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Calcium And Heart Attack Alert: My Take

calcium-heart-attack

I received quite a few comments regarding the article below relating to calcium and heart attacks. So as part of my commitment to keep you up to date with the latest osteoporosis news… let me assure you that this is not exactly “news” at all. First let’s review the Reuters article then I’ll share my take with you.

Calcium Supplements May Raise Risk of Heart Attack

Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported Friday.

These tiny tablets which carry concentrated doses of calcium were also associated with higher incidences of stroke and death, but they were not statistically significant.

The researchers advised people consuming calcium supplements to seek advice from their doctors, take more calcium-rich foods and try other interventions like exercise, not smoking and keeping a healthy weight to prevent osteoporosis.

“People regard calcium supplements as natural but they are really not natural at all,” Ian Reid, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said in a telephone interview.

Reid and colleagues in Britain and the United States conducted a meta-analysis encompassing 11 studies that tracked nearly 12,000 elderly people over four years.

Half of them were given calcium supplements and the other half placebo or dummy pills with no therapeutic content. The results were published in the British Medical Journal.

“What we found was a 30 percent increase in heart attacks in the people who were randomized to take calcium,” Reid said.

“If you have 1,000 people taking calcium for five years, we will expect to find 14 more heart attacks, 10 more strokes and 13 more deaths in the people given calcium than they would have had if they hadn’t been treated with calcium,” Reid said.

“That is 37 more adverse events and we expect 26 fractures being prevented. So calcium is associated with more bad things happening than with bad things prevented.”

While experts are not certain about the biological mechanism by which calcium supplements may damage the body, studies in the past have linked high levels of blood calcium to more heart attacks and damage to blood vessels, Reid said.

“When you take calcium supplements, your blood calcium level goes up over the following four to six hours and goes up to the top end of the normal range,” he said.

“That doesn’t happen when you have calcium to eat in your diet because the calcium from food is very slowly absorbed and so the blood calcium level hardly changes at all.”

Higher blood calcium may lead to the formation of plaques in blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, Reid explained.

“People have always focused on fat levels in the blood as driving that process (plaque formation) but there is increasing evidence now that calcium levels in the blood might drive that as well,” he added.

Source: Reuters

My Take

Studies on the ill-effects of calcium, and in particular as it relates to heart attacks, have been around for a while.

For example, back in January 2008, Ian Reid and team conducted a study on the cardiovascular effects of calcium supplements. Observing an astonishing increase in the occurrence of myocardial infarction, stroke, or sudden death – almost double in the calcium group vs. the placebo group – the researchers concluded that “calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women is associated with upward trends in cardiovascular event rates.”1 The above article is in reference to his review of 11 studies that have confirmed the earlier findings.

Whom Should You Believe?

The benefit of taking calcium supplements is a topic that has stirred much debate. Take a look at this study, conducted in February 2007 and published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers evaluated the risk of coronary and cerebrovascular events in over 35,000 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years old. Half took 500mg calcium carbonate with 200 IU vitamin D twice a day and the other half took a placebo. 2 The researchers concluded that “calcium and vitamin D supplementation did not increase the risk for myocardial infarction, CHD death, stroke, coronary revascularization, hospitalized angina, heart failure, or transient ischemic attack. Thus, women taking these supplements need not fear adverse cardiovascular consequences while protecting their bone health.”

So what is the public to make of this? There is an obvious flaw here, unfortunately widely prevalent in mainstream medicine today: if a study isolates one function of the body (which is what they typically do for these “studies”), you can’t expect accurate results. More on this later because first, I’d like to explain to you the difference between…

Inorganic and Organic Calcium

The most common calcium supplements are made of carbonate, citrate, dolomite, di-calcium phosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, coral, oyster shell or bone meal. While they may have different names, they all have one thing in common: they are inorganic.

So it is easy to understand why large quantities of these calcium supplements can have some very serious health consequences. The excess calcium not usable by the body is deposited in the soft tissues – the blood vessels, skin, eyes, joints, and internal organs. It can also lead to plaque and hardening of the arteries which can trigger a heart attack.

Organic calcium is found in foods, and it is the most efficiently used form calcium. Plants absorb and incorporate inorganic calcium and other minerals from the soil. They transform the inorganic minerals into organic minerals rendering them suitable for human consumption. For that reason it doesn’t cause the slew of health problems as inorganic calcium does. That’s why I recommend organic (plant derived) calcium supplements.

But there’s more to absorbing calcium than its quality. You see, minerals are synergistic. When mainstream medicine recommends only calcium and Vitamin D, they are leaving behind a wealth of other minerals that are necessary for calcium absorption and proper delivery. Minerals such as magnesium, zinc, boron, and the others I list in the Save Our Bones Program. Taking calcium without other necessary nutrients is like trying to drive a car without tires: the engine works but you will never reach your destination.

Skewed Science, Skewed Results

The near-sighted focus on calcium supplements to combat osteoporosis- at least until now- clearly shows that the medical establishment needs to open their eyes and see the greater picture. Just because bones are made up mostly of calcium, doesn’t mean that taking any calcium supplement will do the trick. In fact, it can do more harm than good!

Our biology is profoundly complex. While I commend curiosity and the desire to discover new and better health solutions, researchers should not lose sight of what they are trying to achieve. The time has come for mainstream medicine to start using common sense and to …

Get Back Go Basics

If you’re following the Save Our Bones Program, you already know that the best source of organic calcium is found in everyday foods. You’re already eating the Foundation Foods that contain bone-smart minerals and vitamins. Delicious foods like broccoli, collard greens, and almonds… all excellent sources of calcium. And of course, they carry no health risks whatsoever.

In fact, here’s a calcium rich recipe that I’m sure you’ll love.

Light ‘N Tasty Ginger Veggies

Bring the rainbow to your table with this colorful and appetizing recipe.
Yields 4 Servings
105 mg of calcium per serving

 
Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds broccoli, chopped
  • ½ cup red and/or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon extra-light olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey, liquefied
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  •  

Directions:

  1. Steam broccoli and peppers lightly until tender-crisp and set aside.
  2. Bring oil to medium heat in a saucepan. Pour in orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and ginger. Let simmer for about a minute.
  3. Toss in broccoli and peppers and stir until well coated. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

References

1 Mark J Bolland, P Alan Barber, Robert N Doughty, Barbara Mason, Anne Horne, Ruth Ames, Gregory D Gamble, Andrew Grey, Ian R Reid. “Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium supplementation: randomized controlled trial.” British Medical Journal. 2008:394405257, January 2008.
2 Judith Hsia, MD; Gerardo Heiss, MD, PhD; Hong Ren, MS; Matthew Allison, MD, MPH; Nancy C. Dolan, MD; Philip Greenland, MD; Susan R. Heckbert, MD, PhD; Karen C. Johnson, MD, MPH; JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH; Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH; Maurizio Trevisan, PhD. “Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation and Cardiovascular Events.” Circulation. 2007;115:846-854.

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337 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Micki September 20, 2014, 7:05 am

    My friend just recommended USANA’s chelated calcium supplement but I just found out that, although it is active chelated calcium, it has calcium citrate and carbonate. Is this safe? Thanks.

  2. Vitamin D3 5,000IU 90 Capsules August 27, 2014, 4:31 am

    Control of bodys pH balance in the prevention of a host of diseases including accelerated aging , increase oxygen storage , This is a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant thus lowing the chances of Osteoporosis , coupled with magnesium will help with nerve impulse transmission , healthy bones andteeth , detoxification, energy production
    http://www.generalhealthproductstx.com/

  3. Kandice Gordecki December 19, 2013, 10:56 am

    Is the New Chapter version of calcium from Algae a safe supplement if one is being diagnosed with osteopenia in the lower spine and spine of the neck?

    • Lydia April 12, 2014, 10:46 pm

      I have the same problem. And need answers too Please help with some advice. thanks

    • Michelina March 15, 2014, 8:53 pm

      I use new chapter and love it for the plant based calcium

  4. Tina November 8, 2013, 7:23 pm

    I stopped taking my regular calcuim with vit D since I had terrible digestive problems. Recentlymy Chiropractor suggested plant based calcuim. I researched and found that it includes also Vit K2. My problem is that I’m on warfarin Vitamin Ks should be avoided. Is there any plant base calcuim without K…I have atrial fibrillation and need to be on warfarin.

    • Maxwell December 21, 2013, 3:56 pm

      I have your Recent BON APPETITE book, which is GREAT; BUT the soup section in YELLOW headings is very hard to see in this color. Would like to recommend your printer use a darker color for these headings. “PRESS ON” to stronger bones. GWM

  5. jean October 29, 2013, 1:15 am

    Both Ezorb and Algaecal are quite expensive; there are other algae based or organic calcium supplements available. I’ve been taking BoneBlast, and hoping for the best. But my real question is I wish someone would tell me how to test my alkaline/acid levels. Every time I see the results at my annual physical, the urinalysis has always tested acidic. Help! I’m doing my best to stay on the program.

    • Hannah Popp December 18, 2013, 8:48 pm

      Hi Jean,
      You can get ph level test strips from almost any store and they’re inexpensive. Target, walgreens, whole foods, cvs…etc

  6. Ann Chenault October 17, 2013, 8:30 pm

    I am again asking about taking calcium since I have very painful calcified ribs. Do you think the ribs could ever heal? They are very painful. I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis of the spine over a yr ago. I read your book and stayed on the bone program partially for a yr. Last MRI showed I now have Osteopina. But my ribs are still very painful.any suggestions?

  7. Nye September 21, 2013, 5:02 am

    Hi, I was wondering if the Algae-Cal you are talking about is a particular brand or if there are different brands out there that contain it. I’ve read good reviews on a particular product called Garden of Life RAW calcium, and was wondering if you knew if this product is one of the good ones. Also, if it would be safe to take during pregnancy to up the calcium intake. What do you say?

  8. Jane C August 14, 2013, 8:30 am

    I take Chia seeds, I’ve found that Chia seeds has high calcium in it. I have Osteoarthritis, so I am taking Glucosamine with Boswellia regularly (3-4 times a week) and I also take Chia, Flax seeds daily. I like to listen to my own body and take more or less supplements base on body reactions, such as whether it is giving me headaches, constipation or insomnia. I have tried very standard Caltrate-calplus and Ostelin with D in the past, both gave me terrible headaches within an hr and made me sleep for hours. My recommendation is that we should listen to our own body, every person’s body is different. I’ve realised that the body can store stuff for days like Vitamin D and will give you a sign when it runs out. All I can say is that I don’t really any supplements if I eat right and exercise regularly, but because of we would all like to save time, supplements becomes the easy way out, but there is never one cure for all.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 15, 2013, 7:25 am

      You are right, Jane – it’s so important to listen to your own body! Very few people are attuned to their body’s signals.

  9. gloria gilpin August 8, 2013, 10:55 pm

    I have osteoporosis and I have a lot of food allergies and vitamin allergies. Every time I take a calcium pill, I get very fast heart beats so much that I cant sleep. Is there a way I can take calcium and not have the fast heart beats? Thank You.

    • John October 11, 2014, 10:51 pm

      This is an old post and question, however this is a common problem and some enlightenment is needed for others.

      Each mineral is an antagonist to another–there’s a mineral wheel online to reference. That is why you shouldn’t just take one mineral, it will cause a deficiency of another, such as magnesium, potassium etc. Those other minerals play a part in regulating the heartbeat etc. Each mineral is known for its strengths: Magnesium is a nerve tonic and involved in many enzymatic functions in the body, Kalium (potassium) is known for muscle functions etc. and many more…

      Although, each mineral has known functions in the body, like drugs (isolates), man can not assemble together in perfect balance an effective supplement because there are unknown variables and specific ratios of nature’s laws that must be followed.

      If you must take minerals with your food, then it should be from a clean (away from industrial toxins), natural and unadulterated mineral source and rich in naturally occurring trace minerals.

      Ideally, growing foods in healthy soil with an abundance of natural minerals would make the food’s minerals most bio-available. This is something that was a concern in the U.S. in the early 1900’s before glyphosate was even used, yet the mineral deficiency in the U.S. soil still exists today.

      A can of spinach in the early 1900’s had many times the nutrient value of one in the 50’s, and one of today far less.

      Whether it’s because of microbes or minerals, the bottom line: get minerals in food form; our bones are not frail because we are deficient in pharmaceutical drugs, it is because our foods are mineral deficient, our bodies are full of toxins and we have become hosts to pathogenic microbes.

    • apv October 27, 2013, 1:04 am

      Vitamin B deficiency or overdose can cause heart palpitation (fast beat).

  10. Mary Dax July 15, 2013, 9:58 am

    Looks like a good program and I’m considering purchasing it, however, want to make sure it is vegan-friendly. Also, what is the difference between this and the other program available online? I also see that many of these questions are not answered. So is this only a blog or does Ms. Goldschmidt even read this?
    Thanks, Mary

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 15, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Hi Mary,

      The program doesn’t provide specific adjustments for vegans, but for the most part, it is tailored quite well for those who don’t consume animal products. Because meat is acidifying, there is no need to include it in your diet; this goes for dairy products as well. :)

      Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids and good alternatives to fish oil.

      No single food is required on the Save Our Bones Program; it’s all about balance and proportion. So it should be quite easy to simply eliminate animal products and choose from the wide variety of available bone healthy foods.

      If there is a specific nutrient that I recommend in an animal-based product, you can always find an alternative by doing an online search for “vegetarian source for [nutrient name]“. I hope this helps, and best of luck moving forward!

  11. Franchise Khettry May 12, 2013, 11:00 pm

    Hi!

    Have your book and read your e-mails
    Which plant based supplements do you recommend.?
    I have very serious osteoporosis and have been takin up to 1500mgs of Ca a day . Am getting worried about all the warnings about heart attacks, plaque, etc.
    Thanks.
    Franchise khettry

  12. Ann chenault April 4, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Still asking about my calcified ribs. Does calcium effect them. Are they the same as calcified arteries?

  13. Mary Quevedo February 17, 2013, 4:43 pm

    I am 59 years old probably the best shape of my life.I exercise everyday,eat clean,don’t smoke or drink.I can’t think of anything I can do to be more healthier than I am.Recently I was told I have premature heart beats.Wore a EKG halter for 24 hours.This has been going on for a little over a month.Don’t know where this came from.Just read today there could be a link to calcium tablets and heart attacks.I take New Chapter…Bone strength take care…been on them for years.It crossed my mind of course,no heart disease runs in my family.My parents are in there 90’s!!

  14. Donna February 1, 2013, 4:06 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    I found what looks like an excellent calcium supplement. It is called AlgaeCal made from algae. It contains Vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin K and Boron. The capsule is made from vegetable oil and it is a sustainable product. The reviews have been fantastic. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you,
    Donna

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 3, 2013, 10:32 pm

      AlgaeCal is an excellent calcium supplement! It’s plant-based (derived from algae) and organic. :)

      • Mary M July 18, 2014, 5:05 pm

        Glad to hear AlgaeCal is good, but what about the New Chapter Bone Strength Take Care, also from algae? I’ve been taking that and it is the only calcium I’ve tried that doesn’t constipate me.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 19, 2014, 9:34 am

          Mary, if you’ve found an organic, algae-based calcium supplement that works for you, by all means, go for it! :)

  15. Joan Gibson January 21, 2013, 6:44 pm

    Greetings-My mother gave me cal-mag sel salts as a child and Advise I should never take these nutrients in any other form. I’m reminded of this following my search for safe cal-mag and discovery of cal-mag orotate. Why is this so poorly reported,including by you. I’m not trying to br rude,but would like an answer to this question. Thank yiou. Joan

  16. San January 6, 2013, 5:35 pm

    I have read Vivian’s book and all the comments so far. No one says anything about Calcium Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite, which I am reading elsewhere is a very absorbable form of Ca and also contains all other minerals and Vitamins in the right proportion for the absorption of Ca and is very efficient in containing and reversing osteoporosis. Has anyone any experience with using Calcium Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite?

    • Diana September 19, 2013, 1:10 am

      San, I too heard about MCHC from a professional brochure at my Natural Doctor’s office and he recommended it to me. The brochure quoted studies that were impressive. Since it was very expensive and would be unaffordable every month I looked up another brand that had all the bone nutrients as you suggest and the identical amount of MCHC Calcium, and I started it two months ago.- I would also like to hear bone density results from anyone who has used this type of calcium. One thing I have noticed immediately within one week was that my nails have smoothed over (they used to have ridges vertically) and they are growing pretty fast. I have to trim them every other day. If it works like that on my osteoporotic bones I would hope that is a good thing! ?

    • johnny white August 29, 2013, 6:00 pm

      I took Bone Up by Jarrow with this MCHA calcium. It is made from the bones of baby cattle and is probably a by-product (it is not necessarily bad to be a “by-product”), of killing these animals for veal. While I had no problems with the product, I decided to stick with vegan sources, such as Aquamin or AlgaeCal–hich is IMO expensive.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 31, 2013, 8:23 am

        I think you made a wise choice, Johnny – calcium derived from bovine sources is Calcium Hydroxyapatite (usually known as MCHA or MCHC), and it is neither organic nor chelated and has the potential problem of contamination.

        • Ann July 12, 2014, 10:28 pm

          Jarrow’s Bone-Up was recommended by my husband’s doctor as the best calcium supplement for him to protect his bones in prostate cancer…. We both used it for a while. Later I switched to Ultra Bone-Up. After a while I started having both bone pain and kidney pain. So I researched the product and found out what MCHA really is. I was disgusted as those animals get so little chance at life anyway that it seems horrific to use their baby bones for this purpose…. and the idea that it is done as a byproduct of the veal industry certainly does not make it any more appealing to me.I stopped taking the Jarrow and very soon thereafter had no more bone or kidney pain. Now I use E-Zorb which is supposed to be calcium from a plant source. E-Zorb has helped my low back pain, actually eliminating it. What about E-Zorb Vivian? Is that a helpful product in your opinion?

        • Kelly December 18, 2013, 1:34 am

          With all due respect, the fact that “Bone Up” isn’t chelated is probably a good thing. I don’t know if it’s officially labeled ‘organic’ or not, but it’s certainly ‘organic’ compared to man-made chelates.

          And I’m also not sure, but I would think that in this century, Jarrow probably checks for any heavy metal issues (or “contamination” as you say), as their reputation would be ruined if it had high levels of lead or whatever.

          Respectfully,

          Kelly

    • Linda August 5, 2013, 9:40 pm

      San, I have been taking this supplement for several years given from my natural care practitioner. I take half the dosage that is recommended on the bottle. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2010 and it has not gotten any worse. I love that all the vit/minerals are all in the supplement that we also need. I always take a vit D supplement with one calcium supplement since I heard Dr. Oz mention that Vit D should be taken with calcium to prevent heart issues.

    • Claire February 24, 2013, 7:14 pm

      I would also like to know about this MCHA.

      • patricia May 13, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Actually, MCHC is form an organic source and is not prone to contmaination whereas Algaecal is loaded with cadmium and other heavy metals incldung lead thta we wll above an accpetable range. It is harvested from the ocean which are far from clean and thought nor clearly labelled, deep research will revwal some very disconcerting info on red algae, algaecal etc. This site is designed to sell specific products. Nettle and oatstraw are the anti osteoporsosi herb. Drink a qt a day for the best calcium and minerla rich tea there is.

        • patricia May 13, 2014, 3:00 pm

          Nettles, Urtica dioca and Oatstraw , aevna sativa are what we herbalists use. A qt a day, Foregt expensive supplements and flase advertising.
          Visit The Herbal tarot . com for solid info on calcium and absorption. The site is educational and does not sell anything.
          Herbs are inexpensive, safe to use and reliable.
          One 8oz cup of oatstraw tea has 300mg of elemental calcium.
          It is not harvetsed form the ocean floor or cattle
          For calcium supplements, MCHC is excellent.
          It is inexpensive, try MRM or Swanson brands , they are also mineral rich but the teas are the best as are oatstraw vinegear which you can easily make.
          Don’t be duped by marketing . Educate, research and research more.

          • Kelly July 8, 2014, 11:47 am

            All the herbs you mention are either strongly diuretic, and/or contain anti-thiamine factors. Google is your friend…

  17. Ann C. January 1, 2013, 12:32 am

    I have a question. I have been diagnosed with calcified ribs. My entire left rib cage is very painful. Should I be taking calcium for my Osteopinia? Or is the calcium supplement causing or contributing to the calcified ribs? I have been using your program for a yr, and it has helped my osteoporosis of the spine tremendously. These ribs are almost constantly painful . Will your program do the good for my ribs as it has the spine.? My Dr is of no help along these lines.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Ann C

  18. idelle December 6, 2012, 6:58 pm

    The most recent studies correlating calcium supplements with cardiovascular risk indicated that taking calcium with other supplements like vitamin D and magnesium didn’t affect the cardiovascular risk. The risk was due to how fast the calcium supplement was absorbed into the blood stream – the surge of calcium – which allowed the calcium to cause arterial plaque (if I remember right). So I’m nervous about all supplements. I have considered AlgaeCal but it contains lead. A less costly form of algae is Aquamin sea algae in NowFoods and other products. What do you think of algae cal vs aquamin, etc.? Will these food based algae forms absorb more safely? Of course, they are carbonate which absorbs less efficiently than citrate. But perhaps that’s safer? I would love to know what you think. It’s difficult to get enough calcium if you don’t eat dairy. And I also have osteopenia. But I’m at risk for heart disease too. So this is perplexing! Thanks again!!!!

    • Ann July 12, 2014, 10:37 pm

      From what I’ve read the traditional calcium supplements, and even the MCHA are absorbed only slightly.

  19. elizabeth October 15, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Does anyone (Dr. Vivan) answer these questions?

  20. herawati hadiwidjaja July 22, 2012, 4:02 am

    I am a 64 old female and taking Coral Calcium with Acai produced by Nutrimax. 1 capsul daily after dinner. What do you think ? Should I continue taking the supplement ?
    Thks & rgrds.
    Herawati.

  21. Denise Lindell July 17, 2012, 8:39 am

    I have had my thyroid removed because of thyroid cancer. The surgery rendered my parathyroid inactive, so my calcium levels are typically low. My doctor has recommended taking calcium supplements 3x a day. She also keeps telling me to chew Tums with calcium, which I refuse to do because I feel I do not need and antacid, so why take something I don’t need. I take calcium citrate tablets with vitamin D. With this dosage my intake of calcium supplements would be about 1890mg per day. I also eat almonds, yogurt, almond milk and a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. I am concerned about the findings that too much calcium can cause other serious health problems, but I don’t know how else I can keep my calcium levels within the appropriate range. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  22. doris July 16, 2012, 7:57 am

    A couple of years ago I fractured a couple of small bones above the two smallest toes. I found out I have very low Vitamin D. So I had to take 3000 units a day to bring it up to where it should be. It is fine now, but I am starting to fell like I am going to have cramps in my lower legs when I wake up in the morning. I have a hard time taking calcium and would rather not. I have a good diet, I take greens and chia seeds as a shake every day along with B12 and B complex and probiotic. Should I be taking magnesium for the cramps. I have a hard time with my digestion and have had to go on tecta recently for it.
    I always fight having to take medication but it was so bad I thought I was having a heart attach so for now I am taking it.
    What can you advise for me. Thank you Doris

  23. Marisa July 7, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I felt your explanation about plant based calcium supplements was sensible and science based. I purchased AlgaeCal and began to take it. I then read a review by ConsumerLab.com stating it unapproved because of unacceptable levels of lead. Now I am totally confused because I don’t get enough dietary calcium and don’t want to take inorganic calcium supplements. What’s your take on this?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 3, 2013, 10:39 pm

      Marisa, I’ve researched this issue, and have concluded that the small amount of lead found in Algaecal is naturally there from the earth’s crust.

      The bottom line is that calcium supplements typically have lead in them. The question is how much and where it’s coming from. A study conducted in the year 2000 checked 23 OTC and prescribed calcium supplements, and all were found with lead (Source: Ross E, et al. Lead content of calcium supplements. JAMA 2000; 284(11): 1425-1429).

      The reason for lead appearing in calcium supplements is because lead is a naturally occurring chemical element, naturally found in combination with other elements as lead compounds in rocks and soils.

      Here are some possible solutions:

      1. Take less Algaecal and supplement the rest with food.

      2. Do the same as above, but alternate one day with chelated minerals.

      3. Take organic chlorella, since it naturally binds all heavy metals. This could be especially beneficial if you have amalgam fillings that leach mercury. You should check with your doctor before taking chlorella.

      Thanks for writing in and bringing this to everyone’s attention!

      • Diana September 19, 2013, 1:39 am

        That MCHC is sounding better all the time. At least it wouldn’t have lead. But if all rock/soil calciums have lead in them then we’ve all been taking it all along..

    • elizabeth September 21, 2012, 7:17 pm

      I have been taking new chapter calcium product, since i heard about it on dr. oz about six months ago. i have been tested for large thyroid nodules, and, have hyperactive nodules, but, not hyperthyroidism) as far as i can understand. i also have osteoporosis and will not take the drugs, so, i’m using the algae calcium plus hormone free milk, etc. I have been losing my hair for over a year, and, it is becoming an unbearable challenge to determine what to do about supplements and dietc. my endocrinologist is on maternity leave, and, i have no cooperation from others in her practice. can you please give me some idea of what i should or should not be doing with regard to the overactive nodules and diet supplements? thank you.

      • Darlene February 24, 2013, 9:55 pm

        I think you should find a Dr. to find out if you have thyroid cancer. It’s very treatable if found. It starts with nodules on your thyroid. They have to be biopsied. I have it,and have had it for over 30 years so don’t get scared. :) So, have quite a few actors. My hair dresser also had it. So does Sophia on Modern Family. Get it checked.

  24. Fry July 2, 2012, 10:28 pm

    Vivian,

    I am a 21 year old male. Two months ago I started taking a calcium supplement for my bones. I did not know about any of this back then, so I assumed that taking the supplement was safe. Three days after taking the Ca supplement as recommended by the company, I start noticing chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain/ all types of problems. Till this day, I still have the symptoms. I’v had a stress test, EKG, X ray which all turned out normal, but I am still experiencing these symptoms. Is it possible for the calcium carbonate supplement to have caused all this harm rapidity? Do you think the calcium carbonate did this to me? I don’t have medical problems, never had.

    The capsule was big. Inside the capsule was thick, sticky disturbing liquid that did not completely dissolve in vinegar. Did i do harm to myself by taking this trash? Please help!!! Give me your expert opinion. I am afraid of dying of a heart attack now!!

    • Ann July 12, 2014, 10:46 pm

      Get thee to a cardiologist soon or at least a general practitioner.

  25. Richelle Sommer May 31, 2012, 5:30 am

    Vivian,
    Even though I know it’s acidic, I continue to drink coffee (a half and half blend) while at the same time implementing changes in my diet according to your program. I wrote you about the encouraging news I got on my last Dexascan. I love coffee and I like to drink it light and I’ve switched from adding whole milk to a creamer put out by So Delicious. Do you have any suggestions for a lightener? This product is expensive, and between my husband and I, use a half gallon a week. I also switched from sugar to agave but read that you don’t think it’s a good idea and to stick with honey or stevia. I don’t like the taste of stevia. Is there a form of it that is’nt so ‘stevia tasting’? Thank you so much for your help in so many areas. Richelle

    • Carol May 20, 2014, 2:14 pm

      Rochelle,
      My recommendation for a substitute sugar is called “New Sweet.” It is made of Trehalose (tapioca tree) and pure Stevia rebaudiana. Go to http://www.newsweet.com. I use it for everything sweet: cookies, cakes, cereal, everything. Looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, bakes like sugar, measures like sugar cup for cup. Does not raise glycemic index. Have fun!
      Carol

    • Jose L. Suescun February 4, 2013, 5:17 pm

      Buy Slimtevia. Has a little fructose added, to counteract the aftertaste of Stevia. Slimtevia is 3 times sweeter than sugar and so, you need 1/3 of tsp for 1 tsp of sugar. Sold only in the internet for about $45 for 3 one lbs bags. Purrrfect for diabetics.

  26. pat May 24, 2012, 9:36 pm

    I have been diagnosed with severe osteo and have several back fractures.
    Besides exercise (physical therapy) what are some good foods to eat (no cruciferous or seedy foods-dysphasia and aclasia)

  27. Sarjo May 6, 2012, 6:40 pm

    Anything made from milk, chocolate milk (some folks foegrt the milk’s goodness is still in there), other good sources of calcium include spinach and broccoli, peanuts and almonds have it too.Vitamin D actually can be absorbed through the skin (it comes from Sunshine!!)

  28. Barbara Jones April 28, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Thanks for all the great articles. You share great recipes and I would like to know if have a book of recipes for sale. If so, I am interested. Thanks

  29. camilla royer April 23, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Thank you for info on calcium and, of course, all the other subjects. Why do you NOT tell the Save Our Bones community about Algae calcium (AlgaeCal). I have been taking it for several years since you tell about it ONE TIME in the Save Our Bones book. With such a detailed answer in this q and a about calcium, it would have helped thousands of people. Thank you for this program. Because of this I discontinued Fosamax, and DID NOT ACCEPT my doctor’s advice to get RECLAST injected into my body!!!!!!!111111

  30. Gail April 23, 2012, 10:46 am

    E-Zorb.. Also waiting it hearing Vivian’s opinion on this organic form of calcium. Have been taking it for three months and feel good taking it.

    • sue cox November 6, 2013, 7:55 pm

      Gail…do you still take ezorb calcium? I keep hearing that it is so good for your bones and pains of osteoarthritis ….I have been wanting to take it but am afraid to as I have a pacemaker defibulator and cardiomyopathy….does anyone know haow this would affect my heart, Im is such pain in my legs hips and knees.

      • Ann July 12, 2014, 10:50 pm

        Sue, Did you ever get an answer to this? I have exactly the same question.

  31. burn fat alaska April 9, 2012, 4:38 am

    You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be really something which I feel I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very huge for me. I am having a look forward to your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

  32. F. Brandwein March 1, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    I wonder if the daily use of 81mg of Ecotrin contributes to heart disease. Both my husband and I take one coated Ecotrin every day. We are both relatively healthy (for our ages; 87 and 85)and eat a healthy diet as recommended by you and Sherry Breshia (food combining). I’d appreciate a reply.

    Thank you for all the good work you do.

  33. LynnCS December 15, 2011, 5:19 am

    Vivian…I can’t thank you enough for all the research, the book, and the downloads. I often need to read things a couple times to get the whole puzzle put together. I am getting closer and finally get the calcium thing thanks to your downloadable article on Calcium and the book. Makes it really clear and I do need things clear. Having these sources to go back to again and again, helps me a lot. I am throwing my Calcium Citrate, carbonate & malate…out. Nothing means as much as getting this right once and for all. Thank you endlessly. I will continue to improve, I am sure. I eat a high raw diet mostly so getting tons of greens etc. is not a problem. Thank you again (but I gush!!):-)

  34. Michelle L November 8, 2011, 12:52 am

    Does Synthroid cause osteoporosis?

  35. Myra November 1, 2011, 10:06 pm

    Have you heard of a product called NUZEACAL the calcium is apparently in a hydroxyapatite form like in bone and is is supposed to have bioactive effects

  36. Carole October 30, 2011, 6:51 pm

    If magnesium is so important, why is the suggested ratio 2:1 calcium to magnesium? Why isn’t it higher for magnesium? Is it detrimental to take more magnesium, say 1:1 or even 1:2?

    • Rose March 23, 2014, 11:25 am

      I have heard we should take 2 magnesium to 1 calcium (the opposite of what has been recommended for so long).

  37. Doug April 27, 2011, 9:59 pm

    It still bothers me that researchers and mass media sensationalize bunk science like Ian Reid’s.

    Read the following links by Dr. Know…very enlightening and I can’t recommend these two posts enough.

    It just goes to show how little these “researchers” know about nutrition. Anyone that actually researches bone health should know by now that vitamin K is essential for calcium metabolism.

    If fact, after reading these posts, I think you’ll agree that it’s not the form of calcium you take, it’s not whether you take magnesium (although also essential), it’s not your vitamin D intake (although, again, essential)…it’s a lack of vitamin K.

    http://www.knowguff.com/2011/04/do-calcium-supplements-cause-heart.html

    http://www.knowguff.com/2011/04/warfarin-vitamin-k-and-calcium.html

    • Barney November 8, 2011, 8:28 pm

      Of course – why would you believe peer reviewed research vigorously scrutinized by the British Medical Journal when you can get advise from a licensed naturopath!
      It is totally about the form of calcium you take – that’s why those on placebo obtaining calcium in diet had 24% lower incidence.
      Rapid release calciums are the issue – and if you really don’t think there is an issue go look at what Bayer have done with Citracal – after years of selling it as a easily digested rapid release product they have just introduced their “slow release” product. The say it is more “effective” ….. of course it would have nothing to do with safety!!??
      And guess what else – calcification of the arteries is now being linked to strokes and dementia in another study – http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/calcified-plaque-in-arteries-may-213920.aspx
      There should be no surprises – the body can’t cope with over processed synthesized supplements any better than it deals with white sugar, flour, rice etc

  38. Michele February 1, 2011, 10:43 pm

    Dear Vivian, I have been following your program for 2 years so far my numbers are not improving, but I’m still trying. I’d like to know if you have heard of Pearlcium, it is organic from Hawaii. Also is Agave syrup ok to have. And is Colostrum ok to have. Also you have spelt in both columns. So it must be good for you. Also, I have just started taking Buffer ph, by VAXA, is that ok. I know this is alot of questions. Sorry, I’m trying really hard. The recepies are great and thanks for all your hard work and patience.
    Michele

  39. Joan fitzpatrick January 31, 2011, 4:24 pm

    WHAT ABOUT JUICING BROCCOLI AND OTHER VEGGIES? IS THE BENEFIT AS GOOD AS EATING THEM? I TRY TO JUICE A FEW TIMES A WEEK.

  40. Linda January 31, 2011, 10:24 am

    So, which calcium supplement do you recommend? I thought I got some general information from you and this fit that bill: Vit. D (as Cholecalciferol) 400 IU, Calcium (as Calcium Carbonate) 1200 mg, Magnesium (as Magnesium Oxide) 80 mg, Zinc (as Zinc Oxide) 15 mg, Copper (as Copper Oxide) 2 mg, Manganese (as Manganese Sulfate) 3.6 mg, and Boron (as Sodium Borate) 500 mg and all of these per day. Is this a good thing to take daily?
    Linda :-)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 31, 2011, 11:13 am

      Hi Linda,

      I like products that have organic calcium derived from plants, for example algae, and that have the proper balance plus other bone-healthy “goodies” such as Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, and other important trace minerals. A few good options are Algaecal Plus (http://www.algaecal.com) without the strontium boost, New Chapter’s Bone Grow, which is available in many health food stores and online at http://www.NewChapter.com and other health websites, and Vitamin Code’s Raw Calcium.

      • Rose March 23, 2014, 11:29 am

        Vivian, I don’t see “Bone Grow” on New Chapter’s web site. I see “Bone Strength Take Care” only.

      • Susan January 18, 2014, 11:49 pm

        Why not the strontium boost?

  41. Patrick Hickey January 31, 2011, 9:39 am

    Though I may not necessarily agree with your take on strontium, that may be an advanced option. Most people have been brainwashed by the calcium industry.

    Starting at a beginner’s level of taking first basic steps along the holistic health path, is actually the way most of us have developed.

    I’ve had to act as my own detective to figure out that I was taking in a great deal too much “contaminating” calcium carbonate from the tap water here in Sedona, Arizona.

    My detective work had already led me to the conclusion that cardio-vascular plaques were mostly due to misdirected calcium. I’d noted that autopsies reported cardio-vascular plaques common down to ages in the late teens.

    Being 68 years old, I’ve concluded I had best trust my own research and judgement, and do what I can to both eliminate as well as to prevent future deposits.

    I had been pleased with EDTA chelation in past years, but now I’ve mostly eliminated the sources of calcium carbonate. Now I rely on vitamin B2 and arginine, as ample sunlight exposure for D vitamins.

    A few years ago, I experienced arrhymia and rapid heart rate. Though I knew it was set off by insecticide exposures, I allowed orthodox cardiologists look into my case.

    They couldn’t find anything wrong except the symptoms, and I felt a lack of receptivity toward chemical injury conditions, so I never mentioned it. Some drug “fixed” the problem, but had side-effects I refused to accept.

    I changed my diet and developed an exercise program which I still follow religiously. I also stumbled upon a “cure”, which tured out to be magnesium. I had a magnesium deficiency.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that bone health results from knowledge of blood alkalinity through magnesium and organic trace minerals. I avoid dairy products, calcium supplements, CACO3 water, etc. Organic vegetables and a little cheese, now and then, take care of my calcium requirements, just fine.

    I suspect that since blood alkalinity must be maintained at ph 7.4 to sustain life, the body must rely on magnesium. If magnesium is insufficient, then calcium will be pulled from the bones eventually leading to osteoporosis. We all should realize we are responsible for our own blood chemistry, and it really isn’t difficult.

    My next insight into the process of becoming younger and more healthy is the realization that silica is another central player in maintaining health. I’ve let go of my fascination with strontium because it didn’t seem to make much difference. Silica makes a difference I can feel within days, expecially with my teeth and skin.
    Being on a tight budget I have found food grade diatomaceous earth (available at feed stores), to be unbelieveably inexpensive and very rich in silica.
    Since diatomaceous earth is also an effective insecticide, ignorant people have an aversion to it. It is not a poison, however, and is a valuable nutrient fed to farm animals and pets. Knee jerk reactions by people desiring to put me down for using it, is their problem, not mine. However, I withdraw any further support from them, when it comes to sharing my successful health solutions.

    In closing, I pursue the hunter/gatherer diet choices, and by controlling the toxic distresses of the usual American diet, magnesium based blood alkalinization liberates our inherent healing processes. Works for me!

    • Marilyn November 12, 2011, 11:29 pm

      I enjoyed your post. Your seem to prefer natural instead of synthetic. Would encourage you to look at Alta Silica, is not rock based like d. earth. Check our Christopher C. Barr and his article on 4 things to take for a long life. Very informative, he is not a vitamin whore, he only recommends a few things, prefers plant based. I life outside of Phoenix, wonder if the water down here also has calcium carbonate?? Marilyn

    • Linda January 31, 2011, 10:36 am

      Hey Patrick,

      Do you eat this food grade diatomaceous earth (available at feed stores)?
      How could I find out if I have a magnesium deficiency? Also, I tend to bruise very easily – have you found helpful information about that?
      Linda :-)

      • Mary April 20, 2011, 1:27 am

        The general rule-of-thumb for magnesium is you take as much as you need to cause loose bowels. Then you back off a bit. Many sources agree on that basis of finding your level of need for magnesium. It is amazing the benefits you will get, including increased energy.

  42. Maureen January 17, 2011, 7:00 pm

    I recently purchased Advacal Ultra 1000. If I understand correctly, it is made from oyster shells that are super heated to make a calcium ash (which also supposedly eliminates virtually all contaminants). It is combined with HAI amino acid extract from sea algae. It also contains Vit C, D, K, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and boron. Do you think this product is a good one?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2011, 1:30 pm

      Hi Maureen,

      Advacal is processed calcium, as written in their website: “AdvaCAL is a patented, ionic calcium. It starts out as oyster shell, which is then smelted at 800° C. Smelting changes the chemical structure of oyster shell from calcium carbonate to calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide. ” And oyster shell is made of inorganic calcium.

  43. Jo Bolt January 14, 2011, 7:38 am

    I have not heard Vivian mention ionic liquid mineral supplements yet. I am getting promising results with them myself and they would appear to be the ideal way to take mineral supplements (including calcium) because they are so uniquely bio-available. Liquid ionic minerals have the advantage of bypassing any digestive problems. They are much more bio-available than other kinds of supplement.

    I, for one, would be very interested to read Vivian’s take on this form of supplementation. More information about them can be found at http://www.angstrom-mineral.com and at http://www.rainbowminerals.net/ionic_minerals.htm

  44. julie January 4, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I am wondering if you can suggest some good calcium supplements that are plant derived. When I read a label how can I know what the calcium is derived from? I juice collard greens and kale daily but don’t get 1000 mg from my diet alone. Thanks for your help Vivian. I appreciate you website and advice greatly. I use a water filter that is put inside our refirgerator. What is reverse osmosis water that you mention in your book? How do your find it?

    I have just started taking a supplement called better bones builder recommended by Susan Brown. Have you ever heard of her? Her ideas are similiar to yours. But I notice now that the calcium listed is carboante, citrate, ascobate and pantothenate. I used to take calcium lactate make by standard process that is derived from sugar beets. what do yu think about the supplements made by garden of life made with algaecal or new chapter made from algae?

  45. Nielle Hawkwood January 3, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Hi, vivian.

    Wondering if you have any infromation on a product made by Nikken which contains lactoferrin: called “osteodenx.”
    thanks!

    • Jody Pearce January 4, 2011, 9:08 pm

      I have been taking osteodenx by Nikken for about 6 months. My rheumatologist recommended this product, he has seen women’s bone health improve on osteodenx. I have been diagnosed with osteoperosis at age 67 and will be anxious to see if my bones improve. Do you have any further information on this product?

  46. Velma Price January 3, 2011, 10:16 am

    Thank You for the Spine exercising! I will
    definitely do this exercise along with my
    aerobics. Velma

  47. Sandra Shepard December 21, 2010, 10:50 am

    I have had High Blood Calcium for 10 years, to my knowledge….until I changed HMO’s, nothing was done about it….only mentioned in passing by the Dr…I am now seeing an Endocrinologist and Vitamin D is also a factor…apparently, the combination can affect the ParaThyroid gland, sometimes needing minor surgery…so I am concerned about the big rush for higher doses of Vitamin D….at least 3 Docters ignored the info….I always get copies of any tests I take and check them against the past tests…I am 75 and in good health otherwise

    • Sandra Shepard December 21, 2010, 10:56 am

      My Question is “where can I find a non-dairy diet”?

  48. ida December 20, 2010, 5:19 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    Thanks so much for the information on the organic form of calcium, I was just about finish with the calcium I was taking which is indeed inorganic, I am rushing of to the whole food market right away to buy the the organic form.

    Thanks so much for your help.
    Ida

  49. Sandy November 16, 2010, 6:27 pm

    Spelt seems to be listed as both acidic and alkaline–could anyone clarify this.

    Thanks

    • Customer Support November 17, 2010, 3:35 am

      Hi Sandy,

      We apologize for the error in the book. Spelt is alkalizing.

  50. DrCHUK November 14, 2010, 10:43 am

    If I take one 600 mg Calcium, 400 IU D daily, should it be with breakfast or dinner?

  51. Tina November 11, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Vivian
    I recently purchased Vitamin Code Raw Calcium by Garden of Life. I saw that it was one that you said was a good calcium to take. I noticed that it has Strontium in it but I saw where on some calcium pills you said to get it without the Strontium. Is this ok to take with the Strontium in it?
    Also I have noticed that on some of the organic calcium pills like this one that they say to take 5 pills per day for a dose of 756 mg. I noticed that you recommend taking about 800 -1200 mg of calcium. The lady at health food store said that with the organic calcium you don’t have to take as much and the 756 mg is enough. What do you think? Should I be taking more and if I do about how much do you suggest?

    • DrCHUK November 14, 2010, 10:39 am

      I read Tina’s comments on Vivian’s article about the possible risks of taking calcium supplements. I thought when I hit “reply” that I’d get Vivian’s reply to Tina. Instead, I got an “opportunity” to reply to Tina. So my question to Tina is: What did Vivian have to say in “reply” to your questions?
      DrCHUK

      • Tina November 18, 2010, 1:26 pm

        Hi DrCHUK

        I haven’t received an answer back yet. But I had just put the question on here a few days ago. I may try putting it on the next “Vivian Answers Day” and see if I get a reply. If you find out the answer, please let me know.

        Tina

        • Stacey November 20, 2010, 5:23 pm

          Hi Tina: I, too have purchased the Raw Calcium, Garden of Life, with the same exact question. Scroll down to Aug 8 question and Vivian has answer to your question….YOU WILL LIKE HER ANSWER, I sure was.

  52. Marilia Smith October 26, 2010, 11:05 pm

    Dear Vivian,
    Thank you so much for the fast response of my question. I’m soooo glad I found you. You are God sent. I have the Save our bones program,and enjoying reading it. I also find your emails very helpful with a lot of good recipes…
    God Bless you Vivian!
    Sincerely Marilia

  53. Randye October 21, 2010, 5:56 am

    Your recipes sound wonderful – and easy! But, as a borderline diabetic, I have to be careful about the number of carbs that I eat. Can you please list the nutritional content of all your recipes? Thanks so much!

  54. Allison Ifferte October 19, 2010, 6:59 pm

    I take the New Chapter Bone Calcium supplement. Since there are 3 tablets, it states to take 1 at lunch and 2 at dinner. That being said, when should the other minerals be taken?? ex. Boron, Magnesium??
    Thanks again, Allison

  55. Lindsay October 16, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I have been taking Advacal. This company derives the calcium from oyster shell (inorganic) but combines it with an extract from algae to make it absorbable. I had considered taking calcium from algae but the clinical trial results seemed to be a little better for the Advacal. However, after reading about the heart disease and calcium, I’m wondering if this product is safe. Thank you Vivian for all your previous calcium recommendations and providing a way we can share and learn.

  56. Millicent Broderick October 3, 2010, 11:47 pm

    I am alarmed at the BMJ article on calcium supplements and myocardial incidences in healthy women. I have surgically induced (medical error) hypoparathyroidism. The treatment is 1500 mg calcium daily. I have severe osteoporosis and as well, I’ve had my thyroid removed for cancer. I am not overweight and try to eat lots of calcium – mainly vegetables but cannot manage to get 1500 mg of calcium rich food. I have not received much encouragement from my endocrinologist – who has said the calcium supplements are s “calculated risk”. I’m not happy with all this. A friend who is a nitritionist has advised me to take ca citrate with magnesium rather than the ca carbonate I have been taking. (I also take vit D3)These are huge pills and I’m having to melt them in otder to get them over the gullet. Any advice?

    • Barney November 8, 2011, 8:32 pm

      Bad advice – neither is good and as mentioned elsewhere Bayer have introduced their new Slow release product and it has more Carbonate in it than Citrate – strange for a brand that has spend a fortune claiming Citrate to be the superior product….

      • Jim July 24, 2012, 8:13 pm

        I agree. These are only 10% and 11% absorbed as opposed to something like Amino Acid Chelated Calcium which has 44% absorption.
        Apart from magnesium, Vitamin K2 is supposed to improve absorption also.

  57. Senita October 1, 2010, 6:06 pm

    Where to get organic calcium supplements? My supplemt supply does not stock them.

    • Carole Engberg January 5, 2011, 12:41 pm

      The question was where to get organic calcium supplements? Shaklee Products of course… a company that has been producing organic food supplements for 52 years. I have been taking Shaklee Food Supplements for 38 years and feel great.

  58. Marie Pinschmidt September 27, 2010, 9:34 am

    I have your original, smaller, book and wonder if the advise in the first one has changed. I’m 81 and in good health. I refused the osteoporosis drugs and try to follow your advice. I have atrial fibrillation and take Coumadin, so avoid many of the dark leafy vegs. Any specific advice in my case? I eat a lot of stir-fry – and almonds.

  59. Dianne Thompson September 23, 2010, 5:48 pm

    Have your heard of the calcium supplement called EZorb? It is calcium aspartate anhydrous and supposedly has high bioavailability and maximum absorption. Does anyone know anything more about it?

    • Jean January 3, 2011, 11:47 am

      Hi, Dianne:
      I, too, have been trying to get an answer on the EZorb calcium supplement. I’m assuming, since it is organic, that it’s easily absorbed and beneficial. I’ve been taking it for about 5 months now (and it IS expensive!) but will have to wait another 10 months for my next bone density test, to see if it’s done any good in that respect. I try to follow Vivian’s program as much as possible, and have asked about EZorb on the original “Ask Vivian” day, but so far have not received an answer. Good luck and good bones to you – and I hope I’ve spelled your name correctly! J

  60. MARY LOU PANNELL September 15, 2010, 7:16 pm

    VIVIAN, I PURCHASED THE PROGRAM IN FEB.10. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO THE PROGRAM, BUT AM STILL LEARNING. I AM CONFUSED–WE’RE TOLD NOT TO EAT MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS OR NOW WE LEARN WE SHOULD NOT BE TAKING CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS EITHER. I AM FEARFUL OF GETTING ENOUGH CALCIUM MERELY THROUGH DIET ONLY. I AM SURE OTHERS HAVE THIS CONCERN. PLEASE ADDRESS, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING.

  61. Karen Wick September 9, 2010, 12:09 pm

    I also agree with the ‘too much calcium’ theory. I started taking 600mg w/vit D made by Spring Valley, about 6 mos ago. I had a heart attack on 7/23/10, I had only one blockage in the rt side, I guess the big artery, I had a stent put in and now I am OK, but why was the blockage only in one artery?? I think it was the calcium. I may be wrong, but Im sure wondering. This is just my opinion, thanks/

  62. Sue Miscio September 2, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Thank you! I wondered what elemental calcium is and if there is a difference from the above article. I was told use this type. Also take Actonel once weekly and after reading some of the previous articles I find this sends chills down my spine. I have a wonderful Rheumatologist who looks after my Scleroderma and I was told if you want mobility as you age Actonel is necessary. Thank You

  63. Nancy Flexman August 23, 2010, 7:50 am

    I am always suspicious of meta-analysis “research” because the “researchers” can skew the results easily by bias in the way they choose the studies to include. At least one reviewer of this study has suggested that this is the case here.

    That being said, I think that taking calcium by itself may be counterproductive because magnesium, in particular, is required to regulate it. The more calcium you take, the more you disturb the healthy ratio between calcium and magnesium, so the calcium is more likely to end up in the wrong places…

    I also think that placebo-controlled double-blind trials will hardly ever give us much useful information about nutrition because they miss the point that nutritional factors interact with each other, sometimes synergistically, sometimes antagonistically. The truth is in the big picture.

  64. Cindy Davis August 22, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Where can I find organic calcium?

  65. Joanne August 21, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Ever heard of Bone Restore by LifeExtension? It contains calcium as dicalcium malate, calcium bis-glyconate, and calcium fructoborate as well as Vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, manganese, boron, and silicon. It was recommended to me by a nutritionist several years ago. 5 pills equals 1200 mg of calcium. I have osteopenia that borders on osteoporosis. Still not clear on what is organic or inorganic but I will take a look at your book and would be interested in your quick take on this supplement. Perhaps if I continue taking it (I stopped after hearing about the study) it would make sense to take 1 to 2 pills at a time throughout the day.

  66. Elizabeth Hertzfeld August 20, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Vivian,

    Is this Ionic Fizz organic?

  67. Diane Loos August 17, 2010, 8:59 pm

    Very interested in article about taking calcium supplements vs. use natural calcium. Have been taking OTC calcium supplements for 11 years. Also fosamax, boniva, and forteo. Have high levels of calcium in my blood. Osteoporosis since 1999. We all need to convince Dr.’s that drugs are not working and a more natural method 0f bone strengthening should be implemented.
    Please get more info into the Doctors hands.
    Thanks,Diane

  68. Carole August 16, 2010, 6:05 pm

    Are you familiar with Ionic Sea Minerals, called ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops? They claim to be water soluble from sea water and kosher. Would this be considered organic?
    We have been advised to add it to our reverse osmosis and/or distilled water.
    Please advise…

  69. Deanna August 16, 2010, 3:35 pm

    My 15 year old daughter has been diagnosed with vitamin D def.and osteopenia.She also has scoliosis and autism. I have her on 5,000 vit.D3 which has vitamin A, k2,Magnesium,zinc and boron citrate. Her calcium is 375 mg it has carbonate,lactrate,phosphate and sulfate citrate along with magnesium, potassiam,boron, vitamin A,C and D3 500iu. Is this to much Vitamin D? How much calcium should she have to balance the Vitiam D? How much can we absorb at one time?

    Thank you for your help
    Deanna

  70. Erlinda Siaton August 16, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the information. I take Calcium Citrate 1000 mg. a day. I eat a lot of veggies and fruits but I’ll buy organic supplements in a health foods store ASAP. I do senior exercises daily in our YMCA.
    Please keep me informed regarding save our bones.

  71. Erlinda Siaton August 16, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Thanks Vivian for the information. I am so confused about calcium. I am taking Calcium Citrate 500 mg 2x a day plus veggies and fruits
    rich in calcium and do aerobics daily, bicycle 2 x a week, swimming and exercises for seniors 3 x a week, I refused to discuss it with my family of physicians. I listened to my body and refer to Save Our Bones when I am in doubt. Please keep me informed.

  72. Therese Johnson August 16, 2010, 11:33 am

    Thanks, Vivian, you are my living guardian angel…
    I was wondering if taking 500 mg chlorella each day was good just to make sure I have had enough calcium and vit. D in my vegetables and fruits who are not always organically grown.
    Terry

  73. Barbara Fryar August 16, 2010, 10:10 am

    What do you think of taking K2 for your bones? All this is very interesting and confusing, as your DR. wants you to take Fosamsx etc., so what the ??? are we to do and still go to our doctors?

  74. Barbara Fryar August 16, 2010, 9:47 am

    What about the parathyroid cause of excess calcium in your blood? That was the cause of, maybe one of the causes of my bad bone density test. It was leaching calcium from my bones I had a tumor removed and my calcium level fell to normal. This can cause all the problems talked about with taking the calcium supplements.Do doctors routinely check the parathyroid,Ithink not. Ihad a very good GYN who caught this.

    • Diane Loos October 10, 2010, 6:10 pm

      FOSOMAX, BONIVA, FORTEO, ANYONE TAKING ANY DRUGS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS PLEASE make sure you have your PTH checked. You may have hyperparathyroidism. A simple blood test can determine this problem. If you have a parathyroid tumor, your body is taking calcium out of your bones and putting it in your bloodstream. STOP! taking these drugs. After 10 yrs. of drugs, I finally had my parathyroid removed. Why do so many Doctors overlook this problem. Take Charge of your body! SAVE YOUR BONES naturally.

  75. Betty Napp August 16, 2010, 9:12 am

    IM SUPPOSE TO HAVE A DEXA SCAN TODAY AT 3 THINK I WILL CALL AND CANCEL AFTER READING THE ARTICLES ON THIS SIGHT IM 78 DONT LIKE ALL THE THINGS MOST dRS ARE PUSHING ON US OLDIES AS IF WE ARE A BUNCH OF DUMMIES, iVE BEEN TRYING TO TAKE CHARGE OF MY HEALTH AND TEACH MYSELF THE “ROPES” OF SOME OF THIS STUFF THE PHARM IS PUSHING BETTY FROM PA

  76. Marilyn Hinman August 14, 2010, 1:01 pm

    I take warfarin, therefore do not eat many greens. I take 600 mg of calcium with D after breakfast and dinner. I also take magnesium
    15 years ago I had ostio. after taking prednisone for my asthma when I was 59. I had 10 broken ribs and 2 compression fractures in my back. I took hormones and cal. mag and Fosamax and today I am happy to say I have normal bone scans
    scans.

  77. Cindy August 14, 2010, 10:13 am

    Would having Vit K in addition to calcium make the difference in how the body responds to it?? That is, doesn’t Vit K help in depositing calcium in the bones rather than in the arteries??

    • Katha May 9, 2012, 3:11 am

      Remember that calcium can notbe absebod without Vitamin C which has the absorbic acid in it. So we drink fresh orange juice each morning to help absorb the calcium we get from cheese and yogurt.mom

    • Andre May 6, 2012, 2:18 am

      Only animal pcudorts contain heme iron.Iron sources that have high iron availability include the following:OystersLiverLean red meat (especially beef)Poultry, dark red meatTunaSalmonIron-fortified cerealsDried beansWhole grainsEggs (especially egg yolks)Dried fruitsDark leafy green vegetables Non-heme iron is found in the following:Whole grains-wheat-millet-oats-brown riceLegumes-lima beans-soybeans-dried beans and peas-kidney beansSeeds-almonds-Brazil nutsDried fruits-prunes-raisins-apricotsVegetables-broccoli-spinach-kale-collards-asparagus-dandelion greens

  78. ARLENE August 12, 2010, 6:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing this with us Vivian.

  79. Frances Miller August 10, 2010, 3:48 pm

    I may have commented on this before, but was re-reading your comments, Vivian. Sometime back my doctor wanted me to take 1500mg of calcium per day. When I went for my mammogram they recalled me because something was wrong. When they redid it they said it was calcium deposits, however, they would not say for sure that it was the calcium I was taking. I cut it back to 800mg per day and have not had that problem since. I also did not know at that time there was plant calcium you could purchase because it was before I was fortunate enough to find YOU and your BOOK on the internet!!!! Thanks for everything. Fran Miller

  80. Janie August 7, 2010, 8:18 am

    Hi Vivian, .. I am also in need of an answer on Vitamin Code Raw Calcium. Is it organic? Is it a good calcium to take or is a store brand just as good?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:24 am

      Hi Janie,

      Vitamin Code Raw Calcium uses a patented form of marine algae, so it is indeed organic and would be a good choice.

      • Jessica August 10, 2010, 2:03 am

        How about the strontium?

  81. Jessica August 6, 2010, 7:03 pm

    Well -now I am really confused. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and currently I am not taking anything because I don’t know what to take. I purchased Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code Raw Calcium and read negative things about it and the company. I purchased EZorb and also read negative things. I searched for some reviews regarding Lifestream’s Natural Calcium and only found information from their website. I guess at this point I will go back to Calcium Citrate and accept the monetary loss of the purchase of the other two products. Vivian, it would be great if you could write a review on these various products. After reading the comments on this blog, I see that I am not alone in my confusion. We are trying to do the right thing for our body by not taking prescription drugs, but we need some guidance regarding plant-derived calcium. The products that are plant based are so different – soy might be in them, strontium might be in them, etc.

    • Luc Chene December 8, 2010, 3:23 pm

      We are all different, so the best common sense calcium citrate is the safest of all, and not expensive at that.
      If you have a very cooperative doctor, you can ask for these tests : calciuria (24 hours calcium excretion in urine) as well as testing for bone resorption / formation markers. These tests being done a few weeks after trying a new form of calcium.
      If these tests are not available so frequently, then checking the PH of urine is a good indication, try to keep it at 7.0 in the morning.
      In fact in those reputable private health institutions they might analyze everything to determine the calcium and other nutrients balance, measuring all that goes in and all that goes out.
      The technology is there but not the money, I guess as a society we preferred notebook that sold for $10 000 in 1996 and now a decent one can be had for $350 …

  82. Clara Hendricks August 6, 2010, 3:57 pm

    Vivian, I have been unable to find any plant-based calcium supplements in the Louisville,KY area without strontium (from algae)? Could you please give the names of some of the brands? Or at least just say you can’t legally recommend or endorse plant derived calcium supplements.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:30 am

      Hi Clara,

      AlgaecalPlus without the Strontium Boost and Bone Grow by New Chapter are good options. You can also try amino acid chelated calcium with magnesium and zinc.

      • Clara Hendricks August 10, 2010, 6:47 pm

        Thank you so much Vivian! You are providing such a great service. I appreciated you book and continue to be grateful for your newsletters and updates. Clara

  83. audey j ganzel August 6, 2010, 9:58 am

    Just received a pamphlet – Journal of Natural
    Health Dr. Nan Fuchs selling bone loss product
    “Ultimate Bone Support” sounds good – what say U?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:31 am

      Hi Audey,

      Ultimate Bone Support contains strontium, which I do not recommend.

  84. Jessica August 5, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Well, I tried to order from Lifestream, but didn’t have a digital code so it didn’t get through. I ended up ordering E-Zorb this morning, but it is so expensive. I really need your opinion on this product – is it worth it. They say that you don’t need magnesium or Vit. D to absorb it, but I assume our body still needs those nutrients. I know others have commented about E-Zorb, but I haven’t seen a definitive answer – quality product – worth the money. Hope to hear from you soon.

  85. selma August 5, 2010, 7:53 pm

    This was very interesting. I have been increasing the number of calcium tablets I take
    but now I know it is better not to “stuff” myself with them.

    I appreciate your advice!
    Selma

  86. Linda T August 5, 2010, 3:57 pm

    Because “knowledge is power”, I took tome to read lots of articles on the published report. Most agreed that calcium supplements don’t really do any good and don’t prolong life, so only people being treated with bone-density drugs should take calcium. (This somehow makes sense to them!!)
    A few skeptical reviewers pointed out: 1) Vitamin K’s role is to direct the calcium to the bones rather than the arteries; 2) the 2008 group was given 1000 mg., plus received an average of 861 mg. from diet (this is a huge total); 3) calcium deposites take several years to form, not 1-5 years as shown in the studies.
    My conclusion: I’ll use up my citrate, but in doses of about 250 mg. with all the right minerals + D until I find a good algae-based supplement.
    One question: Is there some natural way to de-clog arteries just in case… (I was taking more calcium than I realized, when I added up the totals)?
    EXTREMELY helpful, Vivian!!

  87. Nu Ly August 5, 2010, 7:16 am

    Dear Vivian,

    Inorganic or organic calcium makes me confused.
    I take the ” USANA ‘ U. S. products calcium for many years. I take all supplements in a period, and stop it in a short period, and try to get the natual food, I can prevent the habit to take the supplements.

    Thank you for the information – The calcium can lead to heart attack sometimes for the people with high blood presure.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:37 am

      Hi Nu Ly,

      It’s certainly easy to be confused with all the different supplement types. This might make it easier to remember what organic calcium is: If the calcium comes from plant-based sources (like algae), it’s organic.

      I hope that helps!

  88. Linda August 5, 2010, 12:13 am

    Thank you for this invaluable information. There’s always been so many opinions on taking calcium or not taking calcium, which has been so confusing. It’s certainly good to know that getting calcium from our food is always best.

  89. Jessica August 4, 2010, 11:11 pm

    I really would like to order Lifestream Natural Calcium. I was in the process of ordering it through Lifestream, until I realized how expensive it was – $18.00 for 30 capsules -includes shipping. Is there another place to order it?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:42 am

      Hi Jessica,

      I don’t have an answer about prices for Lifestream Natural Calcium. You can try doing a web search to see if you can find it sold for a better price.

      Or you can try some other options. AlgaecalPlus without the Strontium Boost and Bone Grow by New Chapter are both good choices. You can also try amino acid chelated calcium with magnesium and zinc.

      • Jessica August 10, 2010, 2:13 am

        Thank you Vivian for responding. I respect your knowledge in this field and we all need your guidance.

  90. Robin Brostovski August 4, 2010, 8:34 am

    Thank you so much for this article! As a health and lifestyle coach, this is exactly what I teach in my seminars and have for years! The funny thing is that people tend to want to believe the doctors and take supplements for everything under the sun. To me, if they really must take something, I whole food green drink powders, or juicing. Im so glad I found this site! Its a great thing to find a like believer!
    Blessings!
    Robin

  91. Georgina Renaux August 4, 2010, 5:23 am

    Thank you vivian, I do appreciate all the information that you pass on to us. thank you for your concern for all your readers..georgina

  92. Merle Rossow August 4, 2010, 2:53 am

    Thank you so much for revealing such good information. I was on Actonel for 3 years and my bone density got worse.

  93. mary t ball August 4, 2010, 2:12 am

    Vivian,

    I take ‘Calceos’ a vitamin D and Calcium daily supplement supplied by my GP. I’ve no idea whether they’re organic of not. I suspect not, so I’m taking myself to the herb shop to seek out an organic version.

    Thanks again for this wealth of information.

    Mary.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:46 am

      Hi Mary,

      Calceos uses calcium carbonate, which is indeed inorganic. If you are unsure about the source of calcium in a particular formula, read the ingredient list. If the source isn’t on the label, try calling the company that manufactures the supplement. You will often find a toll-free number on the bottle.

  94. Rhett August 4, 2010, 12:36 am

    I’m 63, lean, and a long term exerciser, multiple vitamin taker, and good eater. My cholesterol ratio has been good for at least the last 25 years. I have thought I was much healthier than my peers. Neither of my parents died from heart problems. I was shocked to find recently that I have a very high degree, relatively, of calcium deposits in one of my heart arteries, but clear everywhere else. I also found out that my bone density was 4.4 in several of my lumbar vertebra, which is highly unusual for a man at any age. The only thing I have done that is unusual is my drinking 3 big glasses of milk (skim when it came out)every day of my life until I was around 57 or so when I stopped, substituting it with almonds and mucho broccoli. I’m hypothesizing that the calcium in the milk may have contributed to my heart artery problem and maybe my bone density problem.. What say you?

    Rhett

  95. Viola Kindstrand August 3, 2010, 5:43 pm

    Dear Vivian:

    My take on these reports concerning calcium is that, of courseama it depends on how your system absorbs it. But I believe it’s the same with any vitamin products. I stopped taking bone density drugs (first Fosamax and then Boniva) about three years ago, and so far have not had any broken bones (knock in wood) However, I have developed some other problems which I now wonder if they are belated sideeffects from these drugs. I am exercising twice a week,like weight lifting, treadmill,etc. and with all the information that is coming out I am glad that I stopped the drugs and I am taking calcium and have for years, and I might mention that I am in my 70.

  96. Jackie Waite August 3, 2010, 4:37 pm

    I so appreciate all you are doing for women and men to help us live healthy and fulfilling lives. I, too, take BONE UP by Jarrow. I haven’t seen your response to it’s usefulness (or not). I’ll take whatever you recommend but need to know about BONE UP first.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 10, 2010, 1:55 am

      Hi Jackie,

      The calcium in Bone Up is calcium citrate, which is typically inorganic, though much better absorbed than calcium carbonate. The closest calcium to an organic source (other than plant-derived formulas) is amino acid chelated calcium, since it’s bound to molecules that the body recognizes as organic (i.e. food).

  97. Carol August 3, 2010, 3:22 pm

    What about the calcium in a natural spring water? Would this be metablized as inorganic calcium or organic calcium? I am presently drinking the only non-carbonated spring water that comes in glass bottles- and it is relatively high in calcium.

    Thank you,

    Carol

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 3, 2010, 3:51 pm

      Spring water has calcium from rocks, so it’s inorganic calcium. That’s why I recommend drinking mostly distilled or purified water (by reverse osmosis):)

  98. Lisa August 3, 2010, 12:58 pm

    Hi Vivian,
    I read your reply yesterday regarding MCHC. I have been using such a product for about a year now. Can you comment on another product I use in conjunction with the MCHC: it is called Ostera (mfg by Metagenics) and contains 500 Vit D, 500mcg Vit K and 90 mg of Berberine HCI. It features SKRMs in the form of RIAA (from hops extract). Thank you for your time and dedication to our cause!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 3, 2010, 1:59 pm

      Lisa,

      Ostera doesn’t have calcium in its formula. It targets inflammation more than anything else, plus it has (as you wrote) D and K :)

  99. Angela August 3, 2010, 2:32 am

    I was shocked to get this message about calcium, as although I have Vivian’s book and try to eat healthily, I have been taking a calcium tablet – Adcal D3 prescribed by the Doctor each morning and another bought from the Health Shop with my evening drink of milk. The latter has been calcium citrate & magnesium and made my USA company Solgar and says suitable for vetetarians so I presumed this to be a safer bet.

    Should I stop all this? and Vivian do you get all your calcium from your Almond Milk or do you take a supplement? Thanks Angela.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 3, 2010, 1:53 pm

      Angela,

      The Solgar calcium is chelated. It all depends on how much you are taking. I take organic calcium from algae, but not the full “dose”.

  100. Karen August 3, 2010, 1:45 am

    My comment: Are the Doctors trying to scare us into taking the prescriptions verses eating and exercising and just taking good care of ourselves? If we don’t take our individual lifes in hand and watch over ourselves then we are letting somebody else do that for us. I believe they are banking on that. So rally around SaveOurBones. This is sound and good old fashion sense to me. Thanks Vivian. Karen

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA August 3, 2010, 1:50 pm

      Thanks for posting this great comment, Karen.

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