Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What? Calcium supplements might do more harm than good?

Just came across this from Chris Kresser. Seems that several recent studies have punctured the myth that taking supplemental calcium is good for you!  What's next?  How am I going to break this to PaleoPathologistMate?

Actually as a kidney stone sufferer (and suffer is the correct word for kidney stones) this intrigues me. Supplements have their place and I take some, but more and more studies which perhaps I can look into later seem to show that supplementing with pure chemicals just doesn't work as well as eating foods that contain the same chemicals.

Scientific humility is called for here. We assume that our scientific approach can figure out exactly what chemicals are doing good for us (trace elements, vitamins, antioxidants) and if we just pop those we're good and can live on McDonalds plus pills! 

But nature is ALWAYS a step more complex.  Always. And then when you figure out the next step, she surprises you again with yet another level of complexity. There are probably, who knows, dozens? hundreds? more chemical compounds in plants, meats, that we need to thrive. 

I'm going to continue taking my vitamin D, glucosamine until I get my bone broth factory going at home, vitamin K2 and some others, but in the past year plus I've really increased my vegetables, colored foods, organ meats, etc.  (I would wager that very few pathologists or other docs eat liver!)


  1. I would definitely not take a calcium supplement without a vitamin D supplement. Here's one of many reasons why: http://advancedmediterranean.com/2012/05/24/calcium-supplementation-linked-to-heart-attacks/

    I don't take a calcium supplement.

    (Everybody else consult your personal physician.)

  2. " I can look into later seem to show that supplementing with pure chemicals just doesn't work as well as eating foods that contain the same chemicals."

    Isn't that the issue with sugar and the fact that some become addicted? It's fine in fruit, but extract it and mix it with butter and wheat it becomes something very different.

    I find the parallels between sugar addiction alcohol addiction to be striking. In small doses both are beneficial, even healthful, but some people can't control themselves when exposed to the hard stuff.

  3. I actually have to really watch sugar, more than alcohol. Not that long ago I could pack away a big pack of peanut M and M's, knowing full well that I was going to feel like crap a half hour later, and yet I just would not stop. Some people need to set up their diets with "treat days" for psychological stamina, but I'm afraid I'm more like an alcoholic and need to just not have the first M and M.