium! Or Calci-umm?
Calcium is tops as far as I'm concerned
Calcium is one of my ‘go to’ supplements for a lot of my clients. I most frequently use it for people with sleep & mood disorders, as well as for pregnant & lactating women. Unfortunately, some people are still hesitant about using it after it received a lot of bad press a few years ago. I want you to know that when prescribed correctly, calcium can provide a very simple solution to many of your health concerns.
This blog post is part-one of a two-part series. Next time I’ll discuss:
01— how to optimise calcium in your diet
02— surprising health concerns that calcium
can be used to treat
Orthodox medicine claims calcium supplements are harmful
A few years ago, the media began kicking up a stink about calcium. This media outburst was based on an overview, by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), of 11 studies. The BMJ concluded that if you supplemented your diet with calcium it would increase your risk of Myocardial Infarction.
The public reaction was:
Shock, horror — not Myocardial Infarction!
We had better avoid calcium supplementation at all cost, as we don’t want that (whatever that is?)
The ‘average Joe’ doesn’t understand medical jargon — a Myocardial Infarction is a heart attack. The ‘average Joe’ also doesn’t know how to critically evaluate clinical studies.
Based solely on the media outcries, and the evaluations of the BMJ, the public believed they had good cause for concern1.
The Law of Hype — The Situation Is Often the Opposite of the Way It Appears in the Press
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries + Jack Trout
Natural medicine claims the studies were inadequately evaluated
Australia’s leading natural health science company2 investigated these 11 studies. They concluded that two important factors were overlooked in the BMJ’s analysis of the information:
01—The form of calcium used to supplement the diet is significant
All 11 studies used either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate as the source of calcium. Calcium sourced from whole bone mineral complexes, such as hydroxyapatite were not used. This latter form of calcium is more reflective of dietary calcium.
02—The use of calcium supplements without added Vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of heart attacks
The studies excluded any calcium supplements that contained Vitamin D. The results showed that where the subjects had the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their body, they also tended to have significantly more heart attacks per 100 patients.3 Natural medicine’s calcium supplements always use highly absorbable forms of calcium, and provide the necessary co-factors to help the mineral do what it needs to do in the body.
Vitamin K helps transfer calcium into the bone
Why is calcium so important for us?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Not only is it vital for the proper composition of bone and teeth, but it is integral for:
01—the regulation of our heart beat
03—much of the body’s enzymatic activity
04—our nervous and muscular systems
Boron activates Vitamin D, and increases biologically active oestrogen in menopausal women
How much calcium do we need?
Recommended dietary allowances vary greatly, depending upon:
03—Stage of life
e.g. teenager, pregnancy or lactation
e.g. osteoporosis risk, or high blood pressure
Recommended Daily Allowance
You would need to consume all of this food to get 1200mg calcium.
This is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for males and females aged 11-24 years, and for pregnant and lactating women.
1 cup of Yoghurt
1 cup of Vitasoy Rice Milk (or a 200ml glass of Trim milk)
1 tin of sardines
9 dried figs
You can see why this might be a ‘big ask’ for people to consume on a daily basis – hence why supplementation is often necessary.
Calcium supplementation is safe and effective
Natural health formulas always use highly absorbable forms of calcium, and provide the necessary co-factors to help the mineral do what it needs to do in the body e.g. Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Boron, and Magnesium. When used appropriately, calcium supplementation is very beneficial.
Your Naturopath will take the following into consideration when advising you:
Appropriate calcium formulation
Correct daily dosage
Optimisation of supplementation
How and when to take your calcium formula so you get the most benefit from it
Note: The only time I have ever seen isolated calcium (calcium without any co-factors) is when my clients have come to me with prescription calcium carbonate dispensed via the Pharmacy.
When prescribed correctly, calcium is very beneficial for many health concerns
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH LISA
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice OOMPH, in Grey Lynn (Auckland, New Zealand). Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 13 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.
Book online to see Lisa at OOMPH.
Lisa sees clients from all over New Zealand either in person or via SKYPE.