Are Calcium Supplements Safe?
Today is the 1st of August 2010. We were warned on our news last night in New Zealand about the possible side effects of calcium supplements. It is possible that taking calcium supplements can lead to heart disease, we were told. But we need calcium for a healthy heart, for healthy nerves, good sleep and a calm brain, and to prevent colon cancer. So now what?
Calcium build-ups can occur in the veins and arteries in people who have never touched a calcium supplement in their life. This doesn’t mean that they are eating too much calcium, but rather that they are not getting enough Vitamin C and Magnesium in the diet. We need Vitamin C and Magnesium, found in most fruit and vegetables, to assimilate calcium properly.
I hope this rather absurd revelation about calcium isn’t a lead up to drug companies persuading our governments that vitamin and mineral supplements should be banned because ‘they are dangerous to the health of the public when mis-used’. Dolomite powder is a natural calcium supplement: do the powers that be intend to remove this, too, from our list of available supplements?
Perhaps this latest calcium debate is a back-lash from the chemical companies which make things like deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics with petrochemicals, aluminium, dioxin, and other dangerous chemicals in them: we have had a run of documentaries recently on these cosmetic products and the dangers their chemicals pose to health. But they are all still for sale, and probably not much will change about the ingredients which are used in their making in the near future.
It is possible that calcium supplements taken too often, or in too large a dose, and without enough magnesium and vitamin C to accompany it, do have a depository effect in the arteries and veins. If you take magnesium and zinc, vitamin C, and you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, you should absorb some of the calcium in a tablet. However, much of the calcium in a tablet will actually go straight through you, unabsorbed, and should not pose a problem to your arteries at all. No more than……….
Calcium in Dairy Products: I wonder whether these research scientist took into account the quantity of dairy products these people on their trials were consuming? it is known that the calcium from dairy products can also build up into calcium deposits in the arteries.
Or did these research scientists give only calcium foods, without magnesium and vitamin C, with no fresh fruit and vegetables, to their research test-subjects? A little like giving pigs a steady diet of comfrey over a three month long trial, so that you can tell the world that comfrey causes liver cancer? And then get comfrey banned in all the countries where pharmaceuticals are sold, with a commercially made preparation, which now you have to buy, to take its place?
How dangerous, really, are calcium supplements to the health? Not really dangerous, in my opinion. My guess is that most people who get heart attacks have never touched a calcium supplement in their life. They are more than likely to be on some other medication from their doctor, and the side effects of these drugs are generally not divulged to the general public. The doctor is instructed by the drug companies what drug should be given to people. These remedies are not tried and tested by the doctor personally. He accepts what the drug companies tell him about the medications. He has no idea, really, except by watching his patients, what a drug is going to do. This drug-taking, drug-making culture of ours accepts newly invented drugs without much question as to their side-effects.
This is just such a different scenario to traditional herbal medicine, or acupuncture, or ayurvedic medicine: in these modalities, the remedies do not change by the week, and so the outcome of using the well-tried remedies is fairly well established.
The practice of orthodox medicine is such a contrast. It lacks history. The giving out of new medications, and sometimes many different combinatons of medications are taken at a time, goes on willy-nilly, unsupervised, undocumented and uncontested in the public arena.
So – even the well known Ayurvedic doctor Vasant Lad mentions in his book’Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ that dairy products can cause a build-up of calcium in the arteries. But do the research scientists make a comprehensive, intelligent study of this fact and put it on the national news?
No, they do not, because the milk-producing companies do not want their sales to be affected. They are powerful, wealthy companies which can influence topics of research. They can also influence our media into not publishing negative stuff about the effects of lots of milk drinking. We had a very good article about two years ago on research into milk which told us quite a bit about the effects of milk-drinking, but nothing has followed it up, and, certainly, the type of milk which was thought to be more harmful was not taken off the market, nor were any warnings put on that milk as to its negative effects on health.
The manufacturers of vitamin and mineral supplements, however, are easier to target, because they are not multi-million dollar enterprises compared to the multi-national drug companies, or even the milk producing companies. It does not take much to put a small competitor out of business, and announcing on national TV news that a product really is potentially that harmful is a pretty effective way to go about it.
Personally, I prefer to take calcium naturally. But I would hate to see herbal, vitamin, or mineral supplements made unavailable to the general public. I do not believe that a calcium supplement such as dolomite powder could really pose a serious threat to people’s health.
You don’t need to worry at all about over-doing calcium if you take it via your food. The best calcium and magnesium supplement is a home made calcium tonic – one which you make yourself out of egg shells and cider vinegar. This is entirely safe, though not for people being treated for chronic candida. See my post for Best Calcium Supplement.
Vegetarians, even those which do not use milk, are not generally deficient in calcium, because they eat a lot of fruit and vegetables which provide calcium. One good handful of sesame seeds provides you with about 1200mg of calcium and magnesium which won’t have a build up effect in the arteries. One handful of sesame seeds with 1200mg of calcium is about almost as much calcium as you need for a day. Sunflower seeds, soy beans, and the brassica family which includes broccoli, are other good sources of calcium.