More evidence AGAINST calcium supplementation

Discussion in 'News and Research' started by IanH, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    Ian Reid says: "Thus, the available data suggest that the widespread use of calcium supplements in older individuals is doing more harm than good and should be abandoned."

    Add this to other recent evidence suggesting that calcium supplementation increases risk of some types of breast cancer.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks, Ian. I'll check out this website. My doc told me to ditch the calcium a while back despite the fact that I have osteopenia in one hip.

    Love, Mikie
  3. KerryK

    KerryK Member

    This is old news now, but it takes a long time to overturn conventional wisdom even when it is wrong. We have all been on the wrong bandwagon for a long time now on many other supposed health initiatives, such as lower egg and salt consumption, lipitor, anti-depressants, etc... I am sure the list is much longer and is growing. How much harm has been caused in the meantime by our herd instincts?
  4. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    The issue of dietary supplementation; whether to supplement and how much to take is a very complex area. Of course you could avoid supplementation completely, which is what most medical advisors would recommend for those who do not have a disease but if you have an illness with little or no effective treatments then you must decide for yourself what you will do.

    If you make a decision early in the process of gathering scientific information then you run the risk of doing some unintended damage. You take a risk because not enough is known. At some point you decide that enough of the right information is available. Take vitamin D which is a complex decision. Without supplementation most vitD is obtained from sun exposure. So first decision is: Do I get enough sun exposure to make all the vitamin D I need and will any balance required come from my diet? Before we answer this question: How much vitamin D do I need? This is hard to answer because the sun is making it. You could get a blood test. Even then, how much should we have in our blood?

    I don't plan to answer this, you can do that for yourself, but "experts" disagree over this. Who should I listen to?
    What is the "conventional wisdom"?? You could go 100% natural and only get it from the sun exposure (the amount gained from average diet is very small). So how much sun exposure do I need? Again "experts" disagree. What is the "conventional wisdom"?? Most people and experts now agree that because of our lifestyle we do not get enough sun to make enough vitaminD. If everyone decided to follow the "natural" route, industry in high latitude countries would come a halt.

    So, the point I am making is that none of this is simple and does take a long time to get enough facts to make a "wise" decision. In the case of vitamin D, it has been shown that in over 95% of people up to 20,000IU daily is safe but if you look at the "conventional" RDA you only need 200-400IU daily. All we can do now is to follow the research and that will change over time.

    Why are some doctors and pharmacies still pushing calcium when surely they have read the current research? I think most doctors are no longer recommending calcium supplementation but they are not recommending magnesium or vitamin D or vitamin K2 etc. Well that is understandable because not enough is known - there is no "conventional wisdom". In the case of specific illnesses few doctors will recommend supplementation but some do - they are taking the risk - because after all even they do not know all the facts - all the facts are not known.

    My position is not to trust any clinicians of any discipline - I only consider scientific research results as much as possible then I take the risk - hopefully a well informed risk. It seems that most vitamin supplementation is safe even calcium supplementation is safe except in some cases:

    I quoted:
    Ian Reid says: "Thus, the available data suggest that the widespread use of calcium supplements in older individuals is doing more harm than good and should be abandoned."

    I do not agree with Dr. Reid, it should not be abandoned, each case is different and we need more information about who can/should take calcium and how much. However the pharmacies and health stores should should stop advertising it so brazenly, they could be doing some harm.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I had read that weight-bearing exercise and boron helps with bone mass. My doc didn't want me taking calcium due to strong family history of heart attacks.

    I've always encouraged people here to learn as much as possible and weigh the potential risks versus the potential benefits. You are right--there either isn't enough info out there or it is such a complex issue that no one viewpoint is decisive.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm not sure that profit is the motive for individual docs; I just think they have a mindset which doesn't change that often unless they see overwhelming proof of something. Medicine, as a whole, however, is profit driven and the need to avoid liability can lead to unnecessary tests and procedures. As well as being well informed as a patient, I also encourage people to get second, and even third, opinions before having surgery.

    In a perfect scenario, we are partners with out healthcare providers. In reality, it doesn't always work out that way.

    Love, Mikie