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Calcium supplements are a flawed bone health insurance policy
You’re worried about your bone health…..
Because, bones are “made” of calcium, you opt to get a little extra calcium, by taking a calcium supplement, logic says, more calcium going in……
Means more calcium goes into your bones.
So you bones are stronger. Yah !
But, this assumes, the extra calcium, goes into your bones ? Does it ? This is the question, the folks at the Kingston Study Centre, in Canada, asked.
Now to answer this question, they needed to be able to “see” where the calcium was going….
It’s pretty easy to “see” calcium, in someone’s bones. Bone mineral density, is a reflection of how much calcium is in them.
But, it is also possible to “see” calcium” in blood vessels………….
Now the fancy pants, state of the art way, to do this, is to use computer tomography and get a CAC (coronary artery calcification) score.
Unfortunately, our team did not have access, to one of these machines, so they resorted to a more traditional approach……..they looked at X-rays of the lateral spine.
Instead of focusing on the bone, they focused on the main blood vessel, carrying blood out the heart, the aorta. They carefully scored the calcium content, in four segments of the aorta, deriving, the abdominal aortic calcification (AAC).
The way this scoring works :
No calcium build up, gets a score of 0, as the calcium build up, increases, so does the score, topping, out at 3, for the worst case scenario.
Calcium builds up
Our team, “looked” for calcium in 296 “ordinary” senior Canadians, at the start of the study and then again, 5 years later.
They found, calcium builds up, over time.
On average, the score increased by 1.86 ± 3.24 points, over 5 years.
But, the rate of increase, showed quite a bit of variability. Some people, showed, little to no progression and others, the progression was “accelerated”.
The speed wobble
Using the answers to an interviewer-administered questionnaire, done at the start of the study, the team, explored, what might account for the “accelerated” progression.
Here is part of the multivariable model of aortic calcification they generated, specifically for women.
NOTE : When something is on the right hand side of the dotted line, is shows the factor, accelerates AAC.
Getting old, was the biggest driver of aortic calcification.
The other big driver………….. was BAD BODY CHEMISTRY.
No surprises here. Where the surprise came, the people who were taking a calcium supplement, showed an increased rate of aortic calcification. The effect was particularly noticeable in women.
These results suggest, that some of that extra calcium, was going into the blood vessels. But, no worries, the bones were still benefiting, right ?
Not exactly. When the team looked at bone mineral density, it had declined, in both the supplement takers and non-supplement takers…..
TO THE SAME EXTENT !
Taking a calcium supplement, had not afforded ANY bone protection. WTF ! Let’s review the biology…………
Bones STORE calcium
This calcium, is then made available to the body, as needed. The parathyroid gland, has special sensors, that monitor calcium levels, when it detects that calcium levels, in the blood, are low, parathyroid hormone is released.
Parathyroid hormone’s chief job, is to makes sure, calcium deliveries are made.
If, the supplies of calcium, are compromised, because the is little to no, calcium in the diet, the parathyroid hormone, MAKES A PLAN. It reaches into the bone cookie jar, to meet the calcium need.
If this happens on a continual basis………… bone health, is compromised.
So putting more calcium in, under these circumstances, makes sense.
But, it doesn’t when, calcium levels are adequate…
When bone stores are adequate
The people in this study, were not calcium deficient per se. Both calcium supplementers and calcium non-supplementers were consuming calcium.
On average, they were consuming 834.0 mg ± 461.9 mg/day from their diet.
So there was …..
No calcium shortage
And as such, it is a little naïve, to think, the extra calcium, would end up in the bones. This study, confirms, it won’t……………
Calcium must be processed
In the best case scenario, the extra calcium, ends up in the sewer and in the worst case scenario, it end ups, in the arteries…………leading to
Hardening of the arteries
Inflexible blood vessels
When we think of heart disease, we typically think of cholesterol, clogging up the arteries. But, one of the things that characterizes heart disease, is the blood vessels, lose their elasticity.
It is this inflexibility, that makes them vulnerable to blocks.
When a “block” happens, they can’t MAKE A PLAN…
Calcium is a two edged sword.
More calcium not the solution
The fundamental problem, for most older bones, is they’re just not as lively, as they once were.
They’re often less stimulated and contending with bad body chemistry.
These are the issues you need to address, for better bone health !
Basically, you’ve got to give the calcium, somewhere to go.
Don’t fall for the marketing, turning your blood vessels into bone, won’t create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY and BETTER HEALTH, in the long run.
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