UPDATE: 4 August - NattoPharma says calcium research highlights vitamin K role
Norwegian vitamin K supplier NattoPharma has backed the role of vitamin K in calcium metabolism following the controversial British Medical Journal meta-analysis linking calcium consumption and increased risk of heart attack.
The article has drawn widespread industry criticism for inappropriately “cherry picking” data, but NattoPharma says regardless of that fact, the research highlights the importance of vitamins D and K in the way the body processes calcium.
“Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and vitamin K2 activates the proteins responsible for directing the calcium to the bone where we want it and out of the arteries where it can have detrimental negative effects,” said NattoPharma chief executive officer, Morten Sundstø.
The company referenced vitamin K researcher, Professor Cees Vermeer, who backed observations made by two of the researchers that, “the only mechanism for arteries to protect themselves from calcification is via the vitamin K‐dependent protein MGP.”
“MGP is the most powerful inhibitor of soft tissue calcification presently known, but non‐supplemented healthy adults are insufficient in vitamin K to a level that 30 per cent of their MGP is synthesised in an inactive form. So protection against cardiovascular calcification is only 70 per cent in the young, healthy population, and this figure decreases at increasing age.”
NutraIngredients coverage of the calcium research that found the risk of vascular calcium deposits causing heart attack outweighed potential bone healthbenefits can be found here.
Sundstø noted the western diet was something like 30 per cent deficient in vitamin K2 which could extenuate calcium deposits, especially among over-50s who commonly use calcium supplements to ease osteoporosis.
Vermeer added: “Obviously, an increased calcium load (by taking calcium supplements) will be beneficial for bone strength, but at the same time it will worsen the situation for the vasculature.”
from 30 July, 2010 - One part of this equation seems to be overlooked and that is the type of calcium supplement and the amount of calcium supplementation.
Too often I find that people do not want to spend money for supplements and look for the most inexpensive product rather than a high quality product that will fare them better in the long run.
Numerous studies have been completed that clearly establish the lack of benefit from mas market supplements made with the lowest grade, and most often least effective ingredients.
Calcium carbonate is just one of these ingredients, and its also the main core found in TUMS.
For many not well apprised of the best ways to utilize supplements, TUMS is one of those often suggested by doctors to help bones. Those same doctors are quick to forget that all this calcium overload add a negative effect to the blood buffering system. You know, the buffering system that keeps your blood pH in normal range.
Often this form of calcium can lead to bone spurs and calcium deposits basically because your body just can't metabolize it effectively. We've got better options for you to consider.
And I guess no one told the same doctors that BonAmi, my favorite commercial scouring powder, is made from the very same form of calcium -carbonate!
Calcium pills 'increase' risk of heart attack
Calcium supplements taken by many older people could be increasing their risk of a heart attack, research shows.The study, in the British Medical Journal, said people who took supplements were 30% more likely to have a heart attack.
Data from 11 trials also suggested the medicines were not very effective at preventing bone fractures.
Almost 3m people in the UK are thought to have osteoporosis and many take calcium pills to prevent fractures.
The study recommends doctors review their use of calcium supplements for managing osteoporosis.
The National Osteoporosis Society said most people should be able to get enough calcium through their diets, rather than reaching for the medicine cabinet.
The researchers said those who had a diet naturally high in calcium were at no increased danger.
'Limited benefit'In all 12,000 people aged over 40 took part in the trials of calcium supplements of 500mg or more a day.
The risk of heart attack was seen across men and women, was independent of age and the type of supplement given.
It is a balance of risks - people should consider the risks involved and how they apply to their own circumstances and discuss the matter with their GP” Dr Alison Avenell Study author
A small increased risk of death was seen in the study but was not statistically significant, the researchers said.
The reason for the increased risk of heart attack is not clear but it is thought the extra calcium circulating in the blood could lead to a hardening of the arteries.
Calcium in the diet is safe and the Food Standards Agency recommends adults have 700mg of calcium a day from milk, cheese and green, leafy vegetables.
Dr Alison Avenell, from the University of Aberdeen which did the research with colleagues in New Zealand and the US, said the evidence suggests calcium supplements only have a limited benefit in preventing fractures, especially when compared to other treatments available.
"It is a balance of risks - people should consider the risks involved and how they apply to their own circumstances and discuss the matter with their GP," she said.
She added the results did not necessarily apply to younger people with conditions for which they take calcium.
Judy O'Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the results should be interpreted with caution because the trials did not set out to look at the risk of heart attack.
"However, the research should not be completely ignored," she said.
"Any new guidelines on the prevention of fractures in those most vulnerable to them should take this type of analysis into account."
Dr Claire Bowring, of the National Osteoporosis Society, said: "We've always recommended that people should aim to get the calcium they need from their diet to help build stronger bones.
"If you get all of the calcium that you need from your diet and adequate vitamin D from exposure to sunshine, then a supplement will not be necessary."
She said there were still questions to be answered about the treatment of osteoporosis but advised people taking calcium supplements to talk to their GP, especially if they have a heart condition.
Sampling from Natural Health News 30+ posts about Bone Health
May 26, 2010
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday that studies suggest a possible increased risk of bone fractures with the use of proton pump inhibitors for one year or longer, or at high doses. Package insert labels for the drugs ...
Dec 10, 2008
Dr Victoria King, of the charity Diabetes UK, said: "We really do need further evidence through properly controlled trials before we can conclusively link thiazolidinediones to increased risk of various bone conditions in humans and ...
Oct 02, 2009
A few points to consider - DpD only indicates current bone loss. There are so many factors regarding bone loss - including; those who never gained peak bone mass for multiple reasons - eating disorders or simply not eating well during ...
Mar 08, 2010
It is very critical that you understand that the bisphosphonate drugs are associated with killing off specific cells that have to do with the complete cycle of bone construction and destruction in the body's natural physiology. ...