Why dairy for calcium? We live in New Zealand, "the land of the black and white cow". We are fed the idea that "dairy products are great for health" and that "milk will save our bones" But is this true or perhaps we are we being conned?
In 2007, Dr. Reid’s own research unexpectedly showed a slight increase in heart attacks among healthy, older women who took calcium supplements to prevent fractures.
“Our hypothesis when we started the study was that calcium would protect the heart,” Reid said. Dr. Reid was not really convinced, so along with researchers from University of Aberdeen in the U.K. and Dartmouth University in America they combined and Advocacy for the use of calcium supplements arose at a time when there were no other effective interventions for the prevention of osteoporosis. Their promotion was based on the belief that increasing calcium intake would increase bone formation. Our current understandings of the biology of bone suggest that this is not likely to occur. research findings of 11 different randomised trials in which participants took 500mg calcium supplements (or a higher dose) daily without taking Vitamin D.The researchers made adjustments for the differences in study design and came to the conclusion that calcium supplementation was only associated with a small increase in heart attack risk, but was not associated with an increased risk of stroke or heart disease.
Dr. Reid set out to prove that calcium supplementation may rapidly elevate blood calcium levels contribute to arterial disease. It did become apparent that calcium from food sources is absorbed much more slowly. Funny that, how healthy foods through an expensive “scientific” study are proving to be more beneficial. Dr. Reid states that he “encourages patients to get their calcium from the foods they eat rather than supplements. Dr. Reid should have gone further and examined the link between milk consumption and hip fractures.
My father always used to say “the truth is stranger than the fiction”. My concern is that women are told the fallacy that “milk will protect your bones from crumbling” and that New Zealanders need to drink milk daily. Bollocks. The countries with the highest levels of milk, butter, cream and cheese intakes also appear to have the highest levels of osteoporosis, heart disease and several other chronic degenerative “modern” diseases of civilisation. Let’s get this debate going folks – cow’s milk? Who needs it
Worldwide, the highest rates of hip fractures are among populations that consume the most animal food (including dairy products) like people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand. 2, 3 The lowest rates are among people who eat little or no dairy foods (these people are on lower calcium diets) like people from rural Asia and rural Africa. 2, 3 An interesting web page with 65 references on why milk may be hazardous to you health is The Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products – The Facts. By Dave Rietz
Osteoporosis is caused by several factors; however, the most important one is diet; especially the amount of animal protein and acid in the foods we eat.4, 5, 6 The high acid foods are meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and hard cheeses, parmesan cheese is the most acidic of all foods commonly consumed.7
Once consumed, this food-derived acid must be neutralised in the body. Fruits and vegetables can do this neutralising (these foods are alkaline in nature). However, because the diet of the average Westerner is so deficient in fruits and vegetables and so high in acid foods, the primary neutraliser of dietary acid becomes their bones. The bones dissolve to release alkaline materials.
All I see is misery with the little children brought to me on an almost daily basis, many are not breastfed for long because their mother has to go to work. They get introduced to a “Fontera Formula” an allergy in the making. The solution? – antibiotics. Long term these drugs wreak havoc with tiny bowels, beneficial bacteria are destroyed and the child develops a bowel problem leading into food allergies. The solution? More antibiotics as the child becomes more ill over time, generally in the form of recurring ear, nose or throat infections.
The usual dosage range for calcium supplementation is 600-1,200 mg/day. Most healthy diets will provide between 400-1,000 mg/day.
Good food sources of calcium include dairy products, calcium-fortified fruit juices, and green leafy vegetables (except spinach). Commonly used calcium supplements are calcium carbonate (40% calcium), calcium citrate (21% calcium), and calcium citrate malate. Calcium carbonate is poorly absorbed by individuals with poor stomach function, whereas calcium citrate is well absorbed by such individuals. Absorption of calcium carbonate by people with normal gastrointestinal function appears to be adequate. Hydroxyapatite (from bone meal) is also used as a source of calcium; whether this form provides advantages over other sources of calcium is not known. Poor dissolution of tablets has been found to be a problem with some calcium preparations.
On studying the Meta analysis linking calcium supplementation to heart attacks, cardiologist John Cleland of the U.K.’s Hull York Medical School called the analysis “concerning but not convincing”. “Heart attacks are serious business, so you would expect to see an increase in mortality in supplement users along with heart attacks,” said Cleland, who further stated that the evidence that calcium or calcium with vitamin D protects against bone fracture is also “far from convincing”.
Dr. Cleland and colleagues mentioned that calcium supplements alone do not prevent fractures and may even slightly increase fracture risk. The amazing thing is that Dr. Cleland said that “people with osteoporosis should be taking drugs not supplements, to treat the disease”. Why does not Dr. Cleland study people in countries with little to no osteoporosis to see what they are doing that we don’t. Why are drugs always the “solution”, there appears to be very little talk about diet or lifestyle intervention with “evidence” based medicine. There certainly is plenty of evidence that osteoporosis exists in New Zealand, and not enough research into the real causative factors. Too much emphasis on intervention and treatment, probably too easy, and profitable. Dairy food for thought?