The Dangers of Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is big health news these days, and with good reason. Vitamin D has been implicated as a major factor in cancer prevention, preventing seasonal depression, and is vital to a number of different processes in a healthy body. It is frequently included in calcium supplements, which many women take to ensure strong bones after menopause. Many women take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements believing that they are protecting themselves from breast cancer and osteoporosis, and they may very well be. They also may be putting their heart in danger.
Surplus Vitamin D in the blood can place your heart at risk
While it is known that too little Vitamin D in the blood can cause irregular heartbeat, a recent study by Intermountain Medical Center has shown that excess Vitamin D in the blood can cause atrial fibrillation, a dangerous irregularity that puts a person at increased risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and dementia.
Recent research found a link between Calcium supplements and an increase in heart attacks
Women taking calcium supplements to safeguard their bones were found to be at increased risk of heart attack, whether or not Vitamin D was also taken. Researchers suggest that excess calcium levels can make it easier for plaque to form in the arteries. This effect was not observed in women who achieved high levels of calcium through diet alone.
There are ways to get adequate calcium and vitamin D without risking your heart
It is very tempting to just take a calcium supplement as an insurance policy, but based on recent research this is not a healthy practice. Learn what foods provide dietary calcium and make sure you are getting enough. If you need to supplement, supplement only enough to make up the difference. Women over 50 should be getting around 1200 I.U. per day. With dedication and some new habits, this can be done primarily with healthy food.
You can get plenty of Vitamin D from sunshine if you live in a sunny climate. Just spend some time outdoors without sunscreen before the sun is at its peak. If you live in an area that doesn’t get enough sun, discuss supplements with your doctor and get your levels tested regularly until you find the right dosage to keep you in the healthy range.
Supplements can never take the place of good habits, because there is so much that can’t be discovered in a laboratory.
Scientists have been trying for decades to isolate substances responsible for maintaining health, but there are some things we just don’t understand yet. For example, no vitamin pill has been found yet that provides the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. There has been some recent research indicating that people who take vitamins actually die younger than those who don’t. Some doctors have suggested that one factor contributing to this finding is that some people assume that a supplement is insurance against an inadequate diet, allowing them to neglect good health habits.
Good food is an acquired taste, one that can be cultivated. Become a healthy food connoisseur and not only will you enjoy food more, but you’ll be taking care of your bones and your heart.