By Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, author of Death by Calcium: Proof of the Toxic Effects of Dairy and Calcium Supplements
Calcium isn’t the nutritional “good guy” we’re often led to believe it is. In fact, it’s often the cause of disease and even death. Here, Dr. Thomas E. Levy points out nine toxic effects of an excess of calcium:
As a treatment for osteoporosis, calcium does more harm than good. It’s common “knowledge” that most older adults are calcium deficient and that this deficiency contributes to osteoporosis. But in reality, that’s not the case. While there is a deficiency of calcium in the bones of osteoporosis patients, the disease is by definition a degenerative condition of the bone in which the bone is unable to synthesize a new structural bone matrix and integrate calcium into it. Most calcium that is pumped into the body takes up residence in non-bone tissue, where (as you’ll see) it does the patient much more harm than good.
Calcium promotes heart disease… It’s not a coincidence that measurement of calcification (yes, as in calcium!) in the arteries is used to assess the development and progress of coronary disease. (In fact, fully developed plaques in the arterial walls contain 80 times more calcium than healthy tissues.) And here’s one of the most alarming statistics of all: A study of over 61,000 participants over 19 years found that taking over 1,400 mg of calcium per day had a 40 percent increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease in general and a 114 percent increase in risk of death from a reduced flow of blood to the heart muscle.
…and that includes heart attacks. A comprehensive review of over 15 clinical studies shows that if you take an extra 500 mg of calcium per day, you’re 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Dump more calcium into the cauldron and the brew becomes even deadlier.
Excess calcium can lead to a stroke. Similar to the relationship between calcium and heart attacks, an extra 500 mg of calcium each day makes you 12 to 20 percent more likely to have a stroke.
It can also raise your cholesterol levels. A recent clinical trial showed that regular calcium supplementation in postmenopausal women significantly increased total cholesterol levels (which is generally considered to be an important measure of coronary artery disease risk).
Calcium and cancer are frequent bedfellows. Both microscopic and easily visible calcifications are frequently seen in malignant tissues, suggesting that there is a significant causal link between calcium and cancer (a link that has been supported by numerous studies—for instance, in one study MRI techniques detected calcification in 22 of 23 malignant prostate glands).
There are even several “smoking guns.”For example, several researchers have demonstrated that as the concentration of intracellular calcium increases, the invasive nature of cancer also increases, resulting in a metastatic spread. Not coincidentally, breast cancer patients with calcifications are less likely to survive their battle with the disease.
While the relationship between calcium and cancer has been evident for decades, medical researchers have been reluctant to connect the dots and implicate this near-sacred nutrient.
Calcium contributes to cellular dysfunction and death. The amount of calcium outside cells, depending on the type of cell, can be 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than levels inside the cell. This difference in concentrations means that there is always calcium on the outside that wants to get inside. Once inside (which can happen through various mechanisms, including the presence of various toxins such as formaldehyde or elevated glucose levels), if calcium levels become too high, a cascade of reactions pushes cells toward programmed cell death (apoptosis) or complete cell destruction(s) (necrosis).
Specifically, intracellular calcium contributes to chronic degenerative diseases. Chronically elevated calcium levels in the cells appears to be a common denominator for many forms of cell damage and death. Sustained elevations of intracellular calcium plays a significant role in degenerative neurological diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Calcium increases death from all diseases. It’s worth underscoring again that (as previously explained) significant calcium levels in the body increases all-cause mortality. Alarmingly, in the large study of 61,000 women referenced earlier, those with the highest calcium consumption posted a death rate two and one-half times (257 percent) higher than the groups who ingested less.
About the Author:
Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, is the author of Death by Calcium: Proof of the Toxic Effects of Dairy and Calcium Supplements. He is a board-certified cardiologist and is also the author of Primal Panacea and Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins; plus three other groundbreaking medical books. He is one of the world’s leading vitamin C experts and frequently lectures to medical professionals all over the globe about the proper role of vitamin C and antioxidants in the treatment of a host of medical conditions and diseases.
For more information, please visit www.deathbycalcium.com.
About the Book:
Death by Calcium: Proof of the Toxic Effects of Dairy and Calcium Supplements (MedFox Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-0-615-88960-3, $29.95