Calcium supplements are not a good bone health insurance policy

You’re worried about your bone health. Because,
bones are “made” of calcium, you opt to get a little extra, by taking a calcium supplement,
logic says, more calcium going in, means more calcium goes into your bones, so you bones
are stronger. Yah ! But, this assumes, that the extra calcium, goes into your bones – does
it ? This is the question, the folks at the Kingston Study Centre, in Canada, asked. Join
us for this episode of BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY TV, as we evaluate your bone insurance policy.
Better Body Chemistry TV is brought to you by Dr Sandy – a scientist turned gremlin buster,
HELPING YOU, battle sugar gremlins, heffa-lumps & other health horribles, through BETTER BODY
CHEMISTRY. Remember, small things can make a big difference to your health. Now to answer
this question, they needed to be able to “see” where the calcium was going. It’s pretty
easy to “see” calcium, in someone’s bones. Bone mineral density, is a reflection
of how much calcium is in them. But, it is also possible to “see” calcium” in blood
vessels. Now the fancy pants, state of the art way, to do this, is to use computer tomography,
which gives you a CAC score, that is your coronary artery calcification score. Unfortunately,
our team did not have access, to one of these machines, so they resorted to a more traditional
approach, they looked at X-rays of the lateral spine. But instead of focusing on the bone,
they focused on the main blood vessel, carrying blood out the heart. By scoring the calcium
content, in four segments of the aorta, they derived the abdominal aortic calcification
or AAC score. Now the way that this scoring works : No calcium build up, gets a score
of zero, as the calcium build up increases, so does the score, topping, out at three,
for the worst case scenario. Our team, “looked” for calcium in 296 “ordinary” senior Canadians,
at the start of the study and then again, 5 years later. They found, calcium builds
up, over time. On average, the score increased by 1.86 points, over 5 years. But, the rate
of increase, showed quite a bit of variability. Some people, showed, no progression, in others,
the progression was “accelerated”. Using the answers to an interviewer-administered
questionnaire, done at the start of the study, the team, explored, what might account for
the “accelerated” progression. Here is the multivariable model of aortic calcification
in females. Things on the right hand side of the dotted line, represent acceleration.
Getting old, was the biggest driver of aortic calcification. The other big driver was BAD
BODY CHEMISTRY. No surprises here. Where the surprise came, was that the people who were
taking a calcium supplement, showed an increased rate of aortic calcification. Now just to
clarify, our team defined people as a calcium supplement users, if they were taking more
than 500 mg of calcium, at the time of first measurements. The effect was particularly
noticeable in women. These results suggest, that some of that extra calcium, was going
into the blood vessels. But, no worries, the bones were still benefiting, right ? Not exactly.
Here are the results for the ladies. When the team looked at bone mineral density, it
had declined, in both the supplement takers and non-supplement takers TO THE SAME EXTENT
! Taking a calcium supplement, had not afforded ANY bone protection. You’re joking right
? Let’s review the biology. Bones STORE calcium. The calcium, is then made available
to the body, as needed. The parathyroid gland, has a special sensor, that monitors calcium
levels, and when it’s low, parathyroid hormone is released. Now the job of parathyroid hormone,
is to makes sure, calcium deliveries are made. If, the supplies of calcium, are compromised,
because there is little to no dietary calcium, the body, will, reach into the bone cookie
jar, to meet calcium needs. If this happens on a continual basis, bone health will be
compromised. So putting more calcium in, under these circumstances, makes sense. But, the
people in this study, were not calcium deficient per se. Both calcium supplementers and calcium
non-supplementers were consuming calcium. On average, they were consuming 834 mg per
day from their diet. So there was no calcium shortage. It is a little naïve, to think,
that the extra calcium, will end up in the bones. This study, confirms, it won’t. In
the best case scenario, the extra calcium, ends up in the sewer and in the worst case
scenario, it end ups, in the arteries. When we think of heart disease, we typically think
of cholesterol, clogging up the arteries. But, one of the things that characterizes
heart disease, is that the blood vessels, lose their elasticity. It is this inflexibility,
that makes them vulnerable to blocks. So calcium is a two edged sword. Swallowing more is not
the answer, to strong bones. You’ve got to give the calcium, somewhere to go. And
the fundamental problem, for most older bones, is well, they’re just not as lively, as
they once were. They’re often less stimulated and contending with bad body chemistry. These
are the issue you want to address, if you want stronger bones. Don’t fall for the
marketing, turning your blood vessels into bone, won’t create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY
and BETTER HEALTH, in the long run. Interested in discovering more ways to create BETTER
BODY CHEMISTRY or need a little help getting your body chemistry on track ? Visit our website
WWW BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY dot COM, browse our library or enrol in one of our free courses.
The advice is simple to follow and based on real science, not hype. Know someone who takes
a calcium supplement ? Share this video with them – so they understand the benefits and
risks, of supplementing with calcium. And if this is your first time here, be sure to
subscribe to our channel, so you catch future episodes of BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY TV. Thank
you so much for watching and I will see you next time. Remember small things can make
a big difference to your health.

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