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Do I need calcium?

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  • Do I need calcium?

    Hello - I am in supplement hell. I figured out i needed magnesium and am tolerating it well. It has resolved nightly charley horses. Yeah!

    Now i am owndering if I also need calcium? I register from 300 -600 mg(or whatever the measure is) on Fit day. I am a 33 year old woman. I am wondering if I should take a calcium supplement, just to get my leel up to 1,000?

    I do not supplement Vit. D as of yet, it is summer, I get about 30 minutes to an hour of leg/arm sun exposure daily. I live in Italy.

    I know the calcium supplement i am looking at has a bit of Vit. D in it.

    any help here would be greatly appreciated.

    Supplements I take: (usually daily)
    Fish Oil - 2 capsules
    Vitamin E (Natural E brand) - 1-2 capsules
    Symbiolac probiotic
    Magnesium carbonate powder - 200 mg

    Thanks for any help!

  • #2
    Here is my input:

    -- Have your vitamin D 25(OH)D blood level checked, and see whether you're in the optimal range of 50 - 80 ng/mL. If yours is low (possible even with your sun exposure), supplement with vitamin D3 until you're in the optimal range. According to cillakat, the body requires significantly less calcium than the typically recommended daily RDA, if blood levels of Vit D are optimal.

    -- I haven't personally been able to find the articles that cillakat has mentioned, but I do recall that *how* much less calcium is required, for people with optimal Vit D blood levels, has *not* yet been established, so it's anyone's guess. 600 mg/day? 200 mg/day? Personally, I prefer to err on the side of taking too much calcium rather than too little, so I personally would supplement with calcium citrate to bring yourself into the 1,000 mg/day range.

    -- I highly recommend taking a good Vitamin K2 supplement. K2 is supposed to "direct" calcium to your bones instead of allowing calcification of blood vessels, so K2 is a crucial supplement for everyone, particularly since nobody is certain about how much Ca intake is ideal.

    Here is an informative Mercola article on K2:

    The 2 vitamin K2 products that I personally use are the following:

    Jarrow MK-7, 90 mcg

    Life Extension Foundation Super K (less expensive from iHerb... not appearing on iHerb's site at the moment, for some reason)
    Last edited by healthseekerKate; 07-27-2010, 10:20 AM.


    • #3
      Head spins. this is too complicated. I have forgotten what it is like to just enjoy life.


      • #4
        Originally posted by invino77 View Post
        Head spins. this is too complicated. I have forgotten what it is like to just enjoy life.
        A reasonable response. The trouble is that you can't get a definitive answer on this, only contradictory opinions from different people. So it is enough to make the head spin.

        Rob Wolf points to a study from New Zealand entitled "Calcium supplements May Increase Risk Of Heart Attack In Older Women":

        So it's such a grey area. People must wonder are you damned if you do, or damned if you don't? And how are you to know?

        Rob states quite confidently that "[r]etention and excretion [of calcium] are largely acid base issues" and cites Professor Cordain.

        However, Chris Masterjohn, commenting on Cordain says:

        When they began eating modern refined foods, the Inuit suffered rapid development of tooth decay and general physical degeneration, but the modern diets were no more or less acid-producing than their traditional diets.
        So it looks like the problem may be refined foods not "acid–base issues".

        Chris Masterjohn again:

        Cordain, Eaton, and Melvin Konner published an editorial in the same issue of AJCN arguing that the many net acid-producing diets of historic hunter-gatherers resulted from a divergence from the ancestral alkaline diets of prehistoric hunter-gatherers
        This is what bothers me a bit about Professor Cordain. He'll make statements about what people's diets were in the Paleolithic, but those statements are not always grounded in empirical evidence.

        So data from hunter-gatherers that we have been able to collect is perhaps not looked at enough. Conversely, hunter-gatherers that we can't (or can't easily) collect data on are made to eat whatever it would suit a theory to have them eat. ... And this is also how you get hunter-gatherers eating low-fat, eating more fibre than is likely, scarfing down high-sugar fruit that wasn't actually around in the wild, and avoiding salt.

        I'm afraid in the end it's a case of look at what people have said and make up your own mind.

        Here's Mark himself on calcium:

        Here's Rob Wolf:

        Here's Chris Masterjohn: