increases risk or heart disease
Fresh evidence has linked calcium supplements to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, reigniting safety concerns over their use.
A meta-analysis published today in the BMJ concludes that calcium supplementation – with or without vitamin D – increases the relative risk of MI (myocardial infarction) and stroke.
The authors said the relative risk increases were modest, at about 25-30% for MI and 15-20% for stroke, but could have a significant impact on a population level.
“These data justify a reassessment of the use of calcium supplements in older people,” wrote Professor Ian Reid, of the University of Auckland, and colleagues.
Professor Phil Harris, head of cardiology at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, said the link was plausible, and doctors should think twice before recommending calcium supplements to certain patients.
“If patients have significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease, then we need to evaluate whether there is a risk in continuing [with calcium supplementation], or whether it is best to stop treatment,” he told Australian Doctor.
While there was not yet enough evidence to cease supplementation altogether, Professor Harris said more research was needed to define in which patients the risks outweighed the benefits.
What is a good calcium supplement :
The formula I use for my patients is a calcium supplement which contains Calcitite Hi-Strength. This is a well-rounded calcium supplement designed to be taken on an ongoing basis to maintain optimal bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis.
We need not just calcium. Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite is a comprehensive whole bone concentrate that delivers calcium, magnesium, and a full spectrum of trace minerals (e.g. boron, silica, zinc), in their natural ratios. It also delivers organic factors such as collagen protein, bone derived growth factors, glycosaminoglycans and amino acids which have been shown to positively impact bone density. This formula also contains vitamin D, which facilitates the active absorption of calcium in the intestine by stimulating the synthesis of calcium binding protein (calbindin), and vitamin K, which assists in the function of proteins important for bone building.
Bioavailability (how easily is absorbed by our body) of calcium supplements varies depending on the form of calcium used, therefore it is important to select forms of calcium that have proven bioavailability. Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite has consistently shown superiority over other forms of calcium supplementation. Prevention of osteoporosis through slowing of postmenopausal bone loss has been found to be achieved more significantly with hydroxyapatite than with calcium carbonate. In a two year study involving 60 post-menopausal women, only the group given hydroxyapatite maintained bone mineral density, while other groups encountered a significant reduction in bone mineral density.
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