Could The Establishment Be Right? My Take On A Just-Published Controversial Calcium And Dairy Study

The Establishment never misses a chance to denigrate natural, nutritional health solutions and promote pharmaceuticals. The controversial new study on calcium intake and fractures, just published in the prestigious BMJ, is another classic example.

The results of this meta-analysis declare calcium supplementation and dietary intake to be ineffective at preventing fractures, setting the osteoporosis community all abuzz. But as you’ll see in today’s post, there is no reason to throw out natural solutions, as the Establishment hopes you will.

So today, we’ll take a look at this controversial study and I’lI share my take on it… Let’s get started!

A Closer Look At The New Zealand Calcium Study

A team of researchers reviewed approximately 100 studies of calcium intake in people over the age of 50 who sustained a fracture.

There were only two randomized, controlled trials of how dietary calcium influences fracture risk, and of those two, the calcium source was milk powder. The researchers did find 26 cohort studies (observational studies) that looked at dietary calcium (in the form of dairy products) and fracture risk, and concluded that dietary calcium does not prevent fractures.

They also reviewed calcium supplements and fracture outcome, and found that calcium supplements reduced the risk of vertebral fractures and fractures overall, but not hip or forearm fractures. They concluded as follows:

“Evidence that calcium supplements prevent fractures is weak and inconsistent.” 1

Some of the supplement studies included co-administered Vitamin D, but the researchers reported that:

“Results were similar for trials of calcium monotherapy and co-administered calcium and vitamin D.” 1

In short, this meta-analysis found no positive correlation between dietary or supplemental calcium intake and fracture risk. They even went so far as to say that:

“Increasing calcium intake, through calcium supplements or dietary sources, should not be recommended for fracture prevention.” 1

So what are we to make of all this? Should you throw out your calcium supplements and give up a nutritional approach to preserving and building bone health?

Not so fast. This meta-analysis is narrow, flawed, and little more than an advertisement for prescription drugs. Here’s why.

Flaw Number One: Using Dairy Products As A Source Of Dietary Calcium

It should come as no surprise to Savers that dietary calcium from acidifying milk, milk powder, and dairy products did not prevent fractures. This serves to underscore an important point in the Save Our Bones Program: dairy products are not bone-healthy.

The exception to this rule is fermented dairy, such as yogurt and kefir. Because of the fermentation process and probiotic content, these dairy products are alkalizing and good for bones…but relying on even these products as a primary source of calcium is not a good idea. Large amounts of any one food, like large doses of any one supplement (as we will see in a moment) is not a nutritionally sound approach.

Additionally, the acidifying animal protein present in dairy products prohibits calcium absorption. It’s so acidifying that the calcium in the milk or dairy product gets used to buffer the effects, and the calcium never makes it to your bones anyway.

Instead, the calcium found in plants is far superior from a bioavailable and nutritional point of view. As part of their own food-making process, plants convert the calcium into a form that is highly absorbable by the human body, making plants an excellent source of this important mineral.

Flaw Number Two: No Distinction Made As To The Type Of Calcium

When calcium supplements are prescribed or recommended by doctors, they are nearly always an inorganic form of calcium, such as calcium carbonate, citrate, and the like. Even calcium supplements touted as “natural,” such as oyster shell, are still inorganic. Taking large doses of these forms of calcium can cause a host of health problems, including heart attack. It’s obvious that such calcium supplements cannot be expected to build healthy bones.

But in this meta-analysis, no notation is made as to the type of calcium, leaving a void where there should be data about the effect of organic vs. inorganic calcium supplements on fracture risk, especially since it’s known that inorganic calcium is not recognized as a nutrient by the body as plant-based organic calcium is.

Flaw Number Three: Exclusion Of Individuals Who Did Not Sustain A Fracture

The meta-analysis looked only at those individuals who had both significant calcium intake and sustained a fracture. What about the enormous numbers of people whose calcium intake was comparable, but who did not sustain a fracture?

More importantly, what about the data on the thousands of individuals who ingested comparable amounts of bioavailable calcium, such as calcium supplements derived from algae or in the form of plant foods, and did or did not sustain a fracture? By hand-picking studies that involved only those who ingested unspecified calcium and who’d broken bones, the researchers produced a very narrow and biased collection of data.

Flaw Number Four: Confining The Study To Calcium Alone

Savers are well aware of the synergistic nature of nutrients. When we isolate one vitamin or mineral – no matter how healthful that vitamin or mineral may be – we set the stage for imbalance. This is because no nutrient works in isolation, and in fact, some nutrients are so interdependent that certain metabolic processes can’t happen unless all nutrients are present.

This meta-analysis does not account for the other vitamins (except for Vitamin D, as noted earlier), minerals, and supplements the participants were taking in the time period leading up to their fracture, nor does it take their overall diets into account.

And exercise, which is essential for preserving and building bone density, is not even mentioned. Did the participants lead a sedentary lifestyle? Did they exercise daily? Did they take multivitamins? Did they eat a lot of acidifying foods? We’re simply not told.

There isn’t nearly as much information in this meta-analysis as The Establishment would have you believe, and it’s certainly not a ground-breaking, life-altering revelation.

In fact, it’s just another biased study that The Establishment can use to push osteoporosis drugs, because this meta-analysis appears to “prove” that non-pharmaceutical methods do not work. But clearly, it proves no such thing. And ample evidence proves the opposite!

So What Does This Study Prove?

What it does prove is The Establishment’s agenda, which is completely opposite to the Save Our Bones Program’s approach. The Program is entirely non-pharmaceutical and emphasizes nutrient-rich, non-dairy Foundation foods full of calcium and other nutrients that work synergistically to build bone. And it works.

So there’s no need to be alarmed at this latest information about calcium. It’s not necessary to discard factual, time-tested, scientifically-backed natural approaches to rejuvenating and preserving bone. The Save Our Bones Program has shown itself to be well ahead of the curve time and again, because it gives reliable, factual information from the get-go. It always has.

So don’t worry! The non-pharmaceutical approach, which includes healthful organic calcium intake along with the rest of the Foundation Supplements, is valid, solid, and here to stay.

Till next time,

References:

1Bolland, Mark J, et al. “Calcium intake and risk of fracture: systematic review.” BMJ. August 2015. 351:h4580. Web: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4580.

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25 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Shelly May 18, 2017, 7:17 am

    Facts: ALL HEATED animal proteins PRODUCT store honey, milk and products made from PASTURIZED Milk product IS THE WORST FOOD you can put in your body! CAUSE OF ALL CHILDHOOD DISEASE,- Baby formula has lactose SHOULD NEVER!, kitten milk! AMIMALS ARE lactose intolerant! ALWAYS GIVE BABY LACTOSE FREE, THAT’S WHY BABIES CAN’T DO store bought Honey. HEATED Protien WORST! RESPONSIBLE for almost ALL DISEASE, PERIOD! Store bought Honey IS FRAUD, it’s Poison! It’s ALL PASTURIZED, heated, ALL POISON!
    Must NOT HEAT ANIMAL PROTIEN, except egg whites, then gently, or can discard … NEVER well done, Yolks should be runny or taken off stove and wait a few minutes for firm but clear yolk, like delicate custard. Eggs, shell, all, PERFECT FOOD Yolk perfect brain food, ground shell, perfect calcium, should be ground to powder eaten with yolk, rest of egg for proper, perfect food, absorption.
    Understand lactose intolerance. Lactose POISON! FORMED WHEN MILK HEATED. Yogurt, cheese, ALL STORE BOUGHT DAIRY -POISON-EVEN HEALTH FOOD STORES.
    THINK MARINADES, DEHYDRATION, CURING – CEVECHE’

    PETS MUST NOT eat COOKED egg yolks, you can skip the white, unless it’s very lightly cooked until just white. Otherwise, some pets allergic-it’s why dogs get GAS from cooked egg or cooked meat pet food.

  2. Carol February 10, 2017, 1:08 pm

    I have been in the non compliant patient category for quite a while. I especially like to connect with doctors who do not take the standard approach to bone density tests which I consider medicines largest racket. I am visiting in Sydney Australia and had a fall which resulted in a fracture in my hand. I was treated by Dr Stuart Myers a hand surgeon in Sydney. .I took the opportunity to ask the doctor if he thought I needed a bone density test ( am 75 yrs old. and havent had one in about 20 years). Oh no was his reply. You are a very active person. You dont need that Carol. I added Dr Myers to my list of the good doctors.

  3. Machold November 8, 2016, 8:12 am

    What is your relationship to TrueOsteo?

  4. Kathy October 18, 2015, 6:33 pm

    Hello: how can I buy the calcium advised by you? Can you deliver to Switzerland .

    Thanks

    • Customer Support October 19, 2015, 10:28 am

      Hi Kathy,

      Vivian recommends TrueOsteo. However, the manufacturers of TrueOsteo (NatureCity) do not ship to Switzerland. We’re sorry for any inconvenience!

  5. Joan Hunt October 16, 2015, 12:55 am

    Quote from “Anti.ageing breakthroughs ” by Medical Research Associates, Chap. 20 “Nanotechnology’ page 296, “Dr. Allen Roses, Worldwide vice president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline _ made an admission “most pharmaceutical drugs are ineffective for most of the people who take them. The vast majority of drugs ..more than 90% of them only work in 30 _ 50 % of people. I wouldn-t say most drugs don-t work – I would say that most drugs work in 30 – 50% of people. ” ..

  6. Erlinda Siaton October 14, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I am really confused. Years and years calcium is good for the bone. NOW doctors are saying calcium is not good and it does not prevent fractures. Why is calcium tten, prescribed by doctors.?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 14, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Good question, Erlinda, and I’m afraid there’s no simple answer. Basically, Mainstream Medicine relies on biased research like this meta-analysis to write prescriptions, including prescriptions for calcium. That’s why the Program aims to bring you the factual truth, which doesn’t change with the latest health trend.

  7. Julie October 14, 2015, 6:40 am

    Calcium needs to be in balance with magnesium – apparently lacking in most diets. Vitamin K2 is also very important. It’s available in fermented foods

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 14, 2015, 8:52 am

      You’re right, Julie – no supplement works in isolation!

  8. Louise Osgood October 13, 2015, 9:11 pm

    Have you seen a book by Dr Robert Thompson…am MD called the lies of Calcium? I just got it today…talk about it from somebody online. It seems to be the same thing you are talking about. Thanks for your point of view. Ms Osgood

  9. Berta October 13, 2015, 8:01 pm

    I took plant base calcium and had a terrible rash which lasted 3 months. Anyone else had this reaction.

  10. Customer Support October 13, 2015, 7:30 pm

    Just a friendly reminder to those who have questions and concerns that do not pertain to the subjects covered in this blog post (such as questions about your order, our products, or topics besides the ones covered in this post), please send an e-mail to Customer Support by clicking the Customer Support link at the bottom of this page. In addition, you can use the Search feature at the top of the page to view all the free information that Vivian has written on a particular topic. Thank you!

  11. Taube Shubina October 13, 2015, 1:11 pm

    Hi, Dear Vivian I wrote to you a message about my medical history (including that I am 81 year old , osteoperosis, arthritis, blood pressure around 140/80 and breast
    cancer survivor of three years) and I am doing dailly suggested exercises and taking
    all necessary supplements . My question stay for a new supplement – TrueBone Complete from Nutri-Health Supplements company, if you can give any advice about
    how good or not any use for it . I am sorry if I somehow missed your reply to me or
    you did not get my message .
    Thank you very much, Taube Shubina

  12. Priscilla October 13, 2015, 10:44 am

    My husband and I take Citracal and extra magnesium. When we tried to switch to plant based calcium we had terrible leg cramps at night. When we switched back to Citracal the cramps stopped. I was disappointed as I thought the plant based calcium would be so much better for us.

  13. QuebecCity October 13, 2015, 10:18 am

    Raw milk from frass fed cows should not be seen as bad and acidifying. In the US this is readily available compared to Canada.
    I have a suggestion for this website : to have an option to be notified of a reply to one’s comment or to the posting of a new one.

    • job October 13, 2015, 1:57 pm

      I agree with you about the replies. And it seems only a select few are ever answered. I think answereing all questions (there don’t seem to be that many), or at least answereing ones that are helpful and would benefit the most instead of, mostly, thanking those that have given a complement or made a statement, would be most beneficial. There are many good questions that are ignored and could help the majority.

  14. Olivia October 13, 2015, 5:59 am

    Thank you, Vivian. Having read this in the British press last week, I could not wait to read your considered response. It is good to see it all explained by an expert so that we all have the armoury to speak to our Doctors who continually ask if tablets should be the answer. I firmly stick to the ‘No thank you’ reply!
    And now back to the exercises!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 13, 2015, 10:16 am

      Great attitude, Olivia! I’m so glad you stayed tuned and weighed in on today’s post.

  15. Sheena October 13, 2015, 5:32 am

    Hooray for “Saveourbones”! Meta-analysis is a profoundly misleading format as if you leave out one factor, you’ve skewed the results.

    Viva Vivian, viva Nature!

    kind regards, Sheena

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 13, 2015, 10:15 am

      Very insightful about the nature of meta-analyses, Sheena.

  16. Trudy October 13, 2015, 3:57 am

    It is amazing how misleading all these studies are! You really have to do your homework, e.g. research. Fortunately, I got onto Vivian’s website years ago, bought her book and followed her advice. I threw all these ‘miracle’ drugs ‘Actonel’, ‘Fosomax’ away and stuck to some simple diet changes (alkaline/acidic) and bought organic calcium supplements. Only after two years I received good results on my bone health, something these drugs never did – it actually got worse with them!
    I even advised my GP, who took Actonel, to bin it and get onto Vivian’s website.
    Cheers from Australia

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 13, 2015, 10:14 am

      Trudy, that’s fantastic to hear. Thank you for encouraging the community with your comment about how the nutritional approach worked for you!

  17. Luis South October 13, 2015, 3:23 am

    Your critique of the study focused on the effects of animal based calcium is very good. This is truly an example of biased “research.” Keeping us in tune with medical research is why I have adopted you as my guru. Don’t ever get too tired. We need your shared knowledge, Vivian! Thanks.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 13, 2015, 10:13 am

      Thank you for the encouragement, Luis!

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