A Swedish study found that older women, with a history of stroke or white matter lesions (WMLs) in the brain, who take calcium supplements, have an increased risk for dementia. I don’t know if the researchers factored in the amount of calcium in the diet of the study participants. Sweden has the second highest milk consumption in the world.
The researchers make futile attempts to explain why calcium supplements are harmful. They also found that calcium supplementation increased the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. This finding confirms another dozen studies that found a higher incidence of heart disease in women who take calcium supplements.
Ironically, the women on calcium supplements had twice as many fractures even though they were probably taking extra calcium to prevent broken bones.
Totally ignoring their scientific findings, the researchers simply parrot previous recommendations and say that calcium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis, which can result in dangerous fractures, so the elderly should keep taking 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium daily. They don’t try to understand why that message is not working to prevent bone loss.
Of course, all these researchers are missing the magnesium connection. Calcium cannot build bones or prevent osteoporosis without adequate levels of magnesium. It’s as simple as that. If our bones are made entirely from calcium, they become brittle and can shatter, just like a stick of calcium carbonate chalk falling on the sidewalk. However, with the right percentage of magnesium, bone has the proper density and matrix that actually makes it flexible and more resistant to shattering. Many elderly people are suffering bone fractures because they have too much calcium and not enough magnesium. A 2014 meta-analysis concluded that low serum magnesium is a risk factor for osteoporosis among the postmenopausal group.
For information about the role of Vit D, Vit K2 and other minerals in osteoporosis, please Google your question and my name, which will produce an extensive list of blogs at www.DrCarolynDean.com.
As for the other conditions triggered or affected by calcium supplements – gall stones, heel spurs, and breast tissue calcification – remember that sufficient magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood and directs it properly to the bones so it will not precipitate in soft tissues of the body.
I write the following in my Magnesium Miracle book. “The body doesn’t take the threat of excess calcium lying down. Dr. Guy Abraham details how the body protects itself. He says that in order to protect the fluid inside the cell from becoming saturated with calcium, there is a magnesium-dependent mechanism that shunts calcium into the mitochondria. However, this can backfire because if too much calcium is taken up for too long, the excess calcium in the mitochondria inhibits ATP synthesis. Mitochondrial calcification without the intervention of sufficient magnesium eventually results in cell death. Could calcium excess and magnesium deficiency be the underlying cause of mitochondrial dysfunction that many natural medicine practitioners say is the underlying cause of chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic diseases?”
To try and stem the tide of body calcification, instead of 1200 mg of calcium per day, I follow the UK and WHO recommendation of 600 mg per day, which many people can achieve in their diet. I balance this with at least 600mg per day of picometer ionic magnesium.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®