Calcium: Good for your bones but bad for your heart?
A few weeks ago, research was published in the British Journal of Medicine suggesting that calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart attack in healthy Zoomer women1. Before this news has you thinking you need to choose between your bone health and your heart, you’ll want to consider the complete calcium picture.
Scientists need to study nutritional compounds in isolation to gain better understanding of how our bodies work, but the truth is no single vitamin, mineral, plant-compound or healthy fat works in isolation. All whole, natural foods provide a variety of nutrients because they all work together in the body – some enhancing the benefits of others, some providing a yin & yang kind of balance.
Before you throw out your calcium supplements, consider this: Just last week, another article came out – this one from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say ing that the mineral magnesium helps protect against the risk of sudden cardiac death in healthy Zoomer women2.
This is a perfect example of nature’s balance. Calcium and magnesium are “partner minerals” – one works to contract muscle tissue while the other has a relaxation effect. Deficiency in one can create a deficiency in the other by preventing proper absorption and both are needed for optimal bone health (not to mention heart health).
If you step back from one-off studies of isolated nutrients and think about how the body works, one truth comes shining through – there is no magic bullet cure for any aspect of health, whether it’s bone and joint care or cardiovascular wellness. No magic pill or potion, even from a natural source like a calcium tablet, will provide the single solution.
For bones to be strong they need a combination of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and trace minerals. For joints to remain healthy they need a steady supply of anti-inflammatory fish oils and potent antioxidant vitamins called polyphenols and proanthocyadins. (All of these also keep the heart and blood vessels healthy, too, by the way.)
It’s easy to get caught up in a new piece of research that shows the positive benefits of one nutritional compound, as was the case with calcium. There is no question that calcium is needed for strong bones and that supplementation is the best way to get the recommended 1,200mg per day for Zoomer women. But what this new information on calcium supplementation is reminding us is that nutritional science is always evolving, and as we know better, we must do better. Calcium supplementation is only part of the better bone solution.
Eating large quantities of high quality food every day is challenging, so nutritional supplements are beneficial tools to combat modern day stressors, both psychological and environmental, so that you can live better long into our Zoomer years. As we carefully choose the supplements that will make up for the lacking in our diet, we must use Mother Nature as a guide for making the best choices available to us.
Select the highest quality supplements sourced from natural, whole foods. Choose products free of contaminants, binders, fillers, additives and preservatives, as these will place a burden on your body to detoxify and eliminate. And most importantly, choose supplements that are balanced in ways that compliment the natural biological processes of your body.
For optimal joint health combine Zwell Joint Health capsules daily with pharmaceutical grade Krill Oil and Organic Vitamin D by Zwell. Although other natural health products (such as glucosamine) aim to supplement the actual components of the joints, this does not address the root cause of joint pain for most people. The underlying cause of joint pain is inflammation. In clinical trials, 92% of users of the Reflexir compound reported significant relief from joint pain and experienced decreased inflammation3. In a separate clinical trial, Krill Oil reduced arthritis pain by 29% and stiffness by 20% in just 4 weeks4 due to its natural anti-inflammatory action. In addition to these studies, Statistics Canada found that Zoomers with insufficient Vitamin D levels were at greater risk for falls and fractures5 which can be a risk factor for bone and joint pain.
Supplementing a healthy diet and exercise regime with a powerful combination of high quality natural products can provide both preventative benefits and treatment for your bones and joints, and is an approach that can be taken when considering the choice of any supplements you take.
The content and opinions expressed in this article are the professional and/or personal view or opinion of the author only. Opinions expressed should not be construed as medical advice, and the article’s content is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional medical care and diagnosis. Individuals should always consult with their health care provider before beginning or changing any treatment program.
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(1) BMJ. 2010 Jul 29;341:c3691. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691.
(2) Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]
(3) Komal Mehta1, Jayesh Gala2, Surendra Bhasale3, et al. Comparison of glucosamine sulfate and a polyherbal supplement for the relief of osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2007, 7:34 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-34
(4) Journal of the American College of Nutrition May 2007
(5) Statistics Canada – www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2010001/article/11137-eng.htm