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Calcium Study Douses Fears

From eNewsletter 10/21/2019

DID YOU KNOW that meat from chicken and turkey raised conventionally is twice as likely to contain Salmonella as poultry labeled organic or antibiotic-free?

In addition, Salmonella from conventional poultry is significantly more likely to be resistant to antibiotics, according to a new study presented at IDWeek 2019.


Steve and Bonnie: Over the last decade, there hasn't been another supplement more scrutinized than calcium. Studies for and against calcium's safety have littered prominent journals.

Our opinion has always been that calcium is inextricably linked to individual needs. The one-size-fits-all approach doctors followed by prescribing 1200 mg. indiscriminately, without the assistance of vitamin D3 and magnesium, did major damage to calcium's reputation. So what did doctors do? They stopped prescribing calcium altogether. That was the worst thing they could have done.

There is a sweet spot for supplemental calcium that lies somewhere between 250 mg. and 800 mg. depending upon individual needs, including vitamin D3 level and intake, magnesium intake, and of course, how much calcium one gets through diet. 

A new study presented at American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2019 Annual Meeting proves our point beautifully.

A 12-month intervention comparing supplemental to dietary calcium intake did not demonstrate a negative impact on vascular health in healthy postmenopausal women. These data contribute evidence to the short-term safety of these interventions for calcium intake in healthy postmenopausal women. Why is short-term safety of calcium so important? Previous data have shown any increase in the risk of myocardial infarction seems to manifest early (within 12 to 24 months) following initiation of calcium supplements. The study was structured brilliantly. Researchers compared vascular outcomes of healthy, nonsmoking postmenopausal women, who were randomized for 12 months to 1200 mg. daily of calcium through food; 750 mg. of calcium citrate supplement plus counseling to restrict dietary intake of calcium to 450 mg. for a daily total of 1200 mg.; or a control group, which received no intervention. All groups received supplemental vitamin D to obtain a total of 800 IU/day even though all were vitamin D sufficient. After 12 months, there were no differences between the groups in carotid femoral pulse wave velocity and carotid intima-media thickness, key indicators of vascular health. In addition, there were no differences between the groups in terms of lipoproteins, C-reactive protein, and systolic blood pressure. "We felt that if there should be such a serious impact on cardiac events, we would be able to see it in early vascular markers," the lead author explained. "We were not able to find any differences in any of the measurements we did. Therefore, I am confident that there are no serious and important effects of calcium supplementation, at the dose we gave, in healthy postmenopausal women on vascular health".


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