Our society has been told that taking a calcium supplement is necessary in order to have strong healthy bones, especially if you are female and over the age of 50. Recent research shows that this path we have been on for decades may actually cause more harm than good.
A meta analysis published in the British Medical Journal showed there was a 30% increased risk of suffering from a heart attack, 20% increase in risk of stroke, and 9% increase in overall mortality.1
This is most likely to do with how fast calcium is absorbed by the body in supplement form.2 Calcium from food is absorbed at much slower rates due to having to go through the digestion process. This fast dumping of calcium into the arteries can lead to the calcification of arteries. It can also lead to an increased risk of developing kidney stones. Excess calcium in the body is excreted through our urine. Having a supplement supplying a high amount of calcium quickly can lead to our kidneys not being able to flush it out.
Western medicine tends to always look at a one problem one solution approach. The solution tends to always lean towards a pill or surgery to fix every problem. Pills and surgeries are both necessary at certain times, but not all of the time. In terms of bone health, a pill is not the answer.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will supply you with the all of the nutrients necessary to build new bone. Unlike in supplement form the calcium from food is more slowly absorbed so the risk of heart attack and stroke is not prevalent. We also need to eat foods that are rich in high quality protein as protein plays an important role in building new bone. We also want to minimize our intake of processed foods as these can negatively affect digestion and absorption of key nutrients.