A new research study, published in last week?s British Medical Journal,concluded that calcium and vitamin D did not prevent fractures in a group of women over 70. This was a large randomized controlled study (over 3,000 women participated), so I wanted to know why calcium and vitamin D didn?t work.
I contacted the researchers, asking them for the amount and form
of calcium they used, and whether or not any of these women were
deficient in HCl (hydrochloric acid) or magnesium. After all,
when you?re in your 70s, the stomach doesn?t produce as much
digestive acids as it does when you?re younger. Either deficiency
would prevent calcium from being well absorbed.
The answer I received from the director of trials (head researcher)
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explained everything. The women had been given 1,000 mg/day of
calcium carbonate, the worst absorbed form of calcium there is.
This study was doomed to fail. The researchers should have known
better. This information about calcium carbonate wasn?t new. One
study published nearly 20 years ago found that more calcium is
absorbed from 500 mg of calcium citrate (an acidic form) than from
2,000 mg of calcium carbonate.
Calcium needs to be in the presence of acid for highest absorption. Calcium carbonate is not acidic. That?s why I also asked if the women had been given HCl. Its acidity would have increased calcium absorption. The head researcher confessed to me that he didn?t even know what HCl was. And no, the women hadn?t been given any other supplements.
If calcium doesn?t get into your bones, it certainly can?t prevent
fractures. And if there isn?t enough magnesium to keep the bones
that are being formed from being brittle, you won?t prevent fractures.
There?s a lot of misinformation about calcium out there. I?ve been
sharing a lot of them with my subscribers for over a dozen years. If you?re already a subscriber of Women?s Health Letter, you can go to
my website(www.womenshealthletter.com) and find all of those past articles. The user name and password you need to login are in every
issue. You can search all of my past articles for complete information on calcium, magnesium, osteoporosis, and many other topics. If you?re not a subscriber yet, this is a good time to join. I?d like you to get all the latest information.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand