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 Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!

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Pete
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PostSubject: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:22 am

Well maybe...at least calcium supplementation without vitamin D it would appear from one study at least.
It's interesting because many people ingest large amounts of electrolyte drinks in the gym while training that contain calcium, they also possibly take calcium, but may not be having vitamin D (also it's not totally clear if vitamin D would affect the outcome)...this suggests that getting as much calcium from food would be the superior option. Bear in mind this is 1 study & studies only infer, they do not prove, but it's still something to consider. Would you rather eat some kale or take a pill, the answer for many reasons should be 'eat the kale'...but too many times all of us tend to let the diet slip & rely on pills to fill in the gap, when maybe we shouldn't.

You can see the full article here - Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:22 pm

"randomised placebo controlled trials of calcium supplements"

The reviewed 11 (or 12?) trials in all. Here's the important table:
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content-nw/full/341/jul29_1/c3691/TBL3

Looks pretty convincing.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:29 pm

Yea, I thought it was actually a good meta-study..obviously we'd like to see more done on it - also compare stuff like calcium foods Vs pills both for fractures & heart issues (obviously stuff like vitamin D has to be considered & it's affect as maybe high calcium/low vit D might not have the same effect as high calcium/high vit D for example)...but as you said I thought it certainly worth noting & monitoring how this develops as surely one or more of the heart charities will follow up on this one?
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:01 pm

Pete wrote:
Yea, I thought it was actually a good meta-study..obviously we'd like to see more done on it - also compare stuff like calcium foods Vs pills both for fractures & heart issues (obviously stuff like vitamin D has to be considered & it's affect as maybe high calcium/low vit D might not have the same effect as high calcium/high vit D for example)...but as you said I thought it certainly worth noting & monitoring how this develops as surely one or more of the heart charities will follow up on this one?

And thus, Milk is often fortified with Vitamin D. So, we also get a lot of Vit. D when it is sunny out? This summer has been the hottest but I don't complain.

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/16/f-health-vitamin-d.html

I don't know if Lucozade has calcium, I tend to doubt gatorade types of sports drinks do.

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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:52 am

Some of the gatorades drinks do, but not all I don't think (calcium is an electrolyte, so you sweat it out to some extent), I'm not sure about lucozade - I believe the original is just sugar water pretty much, but they have got quite a few, so any one that contains electrolytes probably will have some in there?
Vitamin D was added to milk as children stuck indoors all day developed rickets (blame the factories that had children working in dark areas everyday in stead of being out in the sunshine running wild). Too many clothes, indoors too much & lack of sunshine was the reason for adding vitamin D to milk.
Saying that I'm off out for a run in the sun right now!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:54 am

Gatorade now has come out with different product lines. Of course, one should read the label to make sure of the ingredients. It looks like "Propel Gatorade" has Calcium, I think Propel is vitamin enriched water vs. Standard gatorades.

Also, now these brands are starting to get into 'real' Recovery type drinks with protein in them and such, the energy drink Rock Star's got them and now Gatorade has come out with a line.

Quote :
Both sides agree that the (Powerade) ION4 formula includes potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium, while Gatorade only includes sodium and potassium.

http://www.popsci.com/entertainment-amp-gaming/article/2009-05/gatorade-files-lawsuit-against-powerade

So I'd tend to think standard Gatorade does not have Calcium but the offshoots may. Read the label if in doubt.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_ingredients_in_gatorade

"What are the ingredients in gatorade?"

"water, sugar, table salt, carbohydrates, electrolytes (110 mg sodium, 30 mg potassium, 93 mg chloride), high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, glucose, fructose, and sugar.
Gatorade was designed to keep athletes hydrated during competition. The "unique blend of fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrates" creates a drink that hydrates better than water during times of active workouts.Because of the amount of carbohydrates in Gatorade, over consumption can cause obesity.

For more information on the ingredients of Gatorade, visit: www.Gatorade.com "
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:49 am

I would like to see the same trials repeated with a poor quality calcium supplement e.g. ground bones or shells/ calcium carbonate versus a better absorbed calcium supplement e.g. seaweed extract/calcium amino chelate. I'm guessing for these trials they used an inorganic form of calcium?
At my work, at a health food shop, so many people that came in asking for help with bone spurs were taking "Caltrate" - a poorly absorbed, excessively high dose calcium supplement, and it seemed their body was just dumping the crap where ever it could.
I think people are over-doing the calcium in general though, out of fear of loss of bone density, and they ignore all the other nutrients needed. I think the fear-mongering used by dairy companies to push more product is really making the problem worse.
You would think that if Western countries have been found to have the highest intakes of calcium and the highest levels of osteoporosis, people would start looking elsewhere for the answer. I remember reading some studies about calcium intakes in China, which suggested that 400mg was ample to prevent osteoporosis, which is 1/3 of the amount recommended in Australia. But they noted that the soils and water of China is high in magnesium, where in Australia they are very deficient. So many people I see are deficient in magnesium, they almost all get cramps, also chronic muscle aches and headaches from the muscle tightness etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:54 am

Also of interest, because of people covering up to prevent skin cancer, which we have quite high levels, thanks in part to the ozone layer hole, the majority of Australians are deficient in Vitamin D. This reaches 95% of the population in Tasmania (our Southern-most, least sunny state).
Also interestingly, I went to a seminar on obesity where they said Vitamin D deficiency prevents weight loss because it signals to your body that its winter and tries to conserve energy.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:21 am

That's a point, I didn't think about what type of calcium was being used in each study, you'd guess it's going to be the cheapest unless the study is actually sponsored by a particular supplement manufacturer (& those always concern people as the person selling the product is doing the testing - not a good practice if you want honesty in my opinion).
I've thought for a while now that other factors than calcium cause most bone issues (as you mention vit D, magnesium etc). For most people getting a little seaweed & some calcium rich foods will usually be enough as the body is highly efficient at getting calcium from food. Add in a few foods with magnesium, potassium etc in & some sunshine (or vit D supplement) & if you are otherwise in good health you should be good to go in terms of bone health (unless you are something like an ultra-endurance athlete who might actually need super high loads of some minerals due to sweating so much or have other special needs).
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:15 am

Quote :
...would like to see the same trials repeated with a poor quality calcium
supplement e.g. ground bones or shells/ calcium carbonate versus a
better absorbed calcium supplement e.g. seaweed extract/calcium amino
chelate. I'm guessing for these trials they used an inorganic form of
calcium?

Speaking of health stores and calcium, I think they were selling Coral Calcium which is a tiny bit in the area mentioned. I note CC also gets notorious recognition per the Quack Watch website. It was real popular a few years ago. Also, I've seen some sort of calcium based product marketed to help one be 'tranquil' or to rest.

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/coral.html

Coral Calcium like Bee Products or Lake Klamath Super Blue Green Algae is one of those things marketed in a network marketing way besides being available at stores.

Melaleuca might be the Tea Tree from Australia, it gets marketed that way. I may be wrong about the details. http://www.programcritique.com/subcategories/NetworkMarketingMLM/Melaleuca.html

It seems the coconut milk I have is fortified with vitamin D. I'll have to look into everything that is in it. I'm not using this brand but another brand's ingredients are:

Quote :
INGREDIENTS: Coconut Cream (Water, Coconut, Guar Gum), Organic Evaporated Cane
Juice, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate,
!!!!Vitamin D-2!!!! ***This indicates that it was fortified, otherwise it would
not be listed in the ingredients***, L-Selenomethionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide,
Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12."

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100112175111AAXTAfK

Our store stocks coconut milk, I think it might be a good way to go to. Unflavoured tastes just like or at least a lot like regular milk.

But Carrageenan again makes an appearance, discussed on these forums in the past. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA44833

Quote :
Carrageenan is a common
food additive that comes from red seaweed also known as Irish Moss or Chondrus
Crispus
. Carrageen has long been used as a thickener and
emulsifier in ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese and other processed food
products, including soy milk.

----------

Court was really observant bringing up what kind of calcium being used.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:07 pm

I think Melaleuca trees also grow in a few other places as well. I was unaware it was a brand. Its essential oil from any brand (tea tree oil) is a very effective anti-microbial/anti-fungal so we sell lots of products at work with tea tree oil like cold sore cream, pimple cream, toothpaste, deodorant, vaginal wash, shampoo, etc.

We don't have that kind of coconut milk here, it sounds yummy.

About the acidosis, its partly correct because the body uses calcium as a buffer to return pH to a normal level, so more calcium=more alkaline up to a point. But its better to use barley grass or a diet high in green vegetables as all the extra used up calcium has to go somewhere right? It would go through the kidneys so then you're increasing your risk for kidney stones?
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:17 pm

Here was a previous thread on Coconut Milk. http://veganbodybuilding.userboard.net/nutrition-f7/cocunut-water-and-coconut-milk-t343.htm

Back on the topic of Coconut Milk, I mentioned Carageenan but I would be remiss in case someone did not go to the link to mention that this doctor quoted at this link http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA44833 was wary of Carageenan.

The doctor also writes:

Quote :
However, results of a
study published in October 2001 suggest that carrageenan may not be as
safe as once thought. Findings from animal studies and a review of the
scientific literature showed that degraded forms of carrageenan can
cause ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.The
researcher who made the connection between carrageenan and cancer,
Joanne Tobacman, an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at
the University of Iowa College of Medicine, noted that as long ago as
1972 the FDA determined that there was enough evidence from animal
studies to limit the type of carrageenan that could be used in foods.
However, in 1979, the FDA rescinded its proposed limitation and since
then, no action has been taken.

This was the bit that was brought up in the Casein thread of which I was unsure what I had read and confused these two ingredients but again, nothing is written in stone here. As stated, carrageenan is found in many products.

On the other hand, the thread on Casein http://veganbodybuilding.userboard.net/supplements-f8/any-thoughts-on-casein-t278.htm is here and so this conversation already took place some time ago.

Pete wrote:

Quote :
Carrageenan - is an odd one in a few respects. Claims that it's a proven carcenogen are in fact incorrect from what has been published.
It appears degraded carrageenan (also called poligeenan) may have bad effects on the body...but the degraded product isn't usually found in food grade carrageenan. The EU looked into this very question in 2003. It appears poligeenan causes ulcerations in stomach, whereas food grade carrageenan does not (page 2). One study showed negative effects of carrageenan, while 2 studies using higher dosages showed no increase (Pages 3-4). This does not indicate a link, if there was a link the higher intakes should have provoked higher rates, not no increase in cancer at all! It seems the studies using the higher dosages appeared more vigorous that the one negative study in design (although they were all done on animals, so what that means to humans is questionable in itself). So far there seems no causal link between carrageenan & any cancer. (page 6) There may be some links to poligeenan & health issues, but there is no detectable amount of poligeenan in carrageenan (they did recommend refining the testing technique for poligeenan so they could lower limits to the minimum), but that there is no evidence of negative health effects from carrageenan & no evidence of poligeenan in food grade carrageenan (page 5).
Hopefully that clears that up. It should be noted that this doesn't 'prove' that carrageenan does not cause cancer, just that as far as we know at this time there is no confirmed link & most of the evidence at the moment points towards it being safe.
To be frank there is a concern about carrageenan & baby products as it could cross the gut/blood barrier in immature digestive tracts - I would suggest that maybe people try & avoid giving it to babies as it's an unknown factor in a developing baby. But for any weaned human I'd say it was as safe as can say for now - that may, may not change (we can say that about any food!), but for now I'd say it's on the safe list unless new info comes out.

----

Update

I've been looking through some other research material. In most instances in studies researchers use what's called 'ungraded' carrageenan, this not food grade, the poligeenan levels aren't tested & they get bad results. You can only see this if you read every detail of the full studies (it's not even mentioned in the abstracts!). Basically the research is useless (at least in the EU as we have tests in place to keep tabs on poligeenan levels - I'm not sure what the US has in place, sorry). For those in the EU at least these tests show nothing as they use different stuff to the stuff we eat. As we all know the effects of poligeenan & the fact (at least in the EU) we don't eat it, then why not just test food grade carrageenan - it's almost like they are trying to make it look bad, but as far as I know there really are no commercial wars about carrageenan, it's not a huge product like the dairy/soya face-off. It's all a bit confusing...unless they still use ungraded carrageenan in the US of course, that would explain the continued testing? I'll see if I can find a FDA position statement on it.

So, I guess I can go back to the Coconut milk!!
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:28 am

Court wrote:
About the acidosis, its partly correct because the body uses calcium as a buffer to return pH to a normal level, so more calcium=more alkaline up to a point. But its better to use barley grass or a diet high in green vegetables as all the extra used up calcium has to go somewhere right? It would go through the kidneys so then you're increasing your risk for kidney stones?
The theory I'm kind of hoping will be proven someday is that eating meat makes the body acidic causing the release of calcium from bones, hence high rates of osteoporosis despite a very high consumption of calcium in the US.

And maybe also helping cause kidney/bladder stones. My stepfather suffers from kidney stones and has been convinced by his doctor to avoid anything with oxalic acid in it. Which means he won't touch blueberries, spinach, ... a huge list of foods ultimately that by avoiding he's probably going to develop nutrient deficiencies.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:16 am

It's annoying because doctors are not trained to offer nutritional advice. It's outside their scope of practice to advise on what to eat, just like it would outside mine to try & fix your leg if you broke it.
I've seen at least one article where they've compared doctors nutritional knowledge to the average person & the results were that on average the general public knew more about good nutrition than the doctors.
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PostSubject: Re: Calcium supplementation causes heart attacks!   Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:21 pm

That's very true, and I try to explain this to people in a polite way. For example, doctors are always reccommeneding this iron supplement that contains iron in a form that is so poorly absorbed, they have to stick so much iron in it for any of it to be used.

http://www.pulsepharmacy.com.au/Product/Ferro-Grad-C-30-Tablets.aspx

And what happens to the rest? It causes constipation. So then the doctor recommends them a chemical laxative.
I always try to get people off it and onto this iron:

http://www.naturalhealthorganics.com.au/Ethical-Nutrients-Iron-Plus-pr-1320.html

They may not have time to keep up with current research, so they just give people the same old crap regardless of side effects.

I'm not surprised at all that doctors don't know anymore than the average person.
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