Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we’re going to talk about Calcium supplementation: the risks versus the benefits.
Calcium is essential for organ function, bone health, and muscle function.
For decades we have thought that Calcium supplementation was mandatory for older people, especially women over the age of 50 with Osteoporosis.
The standard recommendation of 1200mg per day has recently been called into question with some recent studies.
I’ve been telling patients for a few years now that you don’t need Calcium supplementation because of some of the side effects, and the fact that you can get Calcium through your diet.
For most people, I recommend getting Calcium through your diet.
Several studies have come out that prove this point.
Downsides to Calcium Supplementation
Here are some of the downsides of Calcium supplementation:
- Increased risk of Dementia in older women
- Increased risk of Stroke in women
- Increased risk of Heart Disease in women
- Kidney Stones (doubled risk when taking Calcium)
The reason I recommend getting a Cardiac CT Scoring ( a CT Scan of your heart and lungs) is because we’re looking for Calcium in your Coronary arteries.
We know that if there is Calcium laying down in your coronary arteries (hard plaque, you’re at high risk for having soft plaque, which correlates with heart disease and heart attacks.
Think about that. We’re looking for Calcium there. The same thing goes for joints and arthritis. (I.E. you get spurs, which is from laying down too much Calcium)
My Recommended Alternatives
So it’s probably true that when you take Calcium supplements, especially at the recommended doses of 1200-1500mg, it is way too much!
Dr. Willard, a Harvard expert I was studying during my research, says that you don’t need over 500-700mg per day of Calcium, and you can easily get that through your diet.
- Some dairy
- All Green Vegetables
You don’t need an extra supplement.
In addition to getting Calcium through your diet, I also recommend taking Vitamin D3 with K2. Taking Vitamin D3 with K2 allows the D to bring the Calcium into your bones and not your arteries.
Here are some other alternatives to Calcium that I prefer:
- Vitamin D with K (as mentioned above)
- Weight Bearing Exercise
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy ( a lot more effective than Calcium in preventing Osteoporosis).
This is a new take on Calcium!
My advice is to do your research before you start taking 1200-1500mg of Calcium daily, especially if you’re an elderly woman.