• Should Calcium Supplements Be Prescribed For Osteoporosis Prevention? A Strong Vote For NO!

    Posted April 30, 2014: by Bill Sardi

    Dr. Ian R Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, writing in the Journal of Bone Metabolism, asks an ongoing question in medicine: should it continue to be assumed that supplemental calcium slows the loss of bone during the osteoporotic years and prevents hip fractures?

    That assumption, says Dr. Reid, has prevailed since the 1960s.  Dr. Reid says that recommendation “has now changed dramatically.”

    In the light of very little data to support calcium supplementation to prevent hip fracture, calcium pills get a “thumbs down” from Dr. Reid.  Not only because supplemental calcium doesn’t convincingly reduce hip fracture that are often mortal in themselves, but as time has progressed it has become apparent that with prolonged calcium supplementation there is an increased risk for heart attacks.  [Journal Bone Metabolism Feb. 2014]

    Dr. Reid says supplemental strontium, which binds to the calcium cell- surface receptor and substitutes for calcium in a wide range of biological functions, is associated with a 60% increase in the risk for a heart attack.

    An increased risk of blood clots and kidney stones are also associated with supplemental calcium.

    Dr. Reid says the balance between benefits and risks of calcium supplementation among adults of advanced age is consistently negative.  He concludes that “calcium supplements have little role to play in the context of the modern therapeutics of osteoporosis.”  ©2014 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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