Did someone say that calcium supplementation by postmenopausal women increases their risk of having a heart attack??
Oh my. Let me start by saying that I NEVER reference the outcome of a diet- related health study without reading it myself. I try and check who funded the research, check the sample size and duration of the study, and read the actual findings.
Newspapers and news programs report controversial headlines called a “hook” (this sells papers and gets us to watch the evening news) while underplaying or not even mentioning the actual study outcomes and what it all means to the public. As a result, we “hear” one thing, trust its validity, and can be making very costly health related decisions based on half- truths or misinformation.
On July 29, the news proclaimed that postmenopausal women taking calcium supplements could be putting themselves at increased risk of a heart attack. I know that this information caused thousands of women to stop taking their calcium supplement and to question what they had been told about the need for calcium to prevent or minimize osteoporosis.
As soon as I heard the news, I knew that something had to be “off” with the reporting of this study’s results and so I checked it out myself. If you are interested in reading the study results, check out the following link: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/341/jul29_1/c3691. As with all research study reports, it is cumbersome and technical to read, but, the results are clear as a bell.
I will try to be brief and to the point. The study did not include calcium supplements with Vitamin D. The study included straight calcium supplements without Vitamin D. This is a major point that will become crystal clear as your read on. Please take a calcium supplement with vitamin D. The Metabolism Miracle suggests taking two 500-600mg calcium/day with 200 IU Vitamin D per tab. This is the way most over the counter calcium with Vitamin D supplements are packaged, so it’s easy to find. Remember to take them at 2 separate meals as your body can only absorb 600mg calcium at a time.
Now, back to the story: Years ago, it seemed as if elderly, frail, thin women (often with a hump on their upper back and walking in a bent gait) were those who had the diagnosis of osteoporosis. They attributed their “hollow bones” to not drinking enough milk. That was then…this is now.
In the past ten years or so, women over the age of 50 have been encouraged to have a bone density test….seemingly to find osteoporosis at an earlier age, correct it with calcium/Vitamin D supplementation, and hopefully prevent problems in their future. Oddly, when this population began having bone density studies, it turned out that many women (many who were overweight) had low bone density test scores. As a result, the medical community began to formulate drugs like Boniva and Actonel to “strengthen” the bones of these women prone to osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, these drugs came with a very high price tags and the possibility of major side effects. They were also a band-aid and not a cure.
Very recently, your physician probably added a Vitamin D level to your annual physical exam’s lab work. The theory must have been to find out why 50 year olds already had low bone density (osteopenia)…maybe we could “catch it even sooner.” Guess what? Hundreds of thousands of people are now being told they have low Vitamin D levels and are being prescribed Vitamin D supplements.
So…..to recap. Bone density tests show that many people other than frail elderly women have osteoporosis, or its predecessor, osteopenia. As a result, post menopausal women are routinely advised to take calcium with Vitamin D. Looking deeper and looking at people years before their first bone density test, hundreds of thousands of people are learning that they have low serum Vitamin D. Now, prescriptions for Boniva, Actonel, and Vitamin D supplements are common place.
In the midst of this, on July 29, study results are reported that women taking calcium are increasing their risk for heart attacks. What’s a person to do?
Remember…the study did not follow women taking Calcium WITH Vitamin D. They purposely excluded anyone taking calcium with Vitamin D. The study only followed people taking Calcium supplements in and of themselves!!!???!?!?!?!?!
Now, something very interesting: 85% of people I see at my office for weight loss who have Metabolism B (the genetic predisposition to metabolic syndrome) have low Vitamin D. 85% of uncontrolled Met B patients have low Vitamin D!!!! These are the same people who would end up with osteopenia, osteoporosis in the future. Now, we are getting somewhere.
Did you know that Vitamin D is a hormone? Did you know that insulin is a hormone? Did you know that osteoporosis is often treated by an endocrinologist (and bone densities are done at many endocrinologist offices)? This is because low Vitamin D, over release of insulin, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and low/high serum calcium is treated by an ENDOCRINOLOGIST because they are all hormonal maladies! Yep….I am saying that osteoporosis’ root is in hormones and mainly the hormone INSULIN.
Low Vitamin D levels are not caused by low Vitamin D intake or less exposure to the sun. Osteoporosis is not solely caused by low calcium intake. What is causing your low Vitamin D? What is causing your osteopenia, osteoporosis, heart attacks, and strokes? UNCONTROLLED MET B.
If you never learn that your low Vitamin D, osteopenia, osteoporosis, hardening of blood vessels, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, poor circulation, increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, increased blood pressure, increase vascular inflammation is due to insulin imbalance…..you WILL need to take prescription Vitamin D, Actonel or Boniva, medication to lower cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood sugar. You will have a 50% greater chance of heart attack, stroke. You will be sick in the future.
If we keep band-aiding the results of hyperinsulinism with medications, but never get to the root of all these problems…hormonal imbalance of insulin……WE WILL NEVER GET HEALTHY and we will get sicker on more and more medications.
I guess something good did come from this controversial reporting…….I had a reason to write this blog. Please learn to read behind the headlines and please continue to read this blog for the whole story.