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Is Calcium Causing You a Heart Risk?
September 12, 2013

Is Calcium Causing You a Heart Risk?

Volume 1, Issue 6: September, 2013

Hello from! Thanks for joining me on this journey of health transformation!

You probably noticed that I changed the name of this newsletter. I'm always trying to improve the value I bring to my clients and readers, so I decided that writing about a variety of subjects, especially those that I use in my nutrition practice, would be more helpful and interesting to you.

What do you think? Please reply to this email. Thanks!

In this issue…

  • Is Calcium Causing You a Heart Risk?
  • “In case you missed them” New Website Pages
  • Upcoming Topics and Pages
  • Ideas and Products to Enhance Your Life

Is Calcium Causing You a Heart Risk?

Everyone knows that calcium is required for strong bones and teeth, right? You know that you need mega doses of calcium to prevent fractures from osteoporosis, right?

Wait, but, do you?

The current daily recommendations for elemental calcium intake from the USDA for men and women (not children) are:

  • 1000 mg for men ages 19-70
  • 1200 mg for men over 70
  • 1000 mg for women ages 19-50
  • 1200 mg for women over 50

So, if you take one 1000 mg capsule of some form of calcium and drink one glass of milk, you should be more than fine, right?

Ah, if only the human body were so simple. Luckily for us, the body is NOT that simple, and calcium intake requirements vary based on many factors which will be covered in future newsletters. So you could be getting too much, or not enough, and not even realize it.

And realize that calcium is only one of many factors involved in strong bones and teeth.

For now, this newsletter is concerned with the dangers of taking TOO MUCH supplemental calcium.

Why am I focusing on too much calcium intake when news articles and marketing ads warn you of the dangers of osteoporosis and hip fractures from not getting enough calcium? That’s exactly why!

Many of you are popping Tums like candy, or taking a mega-dose at one time per day. What is that doing for you?

Researchers have recently analyzed a lot of data from other studies and concluded that men and women taking calcium supplements generally have a 20-30% higher risk of heart attacks than those who don’t take supplements. Don’t throw your supplements out yet; there is more to this story.

These researchers didn't take into account when the supplements were taken, or several other factors, so their results may not apply to you. However, the results they did get are a cause for concern, so that's why I'm telling you about it.

Doctors and researchers have known for years that blood calcium levels are closely regulated by the body. This means that only so much calcium in its ionic (or free) state is allowed in the blood during normal health. The rest is either in bones and teeth, or is bound to protein carriers that “hold the hands” of the calcium to keep it safe until it is needed.

So when you eat or drink something with calcium in it, your body is going to absorb, eliminate or dump that calcium somewhere.

The reason calcium blood levels are so tightly regulated is that low levels of ionic calcium depress the heart, and high levels can cause such prolonged contractions that the heart may stop entirely.

Let me say that last part again: … high levels can cause such prolonged contractions that the heart may stop entirely. This is known as a heart attack.


But if your body gets excess calcium out of the blood quickly to prevent heart problems, then why would a high dose raise the risk of cardiovascular death? It probably is not because of high ionic calcium levels in the blood.

Remember that one of the thing I said is, “So when you eat or drink something with calcium in it, your body is going to absorb, eliminate or dump that calcium somewhere.” Well, researchers suspect that one of the “somewhere” places is in your arteries. (There are also more undesirable places that it can be dumped, too).

You’ve already heard of “hardening of the arteries” or “calcification of the arteries”. These happen when the inside wall of arteries (the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart) thicken due to inflammation and deposited plaques that consist mostly of fibrous tissue, fats, and calcium.

What researchers suspect is that when you take that hypothetical 1000 mg calcium supplement that I mentioned before, that amount of calcium overwhelms the body, causing it to dump calcium in your arteries, ultimately leading to heart attack or stroke.

So what Should You Do?

What should you do? First, talk to your doctor, as I can’t possibly (and can’t legally) give you personalized advice in a newsletter.

However, one thing I CAN do is to advise you to try to get your calcium intake from foods, not supplements. Calcium is absorbed more effectively with/from food.

Milk and dairy products are usually the first ones that come to mind with calcium. The usual dose is about 300 mg of calcium per cup of milk. So three cups of milk and a cheese stick and you’re taking in the required amount.

But if you’re like many people in the world who can’t tolerate dairy, then what are your options?

Of course foods and drinks fortified with calcium (orange juice, cereals, rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.) may be options. Most of those milk-alternatives will give you 300 mg of calcium per cup, too. (Don’t take my word for it; read the labels).

Real whole foods are other options.

  • Eating the bones of small canned fish such as sardines has about 60 mg of calcium per can. My dad used to eat sardine and sliced onion sandwiches when I was a kid.
  • Wild Alaskan canned pink salmon has about 40 mg per ¼ cup drained.
  • 1 cup of chopped, cooked kale has about 100 mg. Studies show that its absorption is equal to or higher than the calcium from milk.
  • 1 cup of collard greens has about 180 mg.
  • 1 ounce (about 22 almonds) has about 80 mg.
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets has about 100 mg.
  • 1 cup of okra slices has about 120 mg.
  • ½ cup of great northern beans or navy beans has about 70 mg.

So eating a whole-foods diet can get you the calcium you need. More importantly, since calcium is only one of many, many nutrients your body needs, whole foods can supply your body with a wide range of nutrients that your body can use.

What if you must take a calcium supplement of some sort? Studies show that you can’t absorb more than 300-500 mg of calcium at a time, so taking a mega-dose in one sitting really isn’t going to do your body much good, and has the potential to do it much harm.

In case you missed them: New pages on the website

Aerobic vaginitis (AV) is a bacterial infection with vaginal discharge that is often mistaken for BV (bacterial vaginosis). How do you tell the difference? Knowing the differences can mean being cured - or not.

Bioclinic Naturals Probiotic-Pro-12 is a multi-species probiotic supplement with 12 strains of beneficial bacteria. It is intended to be used to contribute to natural healthy gut flora.

Upcoming Topics and Pages

Look for these new pages to be posted in the near future:
  1. Acne. Is it rearing its face again?

Do YOU have a suggestion for a topic?

Ideas and Products to Enhance Your Life

Microwarriors 2: The Origin and the Destiny Exciting news from Healthpoint Productions! "Microwarriors 2: The Origin and the Destiny" movie is going to be released soon.

This is the second of three releases that combines cutting-edge medical information, interviews with experts, and understandable animations of how probiotics work in a format that is not only informative, but entertaining as well.

Leonard Nimoy co-hosts and narrates this edition.

Coupons for discounts off the second edition are going to be found on over 1.5 Million GoodBelly Juice Containers in over 2,000 Retail stores. I will keep you posted on the release.

You can watch video clips from the first movie, "Microwarriors: The Power of Probiotics" here.

(Note that I have no involvement in the production or release of these movies. I'm excited because the DVD's can help explain concepts about probiotics in movies that I try to explain in words.)

You can purchase the first edition here.

Comments? Questions? Ideas?

I’d love to know what you think. If you found the information helpful, or have comments or questions about it, or ideas you’d like to see addressed, please leave me a message, either by replying to this e-zine, or commenting on one of the webpage links at the beginning of this newsletter, or at Contact Us. Also, feel free to forward this to anyone you think would benefit from it.

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To your best health,

from PowerOf

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