Mineral Supplements- Forewarned Is Forearmed
Mineral Supplements - Forewarned Is Forearmed
Before running to the nearest outlet to obtain mineral supplements for your growing children or your ageing parents, or because you just found out you’re pregnant, there’s something you should know.
Brace yourself: while exonerating Calcium (more on that below), test results suggest mineral supplements may be doing people more harm than good. In the case of iron, the findings are more than alarming – the higher the dose, the greater the mortality risk!
Spotlight on Calcium
Let’s first understand how the body absorbs natural calcium as opposed to a calcium mineral supplement.
In the case of plant or vegetable-based calcium, the body instantly ‘recognises’ it and puts it to good use without a hitch. In the case of animal-based calcium, such as what is found in milk and cheese, however, high amounts of protein with sulphur-based amino acids occur in tandem with calcium. The body has to correct the acid-alkaline (pH) balance for this and does so by leaching calcium from the bones. The overconsumption of readily available dairy products today means the human species is taking in unnaturally large quantities of what nature supplies. That solves the otherwise puzzling statistic that the highest rates of osteoporosis happen to be found in lands where people drink the most milk!
Manufactured Calcium On Trial
Now let’s examine the artificially manufactured mineral supplement issue and be prepared to have all we once believed blasted clean out of the water.
Published trials in BMJ (British Medical Journal) have highlighted elemental calcium’s detrimental effects to the body. Recent concerns that inorganic calcium supplements are unrecognizable to the body and the bulk of what we consume is not absorbed by the body at all and is in fact, being stored in the arteries! Guess what that means? Yes, exactly – it leads directly to hardened arteries and increased pressure on the heart. Cholesterol has already been vilified as the culprit but cholesterol is soft and waxy and doesn’t impede the elasticity of the arteries. Stored, unusable calcium deposits on the other hand, are like concrete - more than 90% of arterial plaque is, in fact, calcification. Long-term usage of inorganic calcium has therefore led to a higher risk of stroke and heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
And the award for a safe calcium mineral supplement goes to … ?
Plant-based calcium mineral supplements are recognizable to the body, ensuring the desired absorption, without any compensatory bone leaching required. There are formulations now on the market, made from seagrasses, which together with other essential minerals, provide a completely organic source of dietary calcium.
Daily intake of such a mineral supplement yields at least 8 benefits:
- Increases bone mass and density
- Calcium helps lower cholesterol
- Facilitates normal function of nerves, muscles, heartbeat and blood pressure
- Excellent remedy for heartburn & reflux – long-acting antacid
- Assists in healing process associated with ulcers
- Adequate calcium assists in weight-loss programs
- Helps prevent cramps
- Aids in preventing insomnia
So, what is the best advice for the public?
Robert M. Russell, M.D., special expert to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at NIH and former senior scientist and director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging at Tufts University advises: “Stick to a varied diet, if you want to take supplements, take a multivitamin-multimineral that has RDA amounts. Don't jump on the silver bullet of the day, single nutrient band-wagon until there is enough evidence for both efficacy as well as long-term safety. That said, in order to get RDA amounts of calcium …, a single nutrient supplement may be necessary for some people. Following the nutrient guidance of our National Academies of Science is my best advice."
And we rest our case on Calcium mineral supplements! Keep your eye on this website as we address the wonders of Magnesium mineral supplements and the question on taking Folic Acid and Iron supplements.