Tag Archives: calcium

Should we risk taking calcium supplementation with risk of heart attack, bones breaking and kidney disease?


ABC news today, May 24, 2012, announced that calcium supplements carry heart attack risks.  To see their video click here; reported by Dr Richard Besser of ABC, who says more than 2000 mg calcium a day causes plaques in the arteries and could damage kidneys. To read their May 24, 2012 announcement click here. People take calcium supplements to make their bones stronger but may be increasing their heart attack risk. They may be safer with a balanced diet including calcium rich food. Balance is the key word. You may also click on the links below this article to learn more about the important role of Calcium in Autism diet, healthy kidneys, monthy periods, allergy, and more.

A 2010 study suggests “that cardiovascular risks from high calcium intake might be restricted to use of calcium supplements,” according to researchers. Calcium supplementation — without giving vitamin D at the same time — appears to increase the risk of myocardial infarction, a new review of past research has shown. Read Todd Neale’s July 2010 article on this topic. Dr. Ian Reid, MD of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues reported online in BMJ some years ago,”As calcium supplements are widely used, these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a large burden of disease in the population,” the researchers wrote. “A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis is warranted.”

Comments from Physicians on the study
Dr. Stephen Richardson, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center,noted that the analysis was limited in that it excluded trials in which calcium supplements were given along with vitamin D.

Dr. John Cleland of the University of Hull in England and colleagues wrote in an accompanying editorial.
Quote:

“Calcium supplements, given alone, improve bone mineral density, but they are ineffective in reducing the risk of fractures and might even increase risk, they might increase the risk of cardiovascular events, and they do not reduce mortality. They seem to be unnecessary in adults with an adequate diet. Given the uncertain benefits of calcium supplements, any level of risk is unwarranted. Considering the available evidence, patients with osteoporosis should generally not be treated with calcium supplements, either alone or combined with vitamin D, unless they are also receiving an effective treatment for osteoporosis for a recognized indication.”

Unquote.

Dr. Murray Favus, an endocrinologist at the University of Chicago, said, “I am sufficiently concerned to advise those with high calcium supplement intake to limit calcium supplement use in favor of dietary sources until the risk of supplements can be sorted out.”

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Mineral balance is critical for healthy body functions – Role of the kidneys and increasing kidney disease


Importance of healthy kidney function is to maintain a balance of Potassium, Phosphorous and calcium and Vitamin D. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects every body function, including or through mineral imbalance in body.
Read below an extract from “Chronic Kidney Care” by Sharon Broscious and Judith Castognola, critical care nurses or you may want to click here to read it in detail in the original journal article. Why are more people presenting with sickened kidneys?

Electrolyte Balance
Multiple electrolyte levels are altered in patients with CKD. Potassium levels may be normal until late in ESRD, and elevated potassium levels are often associated with CKD because of the inability of the kidney to excrete potassium as a result of decreased GFR. In addition, when metabolic acidosis is present, potassium ions shift from the intracellular compartment to the extracellular space in exchange for H+, in an effort to maintain extra-cellular acid-base balance. The kidneys normally excrete 40 to 60 mmol of potassium daily.11 J.M.’s potassium level was 5.8 mmol/L, increasing his risk for fatal dysrhythmias.

Serum phosphorus and calcium levels are also altered in CKD. When GFR is less than 30 to 50 mL/min per 1.73 m2, phosphorus excretion is impaired.10 Because of the reciprocal relationship between phosphorus and calcium, this increased retention of phosphorus results in a decrease in the serum level of calcium. Three additional mechanisms can affect calcium level. Calcium is found in 3 forms in the blood: attached to protein, attached to other complexes, and free or ionized. Because some calcium is bound to protein, total serum calcium level can decrease when albumin level decreases. J.M. had proteinuria. This loss of albumin can contribute to a decreased serum level of calcium. CKD also has an effect on vitamin D synthesis. The kidneys normally convert inactive vitamin D to its active form: 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol.11 Impaired vitamin D synthesis results in decreased absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract. The third mechanism that affects serum levels of calcium is the endocrine system. When the serum level of calcium decreases, the parathyroid gland increases its secretion of parathyroid hormone, causing calcium to be released from the bone and compensating for the decreased serum level of calcium.12 Results of J.M.’s laboratory tests showed a calcium level of 2.05 mmol/L (8.2 mg/dL) and a phosphorus level of 3.91 mmol/L (12.1 mg/dL), indicating impaired phosphorus excretion and a reciprocal decrease in calcium level.

To read more click here. You may want to continue reading to learn about:
how the healthy and diseased kidneys balance electrolytes;
the increasing public health care costs to take care of increasing number of individuals with failind kidneys;
the role of parathyroid hormone in maintaining electrolyte balance;
the alterations in excretory functions
how anemia results from chronic kidney disease
how chronic kidney disease affects every body function

Chronic Kidney Disease
Acute Manifestations and Role of Critical Care Nurses
Sharon K. Broscious, RN, DSN, CCRN and Judith Castagnola, RN, MSN
+ Author Affiliations

Sharon K. Broscious is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Troy University, Atlantic Region, in Norfolk, Va.
Judith Castagnola is a facility administrator at DaVita Peninsula Dialysis in Newport News, Va.
Corresponding author: Sharon K. Broscious, Troy University, Atlantic Region, 5425 Robin Hood Rd, Ste B1, Norfolk, VA 23513.
Do let Sharon Broscious know that you appreciated this article by emailing the author: (e-mail: sbroscious@troy.edu)

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Why and how to add Calcium in the diet of a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Cells in the brain contain proteins called calcium channels that can regulate Calcium levels within the cells. Calcium levels inside the cells are 10,000 fold lower than Calcium levels outside the cells. The calcium channels are gate keepers of Calcium, allowing only the required amount inside the cell by opening briefly and then the gate shuts. Calcium cannot be changed or transformed by the body, which makes it imperative to regulate calcium levels inside the cells, to prevent it’s build up at toxic levels.

Gene mutation: A mutation in the gene for these gate proteins can alter their structure causing them [calcium gates] to stay open much longer than usual. This allows calcium to continue to enter inside the cell abnormally. The result? An overload of Calcium inside the cell. It is a novel disorder characterized by autism and other features. Read more about the CACNA1C gene and CaV1.2 Calcium channel, for information on where to find geneticists, disease manaagement & therapy and additional information.

Inheritance of calcium channel disorder: Most cases of this calcium channel (CaV1.2) disorder is inherited by a new mutation (G406R) with no previous history of this altered gene in their family.

Possible therapy? Although, the role of this calcium channel as important for the contraction of the heart is known, its role within the cell is not well understood, yet. The disorder is caused by an inability of these Calcium gates to close. What does that result in? Yes, a Calcium overload inside the cells. This also suggested to the researchers that Calcium channel blockers may be useful for treating this disorder.

Researchers: This discovery by Dr Igor Splawski and colleagues demonstrates the importance of Calcium imbalance and established the importance of Calcium in human development and implicates Calcium in cell signaling and Autism.

Did you appreciate this research on Calcium channels? Then, do write to Dr Igor Splawski and let him know that. Email: igor@enders.tch.harvard.edu or Snail mail: Department of Cardiology, Children’s Hospital, Departments of Pediatrics and Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115 USA. Invite him or his colleagues to discuss the role of Calcium channels in Autism or human development. You will really enjoy his contribution to community – he has over 30 patents.

Although, the gene mutation causes this disorder, it is also clear that too much Calcium cannot be good for a human. That is why, it should not surprise anyone who has read Dr Igor Splawski’s teams’ research papers to learn about other issues when a person eats too much Calcium. Have you heard of women breaking their femur bone in their leg? You will also learn that they regularly have high doses of Calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis or bone loss in women as they age. It is unclear why eating natural sources of Calcium is safe while eating Calcium in excessive supplement form might cause bones to break.

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Too much Calcium can break bones and nails


Eating too much calcium in supplement form can be harmful. Women on calcium supplements long-term are breaking their femur – this is the main bone in their lower leg. Now, you would think eating extra calcium is good for your bones, so eating more calcium in supplement form should be great. Actually, it can do more harm than good in supplement form. It is perfectly alright to eat food with higher calcium content though.

We don’t understand how calcium works in the body. To understand calcium uptake and absorption, scientists are studying it in rats at the Department of food and nutrition at Purdue University in Indiana (2005). We do know that bones need calcium to form and be healthy. Biologists also know that calcium channels are in certain cells, including the brain, are controlled by proteins that guard and control how much calcium enters or leaves the cells. In such a situation, excess calcium has to be discarded by the body. The kidneys have the function to remove excess from the body but they can do their job right only for normal amounts of junk in the body. When the body asks the kidneys to throw out too much calcium, it cannot finish that job in a single day. The calcium it cannot throw out is stored. Too much excess calcium day after day creates a ‘storage overdose’. Kidney stones are one consequence and it is possible the lower leg femur bone breaking is a another consequence in young, strong women.

Who knows why supplements are treated differently by the cells of the body than when calcium enters the body through natural food sources like milk, yogurt, broccoli or fish bones. Until we know how much calcium in supplement form is ‘safe’ for your body to handle ( remember every body has a different body type), it may be safe to take calcium from natural food sources. Osteoporosis drugs were causing femurs to break in such high numbers that in 2010 the FDA actually put a black box warning but I doubt if desperate women heed a black box warning. So, if you love a woman, feed her and gently warn her. Men are also showing mysterious femur breaks (Medscape article, 2011). So, alert a man you love to eat healthy instead.

Check your daily multi-vitamin. Does the bottle list too many ingredients? Does it say it includes calcium? Does it say calcium at 5% of daily value recommended by Government sources? Well, then you should seriously think about discontinuing using that multivitamin. Why should you punish your body? Can the vitamin company guarantee that you won’t break a femur several months later; or guarantee that you will not break more than the normal number of nails?

Do your nails break too easily? First check if you are eating three servings of calcium rich food. If you are doing so then you are getting enough calcium. Then check if you are taking calcium supplements in any form. If you are then perhaps your nails are showing that you have excess calcium intake perhaps. Listen to your nails because they indicate if you are dehydrated, lack calcium or have fungal infections or vitamin deficiencies. First eat healthy. Then, begin to question.

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Kidney care and okra


Okra (or ladysfinger) has some reputation as a kidney cleanser. I shall look for peer-reviewed journal publications on this subject and post them here. Once kidneys fail, dialysis assistance is begun. If prevention of kidney failure is a goal then it may be prudent to include in one’s diet vegetables such as okra, which have a reputation for maintaining kidney health, until proven otherwise. Kidney care may be essential for the generous donors who are left with a single kidney to ensure renal function (Click here to read a story about one such donor, written by the donor).

Some may find okra cumbersome to handle, and you too may be intimidated, if you handle okra for the first time. Please, trust me. Do not be turned – off. Continue to explore this little, green, ribbed pod, full of these magnificent protein packed seeds. Together, they deliver a major dose of a beautiful, mixture of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, iron and iodine. On top of all this it includes crude fiber bringing with it a totally separate set of benefits. If the little okra did not deliver a serious benefit why else would ancient people on two separate continents be so devoted to the cultivation of fresh okra until current times? Click here for more than 400 photos of okra and okra recipes. A mucilaginous exudate appears when one chops the okra. Does this exudate have preventive properties? I shall look into it and post it here. Also, should I find a collection of tested recipes using okra, I shall post them here. Please, feel free to share your favorite okra recipes here too. Many kitchens have successfully conquered the art of cooking okra to include it as part of a renal – care menu, while celebrating the joy of a good meal. Please, visit by clicking on the international recipes featured here by different authors. You may be delightfully surprised by how flavorfully you can add okra to your own table through some of these following recipes:

1) Some, like their okras stuffed with masala, as in this Indian recipe.

2) Others like their okra fried, as in this Southern USA recipe.

3) While still others like it delicately spiced as in this Persian recipe.

4) The young fruit is eaten fresh in Nigeria, which perhaps is the only country that has two equally popular varieties of okra; one which is popular in the other countries and the second native to a restricted part of Nigeria. Although, there are several delicious African recipes to cook okra.

5) Chicago Tribune features this Indian style  okra with tomatillos recipe along with a weight loss cartoon!

It is evident that okra has long been revered from these ancient recipes. Some more recipes sites are mentioned in the Bon Appetit magazine.

Okras are difficult in find in stores but you may want to look out for them. Also, they are easy to grow from seed in the summer. Exploring both options may prove rewarding.

Research on the cultivation and utilization of Abelmoschus esculentus or okra has mainly focused on several aspects, including its cultivation as a vegetable, as a medicine and for health care, as a beverage, and in gardening. The vegetable it produces contains many nutritious ingredients: 100 g of dry, tender okra pods includes 2.11 g of deoxidized sugar, 1.06 g of cellulose, 2.44 g of CP, 0.682 g of carotene, 26.5 mg of vitamin C, 1.25 mg of vitamin A, 10.2 mg of vitamin B, and many minerals, having slightly more than common vegetables and fruits. In addition to being a good source of vitamins A, B, C it is also provides protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, iron and iodine (Diaz and Ortegon, 1997). Consuming 100g of fresh okra pods provides 20, 15 and 50% of the daily recommended requirement of calcium, iron and ascorbic acid, respectively (Hamon, 1988; Schippers, 2002). It is advisable to eat the whole seeds. The seeds and their kernels are rich in protein as well as fat. Most of the protein and fat of the seed is found in the kernel while the seed coat is composed of crude fiber. It is a good source of essential amino acids but its levels are lower than that of whole egg protein.

References:

ISBN 90 – 5782 – 147 – 8

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