I am a big proponent of my patients taking supplements if they are done prudently. However, some patients needlessly take handfuls of supplements daily. One supplement that I feel is overrated is Calcium. If one is getting enough green vegetables and yogurt and cheese there should be no need to take calcium pills.
Numerous studies are showing that calcium supplementation can pose a health risk. For example studies have shown that there is:
An 86% jump in heart disease – Following 24,000 Germans for 11 years, scientists found an alarming 86 percent jump in heart disease in those who supplemented with calcium following common recommendations.
Nearly doubles fatal prostate cancer – A Harvard study found men who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer. A follow up study found men with the highest calcium intake – at least 2,000 milligrams a day – had nearly double the risk of developing fatal prostate cancer.
Doubled Sudden Death – Half of a group of 1,471 healthy postmenopausal women took daily calcium supplementation and had almost double the number of heart attacks, sudden death.
Seven-fold Rise in Dementia -Another recent study found that among women who have had a stroke, taking calcium was associated with a seven-fold rise in the number who went on to have dementia.
When calcium is taken as a pill it cause a rapid surge in the mineral’s levels in the blood, which you do not get with foods. This spike could cause harmful blood clots more likely to form. That could in turn, trigger heart attacks or harm brain cells, resulting in a higher incidence of dementia.