Calcium Supplements Linked to Heart Disease (If you take calcium …read this)

calciumsourcesIf you take a calcium supplement, don’t panic. It’s probably a good thing, BUT I highly recommend you also take vitamin K2 that is involved in helping calcium move out of the arteries and into the bone where we want it stored. (see my other blog on vitamin K2). 

This study published in Lancet (read here), adds to known research that calcium can end up hardening the arteries and thus leading to arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, stroke, and even death.  Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in those with chronic kidney disease. High phosphorus is dangerous in kidney failure patients and in an effort to bind and reduce phosphorous, numerous binding agents have been tried, the most common being calcium. Past studies on how much calcium can be used without causing this calcium to accumulate in non-bone (arteries) tissue has shown that up to 3 grams a day is safe and that at 6 grams a day of calcium there is some accumulation of calcium outside of the bone. 

Those with normal kidney function can likely handle large doses of calcium. However, most of us are in a negative calcium balance due to poor absorption of calcium from our diets. This article prompts me to make the following three suggestions:

1.  Take vitamin D at adequate doses so you will absorb the calcium that is in your diet.

2.  Take vitamin K2 if you are taking a calcium supplement, so that you can move excess calcium out of blood vessels and into bone where you want to store it.

3.  Limit supplemental calcium intake to 3 grams a day or less (typical calcium supplements are at the most 500 mg-1 gm for adults).


Clinical Practice Guidelines for Bone Metabolism and Disease in Chronic Kidney Disease




Dr. Paul


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