Calcium is the main mineral in our body and 99 percent of the total amount of calcium in healthy people is found in bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent of calcium is inside the cells and is involved in important biochemical processes. Calcium is important for bone and tooth strength, but in the absence of some vitamins it has the ability to precipitate in soft tissues.
As osteoporosis is a disease of bone density, it has recently been suggested that a simple increase in calcium production leads to an increase in bone mineral density.
However, the latest research shows that the use of calcium preparations has little impact on bone building, and can have health effects.
The first large-scale study of 8,000 people published in the medical journal British Medical Journal in 2010 showed that taking calcium preparations increases the risk of myocardial infarction by more than 30 percent.
The subsequent studies have confirmed the negative effect of calcium on the heart and blood vessels, articular cartilage, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Finally, a large study published in the Journal of Bone Metabolism published in 2014 called into question the site of calcium in the modern approach to osteoporosis.
Published meta-analyzes have shown that supplementation with calcium reduces the risk of fracture by only 10 percent, which is at the border of statistical and clinical significance. At the same time, analyzes show that calcium supplements increase the risk of stroke and the risk of myocardial infarction. This meta-analysis included studies involving people who took calcium alone, without supplemental nutrients such as vitamins D and K.
It’s about the so-called “Calcium paradox”, or simply said the fact that our bones need calcium, and not our heart.
An increasing number of studies clearly show that vitamin D is necessary for good health and the prevention of many diseases. Because of that, a lot of people take high doses of vitamin D, and this can absolutely impair their health if they do not get enough vitamin K2 to ensure that calcium is incorporated into the bones.
Studies have shown that without adequate intake of vitamin D and vitamin K2, calcium will not be deposited in bones where it is needed to maintain bone density, but in arteries and soft tissues where it can cause atherosclerosis and, consequently, lead to heart or stroke.
One of the studies was designed to show progression of arterial calcification, which is labeled potentially lethal in case of heart disease and stroke. Two groups were observed, the first that was taken only by vitamin D and the other that took the combination of vitamin D and vitamin K2. The results found that calcification slowly progressed in the group that consumed vitamin K2 and vitamin D compared to that group that only took vitamin D.
If you are taking calcium tablets, but you have a vitamin K2 deficiency, it may be worse than not taking supplements at all, as shown by a meta-analysis that linked calcium intake with heart attacks.