Do You Have Safety Concerns Taking Calcium? You May Have Good Reason
“The form in which supplements are taken is as important as the form in which your food is consumed.”
Calcium is necessary to build strong bones and teeth or for proper blood clotting. It is a messenger/carrier that nerves depend on for sending and receiving signals. Muscles rely on it for squeezing and relaxing, and for releasing hormones and chemicals and for keeping a normal heartbeat. As you can see, keeping an adequate amount of calcium in the body is critical to good health. Medical doctors know this very well and that is why they recommend calcium intake between 1000 to 1200 mg daily. Since taking this amount with diet alone can be difficult, calcium supplements are widely suggested. It is one of the main recommendations for avoiding osteoporosis, which is a common problem in the elderly, due to calcium deficiency.
What about the source of calcium, and the calcium carriers, referred to as managers—are they ever discussed or is it believed that all calcium forms are the same? Supplements like food, will the body absorb the same each and every time, separating each component from the food and drink, from each stage, ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation to egestion and paring nutrients with directions to be delivered to their respective cells for absorption, once swallowed is everything taken care of, the natural process takes care of everything? Wouldn’t that be nice!
According to research published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, “[c]alcium supplementation may increase the risk of developing dementia in elderly women with cerebrovascular disease.” 700 dementia-free women between the ages of 70 and 92 were involved and followed for five years. A CT brain scan was performed in 447 participants at the start of the study. 98 women were taking calcium supplements at the start of the study and 54 women had already experienced a stroke. During the study, 54 more women had strokes, and 59 women developed dementia. Women with a history of stroke who took supplements had a nearly seven times increased risk of developing dementia than women with a history of stroke who did not take calcium supplements. Women with white matter lesions who took supplements were three times as likely to develop dementia as women who had white matter lesions and did not take supplements. Women without a history of stroke or women without white matter lesions had no increased risk when taking calcium supplements. It should be noted that calcium from food affects the body differently than calcium from supplements and appears to be safe or even protective against vascular problems.
Can taking calcium on a daily basis jeopardise your health and should it be eliminated from the body? Absolutely not. Calcium needs to be taken and the proper sourcing of calcium combined with calcium managers to be absorbed to the cells as food are critical for therapeutic results. On the other hand, according to a Harvard study, too much calcium (of the wrong kind) could cause heart disease. “Calcium deposits are part of artery-clogging plaque. They also contribute to stiffening of the arteries and interfere with the action of heart valves. But whether there is a direct connection between the amount of calcium in the bloodstream (calcium supplements increase blood calcium levels) and cardiovascular problems isn’t yet known.”
I would clarify: it is not known because no studies have been performed and the ones that have, were discounted as they did not follow pharmaceutical guidelines. Yes, too much non-absorbable calcium could cause heart disease and dementia but not the calcium that is directly absorbed into the cells. Dr. Hans Neiper was a German physician known for his work on mineral orotates, including calcium orotate, which is a compound consisting of calcium bound to orotic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in the body. According to Dr. Neiper’s research and claims, calcium orotate is suggested to have superior bioavailability and absorption compared to other forms of calcium commonly used in dietary supplements. The theory behind this claim is that the orotate component may facilitate the transport of calcium into cells more effectively.
What are orotates?
I have followed and studied the work of Dr. Neiper most of my career and used his research in producing lithium orotate for treating my bipolar patients with great success. What made the delivery and the patients’ results so effective was the low dose needed for a therapeutic result. The medical approach uses 600 mg 3 times per day which causes headaches, nose bleeds, depression and suicidal thoughts. When I compounded lithium gluconate with orotic acid, I used just 5 mg of lithium to 85 mg of orotic acid—this way, the patients were treated without side effects. Unfortunately, the orotate treatment was vilified and Dr. Neipier’s research was discredited as it made the pharmaceutical drugs look bad; I know that feeling very well.
Orotates are involved in nucleotide synthesis; they are not classified as a nucleic acid as such—nucleotides consist of a sugar molecule, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base. Orotic acid is, in fact, a pyrimidine nucleotide, which are essential components of DNA and RNA. Orotic acid is converted into orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP), which is further metabolized to produce uridine monophosphate (UMP), a key precursor for the synthesis of RNA. The nucleotide synthesis in orotic acid—when bound to calcium increases absorption to the cells and may enhance the transport and absorption of calcium into the cells. Orotic acid has been studied for its potential health benefits, particularly in relation to cellular energy metabolism and certain aspects of athletic performance. Overall, for the general population, obtaining nucleic acids through a well-balanced diet is typically sufficient to meet the body’s requirements.
Recommendations for optimal bone health
Boron is a trace mineral that has been studied for its potential effects on bone health and bone density. Research suggests that boron may have a positive impact on bone metabolism and the prevention of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by decreased bone density and increased risk of fractures. Some studies suggest that boron supplementation, particularly in postmenopausal women, may increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures.
Vitamin K2 with calcium is often recommended for optimal bone health and calcium metabolism. It plays a crucial role in regulating calcium balance in the body and directing calcium to the appropriate places, such as the bones, while preventing its accumulation in soft tissues.
Here are a few reasons why taking vitamin K2 with calcium is important:
Calcium utilization: Vitamin K2 helps activate proteins involved in calcium metabolism, such as osteocalcin, which is responsible for incorporating calcium into bone tissue. This helps ensure that the calcium you consume is properly utilized by the bones, rather than being deposited in arteries or other soft tissues.
Synergistic effect: Vitamin K2 works synergistically with vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the intestines, while vitamin K2 helps ensure that the absorbed calcium is directed towards the bones. Together, these nutrients support optimal bone health.
Reduction of calcification: Vitamin K2 may help prevent arterial calcification, which is the accumulation of calcium in the arteries. By promoting proper calcium utilization, vitamin K2 can help maintain cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of calcification-related issues. Diet can play a role in the development of arterial calcification. Certain dietary factors can contribute to the accumulation of calcium and the progression of atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of arterial calcification. Dietary factors that can potentially influence arterial calcification include:
- high intake of saturated and trans fats that are commonly found in fried foods, processed snacks, and high-fat dairy products,
- excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and promote the retention of calcium in the arterial walls,
- low intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds may increase the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial calcification,
- high intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars such as sugary beverages and processed foods, can contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic disorders that promote arterial calcification,
- imbalanced calcium and vitamin D intake—it is important to maintain appropriate levels of both nutrients through a balanced diet or supplementation, as recommended by healthcare professionals,
- high intake of red and processed meats has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including arterial calcification,
- inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acid, which can be found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds, have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial calcification.
It is worth noting that dietary factors interact with other lifestyle factors and individual health conditions. Adopting a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk of arterial calcification and promote overall cardiovascular health. Consulting with a naturopathic doctor or a registered dietitian or healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance on diet and nutrition.
Today, when food is not the same food as it was before, even when organically grown, the need for supplementing becomes necessary. For this, make sure it is produced like medicine and absorbed as food—using the same pharmaceutical standards: USP pharmaceutical grade and in the purest possible state. Doctor’s Choice supplements would be a good choice.
Opti-Cal/Mag Complex was designed to promote bone growth by increasing the production of osteocalcin in osteoblasts, which allows calcium to anchor to bone and thus build bone. It also inhibits the production of osteoclasts, which break down bone thereby acting as an inorganic calcium scavenger for reabsorption.
The formulation uses an advanced delivery method for cellular delivery via natural electrolyte carriers for distributing minerals throughout the body; the membranes remain intact without “dissociating” or breaking apart into their component ions, and then release their respective ions only at specific membrane sites within the cells. The minerals are delivered to the cell nucleus without being eliminated from the body.
As we have seen, the form in which supplements are taken is as important as the form in which your food is consumed. If you eat a McDonald’s diet, do not be surprised if you do not qualify for the next Olympics. In all seriousness, as Hypocrites said 2,000 years ago, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
- Dahl, Eldon. 2023. Quality Always Matters
- Dahl, Eldon. 2023. The Deception About Nutritional Supplements
- Dahl, Eldon. 2023. Doctor’s Choice – A Steadfast Commitment to Core Values
- Dahl, Eldon. 2022. 5 Things to Know Before You Buy Health Products
- Dahl, Eldon. 2022. Toxins in the Food Chain and Why Quality Supplementation is Necessary
- Dahl, Eldon. 2022. Nutraceuticals: Quality Equals Price. Integrity Equals Trust.
- Doctor’s Choice. 2022. Why Synergy is Crucial When Formulating Mineral Supplements
- Kern, Jürgen MD, PhD et al. 2016. Calcium supplementation and risk of dementia in women with cerebrovascular disease. Neurology, August. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003111
- Harvard Health Publishing Staff, 2020. Could too much calcium cause heart disease? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/study-links-too-much-calcium-to-heart-disease-20100812204
 Kern, Jürgen MD, PhD et al. 2016.
 Harvard Health Publishing Staff, 2020.