“High intakes of calcium in women are associated with an increased risk of dying from heart disease, according to new research.”
(As reported in British Heart Foundation, link to full story below)
The story reports on a Swedish study that demonstrated
“an increased incidence of heart and circulatory disease in those with a high dietary calcium intake. It also showed there is an increased cardiovascular risk if a woman with a high dietary calcium intake uses calcium supplements, too.” The research was published in the British Medical Journal.
This isn’t the first time questions over ‘excessive’ calcium supplementation have been in the news. Recent studies have indicated similar health issues with Men and calcium intake. It is widely acknowledged that women have a greater calcium requirement in general and particularly during pregnancy, lactation and post-menopause.
However in the BHF article it was also pointed out by Maureen Talbot their Senior Cardiac Nurse “Calcium supplements are prescribed for a specific reason so you should never stop taking them without consulting your GP.”
Interestingly the BHF article also stated of the research “And the results showed an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in those with a low dietary calcium intake.”
So the question is as a man or women do I need calcium supplementation and if so how much; and if I already take it should I cut down? As always with any form of nutritional supplement it makes the case for getting the right advice from a suitable qualified individual such as a nutritional practitioner, GP, or reputable supplement company.
In our opinion people should not ever need to supplement with high doses of calcium, but more in the region of 200mg (to bridge any gap) and the form of calcium used is of key importance as to how well it will meet that need. The Cytoplan calcium supplement for example is an organic calcified seaweed with a porous and hydrolised surface area because of years in the ocean and this helps it to be very soluble in the hcl acid of the stomach; this permits uptake into food calcium metabolic pathways for optimum end organ fate. Calcium carbonate, conversely is not soluble and high doses will hence increase the risk of kidney stones and arterial calcification.
And finally when it comes to calcium intake bear this in mind when looking at a Multivitamin/mineral formula – does it contain calcium and if so is that suitable for you?
Calcium provides a role in:
- Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones
- Contributes to normal cell division and differentiation
- Contributes to normal muscle function
- Contributes to normal neurotransmission
- Contributes to normal blood clotting
- Contributes to normal energy metabolism
- Contributes to normal function of digestive enzymes
Article By: Amanda
(as always, please contact me if you have any questions about your Calcium intake or any other health matters)