All of our lives we've been coached to "drink our milk" and that calcium will make our bones strong driving many, especially women, to believe that weak bones and hip fractures are inevitable if copious amounts of milk are not consumed and/or a calcium supplement is not taken. There are MANY calcium supplements on the market and I would guess that everyone reading this knows someone that currently takes one. As is true with many supplements, we are led to believe that extra calcium, (in the form of supplements) will protect our bones and make us healthier.
Unfortunately some new research has shown that taking a daily calcium supplement may increase
heart attack risk. The study found that calcium supplementation resulted in a 30% greater risk of heart attack among healthy women. Additionally, small increases in stroke and overall mortality were also observed. The observations are exclusive to calcium supplement use; as high levels of dietary calcium had no deleterious effects. Couple these findings with the relatively insignificant effect that calcium supplements have
on fracture prevention and it becomes fairly obvious that calcium supplementation is generally - not all that it's "cracked" up to be.
This isn't to say that calcium can or should be avoided - it's necessary not only to build and maintain teeth and bones, but it also plays a role in blood clotting, nerve function, muscle contraction, blood pressure and acid/base regulation. The underlying message here is: If it's possible to get adequate amounts of a nutrient through diet alone don't rely on a supplement to do it for you.
Cruddy Diet + Supplements = One Foot In The Grave
Lean Grass-Fed Meats + Wild Caught Fish + Vegetables + Good Fats + Some Fruit = Long Healthy Life.