By Ann Louise Gittleman:The Hearty Soul
Say no to overload via supplementation.
Simply put, I’m not crazy about calcium supplements. That may come as a surprise because you’ve likely consistently been surrounded by the notion of “the more calcium, the better” since childhood.
Whether it’s encouraging children to have a “milk mustache” or warning adults and seniors to take their calcium supplementation for the sake of their bone health and future mobility, thecalcium push has been surrounding us for a very long time.
In fact, since the 1950s, the calcium recommendation for men and women ages 51 through 75 has steadily climbed to the current recommendation of up to 1800 milligrams per day – and even higher amounts are recommended for those over 70.
Achieving this mineral mega dose is only possible with supplementation, so it’s become an accepted belief that faithfully taking daily calcium supplements with a tall glass of milk is a proactive measure for your health.
The Right Ratios
It’s not the case that you don’t need calcium. In fact, you do – but only in the proper ratio to other essential minerals.
Supplementation is troublesome because without balancing calcium with magnesium and phosphorus, calcium can end up in the blood vessels, kidneys, joints, and coronary arteries.
Calcium competes with magnesium in the body, so when it’s not balanced with magnesium, the onset of serious health issues can begin. These include an irregular, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, tissue calcification, the formation of stones, joint pain, depression, fatigue, and even sudden death.
Perhaps the most interesting consequence from an improper calcium ratio is compromised bone health. I bet that’s a surprise!
It’s now coming to the forefront through research that osteoporosis – the exact condition calcium supplementation is meant to prevent – may actually be perpetuated by high doses of calcium.
This happens because the bones are made of many elements like magnesium, manganese, silica, and boron – not just calcium. Too much calcium crowds out the other essential bone-building components and makes for a porous, brittle skeleton. Also, calcium in excess of what is absolutely essential will be stored in your tissues, causing decreased joint mobility, hard and inflexible muscles or ligaments, and stiff, narrowing arteries.
An overload of calcium in the body also acts as a sedative to your nervous system – slowing the thyroid and adrenal glands, as well as your metabolism. Here I see a clear connection between calcium supplements and gradual weight gain, inability to lose weight, and stalled weight loss.
FoodMatters.tv also reported on the dangers of having too much calcium:
2 international studies involving a large observational cohort (over 23,000 participants) reviewed calcium intake from food and supplements and revealed an association between high calcium intake, more than 1400mg/day andincreased heart attack.
The current estimated risks of excess calcium intake; in 1000 individuals supplemented with high dose calcium, there was a 30% increase in MI [Myocardial Infarction], a 15% increase in stroke and a massive 40% increase in CVD death. The excess dose was considered at more than 500 mg in any one supplement.
They also note that very high intakes of calcium, especially when taken on an empty stomach, can produce small repetitive spikes in blood calcium that can potentially deposit in the arteries.
A+ Calcium Sources
To prevent calcium overload, I prefer that you get your calcium from your food.
According to FoodMatters.tv, “When calcium is taken in the form of food, absorption is controlled and slowed and, therefore, less of a spike is produced, if any at all.”
But when it comes to dairy, please be very careful. If you enjoy dairy without intolerance, I suggest you absolutely avoid milk from animals that have been given drugs like hormones and antibiotics. Instead, look for fermented, full fat pasture-raised dairy products which are a source of naturally slimming CLA, built in protective enzymes, beneficial bacteria, and the fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2.
Other fabulous food sources of calcium are chia seeds and organic kale, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
If you feel that supplementation is necessary, there are safe options to pair with these delicious foods. Rather than taking a supplement solely for calcium, choose a balanced one that is either a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio in favor of magnesium.
I recommend UNI KEY’s Female Multiple or Male Multiple. These uniquely designed multivitamins contain 30 key vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants – including the ideal 2:1 magnesium to calcium ratio.
It’s also a great idea to take a separate magnesium supplement with your multiple. This is a must-do for anyone who has been faithfully taking calcium, calcium and more calcium, and fears they’re a prime candidate for overload.
UNI KEY’s Mag-Key contains the most efficiently absorbed forms of heart-protective magnesium – glycinate, taurinate and orotate. This formula will also promote restful sleep, improve your ability to manage stress, and help with constipation.
It’s time to wipe off that milk mustache and replace it with calcium-rich foods on your plate and the optimum magnesium and calcium balance your body needs.