Most people think that they need calcium for strong bones, and that is the first ‘treatment of choice’ from doctors who suspect that someone has osteoporosis or might be at risk for it. But in reality, calcium is exactly the wrong choice in most cases, while adding magnesium and vitamin D is the right treatment choice. Even if you are taking a ‘calcium and magnesium’ supplement, this is almost always a backwards way of attempting to get strong bones, and it might make things even worse.
Calcium supplementation is a concern because, as the results of a recent study concluded, it’s a possible independent risk factor for heart disease in older women. The study, which also analyzed three other studies on the subject, concluded that “Taken together these four studies raise major concerns about the cardiovascular safety of calcium supplementation, particularly with respect to myocardial infarction in older postmenopausal women.”
Additionally, it’s unlikely that calcium supplementation is even effective in improving bone health. A study on a group of elderly patients who had already had fractured a bone and were put on calcium supplements to prevent further fractures stated, “The findings do not support routine oral supplementation with calcium and vitamin D3, either alone or in combination, for the prevention of further fractures in previously mobile elderly people.”
So, what can you do if you have bone loss? Well, what doctors seem to overlook is the large amount of information that supports a higher magnesium intake, along with vitamin D, to prevent or even reverse bone loss. Magnesium regulates calcium metabolism; in other words, it gets calcium from the blood into the bones. Most people in western countries already get plenty of calcium through diet, which is why supplementation does not contribute to increased bone strength. However, the vast majority of people are magnesium and vitamin d deficient, so this calcium cannot get from the blood into the bones. Many will argue that almost all calcium supplements include magnesium in them, but the fact is that the dose is not even close to being sufficient; the right magnesium dosage for most people with bone issues is often from two to four times the amounts contained in these combination supplements.
The findings do not support routine oral supplementation with calcium and vitamin D3, either alone or in combination, for the prevention of further fractures in previously mobile elderly people.
If you or anyone that you love wants to prevent or reverse bone loss, then don’t think calcium, since you almost certainly get enough already, but think of Vitamin D and Magnesium. They are far more important in bone health than the overprescribed calcium supplements that at best, do little to nothing for bones and, at worst, increase the risk of heart disease.