In recent years, the interest in supplements seems to be growing year by year.
However, there are two major problems with current supplements and health foods.
- Regulations are much more lax than for pharmaceuticals. This means that ineffective products are easily available at high prices.
- There is less research data than for pharmaceuticals. In other words, no one can say for sure about the long-term dangers.
As a result, many people are forced to pay unnecessarily high prices for health foods that not only have no effect, but may even shorten their lifespan in the long run.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to somehow sort out what we know and what we don't know, based on scientific evidence.
So, based on reliable data, we will look at supplements that have the potential to harm the body.
Previously, I have presented research results on the following supplements, and this time I will introduce calcium.
Calcium supplements have no effect on me.
Calcium is well known as a mineral for building strong bones.
Many middle-aged and older people take calcium supplements because the probability of bone fractures increases as most people age.
However, calcium is also one of the supplements that you should not buy.
One of the reasons for this is that it is not as effective as advertised.
Many manufacturers advertise the benefits of their products, such as “strengthening bones” and “preventing osteoporosis,” but these claims have recently begun to fall apart.
A typical example would be a study conducted by the University of North Carolina in the United States.
J. J. B. Anderson, et al. (2012) Calcium Intakes and Femoral and Lumbar Bone Density of Elderly U.S. Men and Women
This study used data from a U.S. government health survey to determine what would happen if men and women in their 50s and 70s continued to consume large amounts of calcium. This study used data from a U.S. government health survey.
The result of the analysis was that “taking more calcium than the required daily intake has no effect on health.
Even taking large amounts of calcium, 400 mg to 2000 mg per day, made no difference at all in bone density.
On the contrary, when people in their 70s or older drank large amounts of calcium, their bone density tended to decline.
Although the cause of this is not clear, it seems that too much is too little.
Calcium is not good for the heart.
An even bigger problem with calcium supplements is that many data show that they are bad for the heart.
If you continue to take large amounts of calcium on a daily basis, your blood vessels and heart will be severely damaged.
For evidence of this, take a look at a large study done in 2010.
Kuanrong Li, et al. (2010)Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg)
This was an in-depth study of the long-term effects of calcium supplements on 12,000 men and women in their 50s to 70s, with the following results.
- Calcium supplements worsen risk of myocardial infarction by 31%.
The study targeted a calcium intake of 406 mg to 1240 mg per day.
I don't know the definite danger level, but be careful if you are taking more than 400 mg of calcium per day.
The reason this happens is that our bodies cannot process large amounts of calcium quickly enough.
If you take 400 mg of supplements at once, the excess calcium will stick in your bloodstream and calcify.
Then, little by little, the blood vessels will tickle and harden, putting a strain on the heart.
Interestingly, however, this problem does not occur when calcium is taken “from the diet.
In a study that followed about 24,000 middle-aged and elderly people for a year, those who regularly took calcium supplements had an 86% increased risk of myocardial infarction, while those who got the same amount of calcium from milk and vegetables had no ill effects.
Mark J Bolland, et al. (2010)Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events
When you take calcium from food, the amount of the component in your bloodstream does not increase as rapidly as with supplements, and your body can process it over time.
This is why calcium does not seem to be harmful to blood vessels.
Calcium should be obtained through diet.