Browsing articles tagged with " Calcium Levels"
Aug 19, 2013
Karen Spencer

Healthy eating tip 8: Add calcium for strong bones


 

Healthy eating tip 8: Add calcium for strong bones

CALCIUM is one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy.

It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, as well as many other important functions.

You and your bones will benefit from eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, limiting foods that deplete your body’s calcium stores, and getting your daily dose of magnesium and vitamins D and K-nutrients that help calcium do its job.

Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from your diet.
Good sources of calcium include:

Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, yoghurt, and cheese.

Vegetables and greens: Many vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.

Beans: For another rich source of calcium, try black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans. Limit sugar and salt: If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet—sugar and salt.

Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Here are some tips:

Healthy eating tip 9: Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, more than the daily recommended limit! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.
Eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

How sugar is hidden on food labels
Check food labels carefully. Sugar is often disguised using terms such as:
– cane sugar or maple syrup
– corn sweetener or corn syrup
– honey or molasses
– brown rice syrup
– crystallized or evaporated cane juice
– fruit juice concentrates, such as apple or pear
– maltodextrin (or dextrin)

– Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, or Sucrose
Healthy eating tip 10: Reduce your salt intake.

Most of us consume too much salt in our diets. Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems. Try to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.

Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.

Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium.
Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.

Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and pretzels.
Choose low-salt or reduced-sodium products.

Try slowly reducing the salt in your diet to give your taste buds time to adjust.
(The end)

Aug 6, 2013
Karen Spencer

Calcium-Rich Foods: A Boost for Your Bones and Heart

high calcium foods

You probably know that eating enough foods high in calcium is important for your bone health, which depends on calcium availability. But you may not know, says cardiologist William Abraham, MD, that dietary calcium is good for your heart.

Dr. Abraham is Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Medicine at Ohio State University. “Calcium is essential for normal functioning of the heart,” he explained. “It is involved in the electrical performance of the heart and in the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle.”

Getting high-calcium foods in your diet means calcium will be available for your bones and for your heart. “A normal heart beat and normal pumping action of the heart depend on having normal calcium levels inside and outside of heart cells,” said Dr. Abraham.

Foods High in Calcium



It’s better to get your calcium from foods high in calcium than from supplements. Calcium content is noted in the nutritional facts for many packaged foods, which makes it easier to make sure you’re getting enough.

Daily adult requirements for calcium recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine are:

  • For adults aged 19 and older – 1,000 milligrams of calcium
  • For women aged 51 to 70 and adults 71 and older – 1,200 milligrams of calcium

Fish and diary — reduced-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and part-skim cheese — are good, easily available calcium rich foods. If you prefer plant sources, try calcium-fortified soymilk or other alternative milks; tofu, and other soy products are also high in calcium. Almonds, raw, roasted or as almond butter, are calcium-rich foods as well. And you may be surprised to learn that sweet potatoes and beans — white beans and chickpeas especially — are high-calcium foods. Fortified orange juice is also high in calcium, as are fresh oranges.

This handy list of 10 additional calcium-rich foods can help you plan what to include in your diet so you’re getting the optimal amount of calcium for your age:

  • Cheese and tomato pizza, 10 inch pie – 873 mg of calcium
  • Figs, 4 fruits – 506 mg of calcium
  • Tofu, 100 grams – 510 mg of calcium
  • Sardines in oil, one tin – 500 mg of calcium
  • 2-egg cheese omelet – 344 mg of calcium
  • Skimmed milk, one 8 oz glass – 300 mg of calcium
  • Cheddar cheese, one medium chunk – 296 mg of calcium
  • Curly kale, one serving – 143 mg of calcium
  • Orange, one medium – 75 mg of calcium
  • Almonds, 12 nuts – 62 mg of calcium

Heart Risks of Too Much Calcium

While getting calcium from the diet is best, some people may not be able to consume their daily requirement with food and instead opt for calcium supplements. If you are taking calcium supplements, moderation is key, and taking more than the recommended amount of calcium could actually threaten your health.

“While we may need more calcium for our bones as we grow older, too much calcium has been associated with increased risk of dying from heart disease,” said Abraham.

Calcium is involved in the process of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which is the usual cause of heart attacks.

“Calcium may be deposited in atherosclerotic plaque,” Abraham explained, “and measurement of the amount of calcium in the heart’s arteries is a predictor of future heart attacks.”

Before you take calcium supplements — or increase the amount you’re taking — ask your doctor’s advice.

Jul 2, 2013
Karen Spencer

Can Calcium Supplements Protect Against Exercise-Related Bone Loss?

In theory, resistance training is supposed to strengthen your bones. However, if you’re coupling your strength sessions with strenuous endurance exercise—or if you walk out of the weight room just as sweaty as if you’d spent the past hour sprinting hills—your intensity could be making your bones weaker due to the large amounts of calcium which escape via your sweat.

This phenomenon—in which calcium is freed up from the bones in order to replenish amounts of the mineral that get pumped out as you perspire—has been observed in competitive road cyclists, runners, and basketball players, but it also affects exercisers who sweat profusely during extended training sessions.

10 Surprising Ways to Rehydrate

The good news: Preliminary research presented at the 2013 meeting of The Endocrine Society found that athletes may be able to offset some of this bone loss by taking calcium supplements—as long as they do it at the right time.

In the study, men between the ages of 18 and 45 took calcium and vitamin D supplements either 30 minutes before or one hour after a simulated 35-kilometer cycling time trial. All of them experienced a drop in their calcium blood levels, but the men who took the calcium supplement before exercising experienced less of a decrease.

So how much of this mineral do you need to offset what’s lost in your sweat? Adult men can take 500–1,000mg of calcium per day, before exercise if possible. And in order to help your body absorb the calcium, you’ll also need a steady supply of vitamin D. Pair your calcium with 400–2,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) daily—look for supplements that pack both in one pill.

But just be careful not to overdo it. A 2013 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that men taking more than 1,000mg of supplemental calcium each day may have an increased risk of heart disease, although the study didn’t focus on competitive (and sweaty) athletes.

You can also boost levels of the mineral naturally by bulking up on a variety of calcium-rich foods such as dark greens, like collard greens and kale; canned salmon (with bones); and calcium-fortified soy products.

Want more up-to-date health and fitness news like this? Sign up for our newsletters and get Men’s Fitness delivered right to your inbox. 

Jun 2, 2013
Karen Spencer

Study: Salix Administration Can Lead to Calcium Imbalance

Researchers recently completed examined how furosemide (Salix) administration affects active Thoroughbreds’ mineral balances, finding that these animals had difficulty replenishing their calcium levels about 72 hours after drug administration.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Researchers recently completed examined how furosemide (commonly known as Salix or Lasix) administration affects active Thoroughbreds’ mineral balances, finding that these animals had difficulty replenishing their calcium levels about 72 hours after drug administration.

In the two-part study, Joe Pagan, PhD, of Kentucky Equine Research in Versailles, Ky., also determined furosemide could enhance performance by reducing the rate of lactate buildup in the blood, an effect he attributes to the weight horses lose after receiving the diuretic. Pagan noted that this performance-enhancing effect had been revealed in previous studies.

He presented the findings this week at the Equine Science Society meeting, in Mescalero, N.M. Pagan said that because most previous studies have focused on furosemide’s efficacy at preventing or reducing exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary physiologists typically have completed the work. Pagan wanted to assess how the drug affects horse nutritional balance.

In this study, researchers administered furosemide in the horses and then sent them through a controlled treadmill exercise test that started with a five-minute walk, then working at various speeds at two-minute intervals, and ended with four different gallop speeds at one-minute each.

Pagan and his team saw large sodium losses through urine 24 hours after administering furosemide then working the horses on the treadmill. They also noted similar losses of calcium. But two and three days later, the horses were able to move back into sodium balance by retaining more sodium rather than excreting it in their urine and manure. But the study horses did not retain more calcium to replenish their stores.

“With calcium, you don’t see that bounce back like you did with sodium,” Pagan said. “Calcium excretion remained high on the second and third days.”

Pagan noted that horses in the study consumed calcium-rich feed, which prevented them from going into a negative calcium balance. He said the study indicates the animals would have faced a negative balance if given only the daily recommended amounts of calcium or less.

“That sort of threw up the red flag because calcium is what the body uses to build bone strength,” Pagan said. “The important thing is that they showed deficits for more than 24 hours. You’d expect them to show deficits for 24 hours, but the lingering deficit is something we have to address.”

Pagan cautioned that the study does not make any correlation between calcium loss and breakdowns.

“The reality is we have no idea,” Pagan said. “To do that study would be a very big, very expensive study.”

Still, Pagan believes his study indicates calcium loss is a topic worthy of more investigation. He said that because calcium levels must be maintained in the blood, a horse with negative calcium balance could draw on calcium from his bones to maintain those levels.

Pagan also evaluated lactic acid buildup in six horses with an average age of 7, each of which participated in all three study groups: horses not receiving furosemide (untreated controls), and horses getting furosemide under two different nutritional intake categories.

In working the furosemide-treated horses on the treadmill, the researchers noted that the drug enhanced performance by reducing the buildup of lactic acid, which is associated with fatigue, in the blood. Pagan attributes this improved performance to the horses’ weight loss. Horses given furosemide and then exercised on the treadmill lost an average of 40 pounds.

Also, lactic acid took longer to build up in the blood in horses on furosemide as opposed to those not receiving the diuretic. Pagan believes this was caused by the weight loss; an alkalizing effect, as “milkshaking” a horse, for instance, promotes, the opposite effect, moving lactic acid from muscles to the blood.

“This is a body weight phenomenon,” Pagan said of the performance spike indicated in horses who had received furosemide. “When horses were given Lasix, they produced less lactic acid and relied less on anaerobic pathways than aerobic. They used less oxygen. So their total efficiency was better all the way through.”

Knowing that, Pagan said perhaps a formula for adding weight to horses on furosemide could balance out the performance-enhancing aspects of the diuretic when they race against horses not on furosemide. He is considering a follow-up study in which he adds weight to horses on Salix to see if that cancels out the delayed fatigue.

Pagan said some experts have tied increased lactic acid levels in blood, and the resulting fatigue, to breakdowns. He said one could argue the lower levels of lactic acid in the blood for horses treated with furosemide could help reduce the rate of breakdowns, but he added that more study would be needed with horses in race conditions.

“A pro-Lasix person could argue that if Lasix reduces lactic acid, and lactic acid contributes to breakdowns; then giving Lasix is protective,” Pagan said. “The problem with that argument, though, is it assumes the horse is running at the same speed. In the real world, the horse would run faster until it got the same amount of lactate.”

In looking at the weight loss associated with furosemide, horses in the study were able to rebound quickly, typically regaining the weight within eight hours through increased water intake. Again, Pagan noted that a study in race conditions could be more indicative.

“This study did not support the idea that Lasix knocks them for a loop and it takes them weeks and weeks to recover that body weight,” Pagan said. “It wasn’t a Thoroughbred race though. It was a lot longer (run) than a Thoroughbred race but we controlled the speed. So it’s not apples to apples.”

As for the calcium loss, Pagan noted that supplementing calcium for the horses may not be enough to address the problem. “You’ve got to send signals to both the kidney and the intestine that you’ve got to retain this calcium,” he said, explaining that he and colleagues are working to find solutions for this, getting calcium to “act like sodium,” whereby horses lose some of it in their urine but can recoup it more quickly.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

Apr 2, 2013
Karen Spencer

Osteoporosis: Build your bone bank in 6 steps

Osteoporosis simply means porous bones. One of the most common bone disorders, nearly 6 crore Indians suffer from osteoporosis.

One in every two Indian women more than 45 years of age suffers from osteoporosis. Both men and women suffer from osteoporosis, but women are four times more prone.

Osteoporosis, often associated with old age is not an inevitable process of ageing, but is a culmination of several diet and lifestyle imbalances earlier in life. There is no substitute to eating right. Many do not consume the recommended amounts of calcium (4 servings of calcium rich foods/day). Health professionals must promote diet and exercise patterns that promote optimal calcium levels.

Besides dairy, soy has been found to be a useful source of calcium and bone building nutrients. Intake of soy protein promotes bone formation, reverses bone loss, and prevents osteoporosis. Though, food is the best source of calcium; however, calcium supplements and calcium-fortified foods can fill the gap, ensuring that the daily calcium requirement is met. The amount needed from a supplement depends on how much calcium is consumed from food sources.

Build your bone bank by following these tips:

1. Invest in low fat dairy and dairy products including yogurt, cottage cheese (paneer). You may add grated cheese/paneer to your steamed vegetables, casseroles, and soups.

2. Encourage intake of soya and soya products like tofu, soya milk, and soya snacks. Prepare soups with seaweeds, tofu, and miso.

3. Include nuts and seeds. Grind roasted sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, almonds, nuts and mix with fruits, salad or sprinkle over cereal.

4. Include calcium rich foods such as bengal gram, red beans, fish, sea food, ragi, amaranth (chaulai), dates, fenugreek leaves, and lotus stem. Most calcium supplements are effective and calcium carbonate is least expensive. It is generally believed that calcium citrate/lactate/gluconate may be more easily absorbed than calcium carbonate. Also, avoid consuming iron supplements with calcium, as it interferes with iron absorption. Supplements must be consumed under professional supervision, as excessive calcium intake (2500 mg/day) may cause constipation, intestinal bloating, excess flatulence and kidney stones.

5. Exercise regularly throughout life. Walking, cycling, biking and certain similar exercises are most beneficial in retaining calcium in bones. Participate in at least 3 hours of physical activity a week.

6. At least 30 minutes exposure to sunlight helps meet vitamin D requirements, which further promotes calcium absorption and maintain good bone health.

Read more Personal Health, Diet Fitness stories on www.healthmeup.com

Oct 20, 2012
Richard Graham

Could low calcium levels raise the risk of thyroid problems?

Could low calcium levels raise the risk of thyroid problems?

BMJ Group News


What do we know already?

pregnant woman drinking milk

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is caused by overactive parathyroid glands making too much parathyroid hormone, which can result in weak bones, fractures and kidney stones. PHPT affects 1 in 800 people during their lifetime. It is most common in women between 50 and 60 years of age who have gone through the menopause.

Calcium intake is known to influence parathyroid hormone production and therefore may be important in the development of PHPT. However, we’re not sure as no long-term studied have looked at this in detail.

So researchers looked at the link between women’s calcium intake and their risk of developing primary hyperparathyroidism over two decades. The study included 58,354 women aged between 39 and 66 years in 1986 who, at the time, did not have PHPT. The women filled out questionnaires that the researchers used to estimate their calcium intake from their diet and any supplements they took. They filled out the questionnaires every four years for an average of 22 years. Over this period, the researchers recorded how many women got PHPT and looked to see if there was a link to their calcium intake.

What does the new study say?

Over 22 years 277 women got PHPT. This means less than 1 in 100 women in the study developed PHPT, confirming it is a rare condition.

After the researchers adjusted their figures to take account of factors that might have affected women’s risk of PHPT such as their age, weight, and race, women who had the highest intake of calcium had a 44 percent lower risk of PHPT compared with women who had the lowest calcium intake.

How reliable is the research?

This is a large study of women that followed them for a long time. Asking for information about calcium intake several times over the course of the study should make the results reliable.

But this kind of study can’t prove cause and effect, so we can’t be certain that having a high calcium intake was what lowered women’s risk of PHPT. The lower risk might be more to do with other aspects of these women’s health, diet, or lifestyle.

The majority of women in the study were white, so it’s not possible to know from this study whether the results apply to women of other races or men.

What does this mean for me?

This study shows that a higher calcium intake may have a protective effect on women’s risk of PHPT. But your overall risk of PHPT is low irrespective of your calcium intake.

The highest level of calcium, which gave the lowest risk, was just over 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day, on average. This is more than the UK recommended daily allowance of calcium for an adult woman of 700 milligrams a day (around the same as a pint of skimmed milk or an 8 ounce pot of yogurt). We don’t know if increasing your calcium intake in this way is safe, or if it could cause more harm than benefit.

Oct 16, 2012
Karen Spencer

Calcium deficit robs plankton of vital "armour" in Canadian lakes

A team of international scientists studying a species of plankton living in a small Ontario lake has shown how it can be robbed of a key defence mechanism – a minuscule “neck spine” that helps protect it against its main predator – as calcium levels in freshwater drop due to logging, acidification and other environmental impacts across the Canadian Shield.

The study, carried out by researchers from Canada, the U.S. and Germany, is being described as a wake-up call about the potential effects of even minute changes in the water chemistry of lakes and oceans on the microscopic species at the base of the planet’s food chain.

The team’s findings, published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, flowed from a series of experiments at a pond near the Ontario government-funded Dorset Environmental Science Centre, located about 200 kilometres northeast of Toronto. A similar, federally funded field-research station in northwestern Ontario – the celebrated Experimental Lakes Area – is currently at the centre of a political storm after the Conservative government announced earlier this year that it will close the facility due to budget cuts, prompting strong opposition among Canadian scientists.

“Without plankton, humans would be quite hungry, and perhaps even dead,” York University biologist Norman Yan said in a summary of the PNAS study. “Much of the world’s photosynthesis, the basis of all of our food, comes from the ocean’s plankton. The oxygen in every other breath we take is a product of phytoplankton photosynthesis.”

As part of a wider study that examined the ecological impact of low-calcium lakes in Canada and Scandinavia, the researchers showed how, in calcium-rich bodies of water, the daphnia (or “water flea”) develops a distinctive “neck spine” or spur that can protect it from being eaten by the larvae of the phantom midge, daphnia’s principal predator.

But in low-calcium lakes that are now common throughout Canada’s boreal regions and parts of Northern Europe, daphnia can be left essentially “defenceless” – with no neck spine at all – due to climate change, logging, acidification and other factors that combine to reduce calcium to levels to below what’s required by the plankton to construct its exoskeleton.

“Calcium is a critical element for daphnia and many other crustaceans,” said study co-author Howard Riessen, a biology professor with SUNY College at Buffalo. “Where calcium levels are low, the daphnia have softer, smaller, exoskeletons with fewer defensive spines, making them an easy snack.”

Yan noted that, “increases in ocean acidity are complicating calcium acquisition by marine life,” which he described as “an under-reported effect of global carbon dioxide emissions. Thus marine plankton may also find themselves more vulnerable to predators.”

He told Postmedia News that while plankton are “not charismatic or cuddly – nor even routinely visible – they are vital for human life,” and changes in their survivability need to be closely analyzed and understood.

“They produce the food that underpins marine and freshwater food webs,” he added, “thus ultimately supporting polar bears, for example.”

Riessen stated in the study overview that the low-calcium impact on plankton in Canadian lakes is “insidious” and a potential precursor of serious long-term problems in the environment.

“Daphnia might not be a household name, but they are food for fish, and they help keep our lakes clean,” he said. “Changing the balance between daphnia and their predators marks a major change in lake systems.”

rboswell@postmedia.com; twitter.com/randyboswell

May 29, 2012
Richard Graham

Calcium supplements may raise heart risk

USA Today

Taking a calcium supplement to help prevent bones from thinning puts people at a greater heart attack risk, says a report out today in the journal Heart.

The study of approximately 24,000 people ages 35 to 64 found those who regularly tookcalcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t. Those who took only calcium supplements were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as those who didn’t take any vitamin supplements. Calcium supplements have been linked to kidney stones and bloating in other studies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporatic fractures,” the authors write. “We should return to seeing calcium as an important component of a balanced diet.”

The study, aimed at seeing if calcium supplements affect cardiovascular risk, found no direct link between the supplements and heart attacks, nor did they identify brands of supplements. Participants answered questions about supplement use and diet in an 11-year health study.

The study did not look at what caused the heart attacks, but “Supplements cause calcium levels to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful,” the authors write.

“Doctors who work with the elderly and people who are postmenopausal routinely tell them to take a calcium supplement,” says Linda Russell, a rheumatologist and osteoporosis specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “It’s really time to re-examine that philosophy. Other studies about calcium have been suggesting this in recent years, but maybe this study really should get doctors to rethink this approach.”

Strategies for preventing bone thinning in postmenopausal women have recently come under review; the Food and Drug Administration warned in the New England Journal of Medicine May 9 about risks associated with some bisphosphonates and how long to take them. Some bisphosphonates, widely prescribed to treat osteoporosis and prevent fractures, have been linked to a rare atypical thigh bone fracture.

“It’s very important for people to be vigilant, keep track of medications and to talk with their doctors,” says Elizabeth Shane, professor of medicine at Columbia University’s Department of Medicine and spokesperson for the American Society of Bones and Mineral Research. “The knowledge base is continually changing.”

Russell says she reevaluates a patient’s need for bisphosphonates every year.

Shane advises patients to get their calcium naturally from their diet in small doses so it is absorbed throughout the day, and to use a supplement only to make up a difference if they fall short of the daily requirement.

For a postmenopausal woman between ages 51 and 70, when osteoporosis becomes a greater danger, the recommended range is 1,000 to 1,200 mg. After age 71, it’s 1,200 mgs.

May 26, 2012
Richard Graham

Calcium Supplements May Raise Heart Attack Risk – Sci


Taking a calcium supplement to help stop bones from thinning puts people at a greater heart attack risk, a report in the journal Heart said Wednesday.

The study of about 24,000 people ages 35 to 64 found those who regularly took calcium supplements were 86% more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t. Those who took only calcium supplements were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who didn’t take any vitamin supplements. Calcium supplements have been linked to kidney stones and bloating in other studies, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporatic fractures,” the authors write. “We should return to seeing calcium as an important component of a balanced diet.”

The study, aimed at seeing if calcium supplements affect cardiovascular risk, found no direct link between the supplements and heart attacks, nor did they identify brands of supplements. Participants answered questions about supplement use and diet in an 11-year health study.

The study did not look at what caused the heart attacks, but “supplements cause calcium levels to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful,” the authors write.

“Doctors who work with the elderly and people who are postmenopausal routinely tell them to take a calcium supplement,” says Linda Russell, a rheumatologist and osteoporosis specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “It’s really time to re-examine that philosophy. Other studies about calcium have been suggesting this in recent years, but maybe this study really should get doctors to rethink this approach.”

Strategies for preventing bone thinning in postmenopausal women have recently come under review; the Food and Drug Administration warned in the New England Journal of Medicine May 9 about risks associated with some bisphosphonates and how long to take them. Some bisphosphonates, widely prescribed to treat osteoporosis and prevent fractures, have been linked to a rare atypical thigh bone fracture.

“It’s very important for people to be vigilant, keep track of medications and talk with their doctors,” says Elizabeth Shane, professor of medicine at Columbia University’s Department of Medicine and spokeswoman for the American Society of Bones and Mineral Research. “The knowledge base is continually changing.”

Russell says she re-evaluates a patient’s need for bisphosphonates every year.

Shane advises patients to get their calcium naturally from their diet in small doses so it is absorbed throughout the day and to use a supplement only to make up a difference if they fall short of the daily requirement.

For a postmenopausal woman age 51 to 70, when osteoporosis becomes a greater danger, the recommended range is 1,000 to 1,200 mg. After age 71, it’s 1,200 mg.
 

© 2012 USA TODAY under contract with YellowBrix. All rights reserved.



 

mlc:

Ed.:

@Reader: Here’s a link to the source material:

Calcium supplements: bad for the heart? by Ian R Reid, Mark J Bolland, Heart and Education in Heart (An international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in all areas of cardiology), Volume 98, Issue 12

http://heart.bmj.com/content/98/12/895.extract

Alena Shelly:

I like this article for citing an actual doctor and she says that each person needs to do their own research and know what is best for them.

I use a great multi (http://www.esupplements.com/products/gaspari-anavite/) which has both calcium AND magnesium – which is important you take together for absorption.

It seems that would explain why calcium supplements are not good for you but calcium in your diet is.

Donald M. Ely:

reader:

May 25, 2012
Richard Graham

Calcium supplements may raise heart attack risk

Taking a calcium supplement to help prevent bones from thinning puts people at a greater heart attack risk, says a report out today in the journal Heart.

The study of approximately 24,000 people ages 35 to 64 found those who regularly tookcalcium supplements were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t. Those who took only calcium supplements were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as those who didn’t take any vitamin supplements. Calcium supplements have been linked to kidney stones and bloating in other studies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporatic fractures,” the authors write. “We should return to seeing calcium as an important component of a balanced diet.”

The study, aimed at seeing if calcium supplements affect cardiovascular risk, found no direct link between the supplements and heart attacks, nor did they identify brands of supplements. Participants answered questions about supplement use and diet in an 11-year health study.

The study did not look at what caused the heart attacks, but “Supplements cause calcium levels to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful,” the authors write.

“Doctors who work with the elderly and people who are postmenopausal routinely tell them to take a calcium supplement,” says Linda Russell, a rheumatologist and osteoporosis specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “It’s really time to re-examine that philosophy. Other studies about calcium have been suggesting this in recent years, but maybe this study really should get doctors to rethink this approach.”

Strategies for preventing bone thinning in postmenopausal women have recently come under review; the Food and Drug Administration warned in the New England Journal of Medicine May 9 about risks associated with some bisphosphonates and how long to take them. Some bisphosphonates, widely prescribed to treat osteoporosis and prevent fractures, have been linked to a rare atypical thigh bone fracture.

“It’s very important for people to be vigilant, keep track of medications and to talk with their doctors,” says Elizabeth Shane, professor of medicine at Columbia University’s Department of Medicine and spokesperson for the American Society of Bones and Mineral Research. “The knowledge base is continually changing.”

Russell says she reevaluates a patient’s need for bisphosphonates every year.

Shane advises patients to get their calcium naturally from their diet in small doses so it is absorbed throughout the day, and to use a supplement only to make up a difference if they fall short of the daily requirement.

For a postmenopausal woman between ages 51 and 70, when osteoporosis becomes a greater danger, the recommended range is 1,000 to 1,200 mg. After age 71, it’s 1,200 mgs.

Pages:12»
About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Service