Is Calcium Supplementation Necessary?
By Michelle Sala, Certified Integrative Health Coach
Are you at that age where you are concerned about bone health? Has your doctor convinced you that taking a calcium supplement is necessary because you are at “that age”? Well, you may want to reconsider.
The first time I became wary of calcium supplements is when my cousin brought to my attention a supplement a chiropractor recommended to her. The calcium source came from coral and my feeble mind wondered how on earth would the human body be able to break down the calcium enough to be useful to bones? Think about it, to my knowledge, humans have never eaten coral as part of their diet, right?
Are you taking calcium chews? The form of calcium used is calcium carbonate  – yes, chalk! Calcium carbonate neutralizes acid and is used as an antacid. Again, like coral, how does the body break this down small enough to be useable by bones? Calcium chews also contain GMO ingredients (corn syrup, corn starch, soy lecithin), trans fats (hydrogenated oil), artificial flavors and the wrong form of Vitamin K (K1 instead of K2)!
The more I’ve delved into calcium supplements, the more I’m convinced that they are un-necessary and possibly dangerous. That’s not to say there aren’t other nutrients essential for bone health as we age. I’ll mention those nutrients later.
Calcium supplements have shown to deposit calcium in places in the body where calcium doesn’t belong – in heart muscles, valves and blood vessels.  Calcium supplements can even contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
What about Bisphosphonate drugs like Boniva or Fosamax? Bisphosphonates is associated with a significant increase in atrial fibrillation in post-menopausal women.  Also, these drugs may cause osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femoral fractures. [4, 5] Osteonecronisis of the jaw is more associated with the use of injectable form of bisphosphonate drugs versus the oral form.
If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia with a bone scan and recommended one of these drugs, I would do some major research and question your doctor! Osteopenia is the natural thinning of bone as we age and is not a reason to medicate. Read here how Merck, the maker of Fosamax, made Osteopenia into a disease that needed to be treated by their drug!
Food sources high in calcium are dark leafy greens (like bok choy and kale), sesame seeds, chia seeds, beans, citrus fruit, almonds, sardines and canned salmon (because they contain the tiny edible bones).
I do not advocate dairy as a good source of calcium supplementation. Dairy should be an occasional food and not a dietary staple. Milk from animals is the growth food for the baby animal of that mother. Human adults and weaned children do not need cow’s milk for strong bones. Yogurt and fermented milk, like kefir, seem to have some benefits that drinking straight cow’s milk do not. Organic dairy is always recommended as conventional dairy is full of pesticides from GMO feed, added growth hormones, and antibiotics.
Besides eating a healthy whole food diet and regular weight bearing exercise, supplementation with the right form of vitamin C (sodium ascorbate, never ester-C or calcium ascorbate), vitamin D3, and vitamin K2, may be appropriate for you. Also, I personally add collagen powder to my morning coffee. Gelatin from grass-fed sources and silica and boron may be helpful for bone health too. Biosil is a supplement you may want to research. All these supplements and foods that I’ve mentioned are the building blocks to help your body naturally make strong bones, teeth and hair. Your body will heal itself given the right tools. Trying to out-do nature never works!
Disclaimer: Please note that these recommendations are based on my personal opinions which have been formed by my own research and are not meant to be a diagnosis or a replacement for any current treatment you and your health care providers have deemed necessary. Any changes you make in your supplementation or diet are the sole responsibility of you and your health care providers, should you choose to follow these recommendations.
 What is calcium carbonate: https://www.ima-na.org/page/what_is_calcium_carb