Fact for the day!
Following from my recent post discussing your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems… did you know that calcium activates the sympathetic nervous system? Particularly excess calcium from supplementation and that is not eaten in balance with other minerals such as magnesium?
Excess calcium is also known to cause hardening of the arteries and can contribute to heart disease… a diet balanced in minerals, including calcium protects you against such issues, yet supplemental calcium may raise the risk by up to 22%! These figures are from a 10 year study on more than 2,700 people which was published in 2016. The study investigated the impact of dietary and supplemental calcium on coronary artery calcification and they discovered a link. Interestingly, in their article they wrote:
However, we found evidence that calcium supplement use was independently associated with incident CAC, whether or not we adjusted for total calcium intake. This finding suggests that calcium loading with supplements may not be entirely free of undesirable side effects, especially considering evidence for events in randomized trials of calcium supplementation like the Women’s Health Initiative.
NOTE: calcium doesn’t need to be from dairy – it’s not very ‘available’ to the body in that form anyway……
So, what’s the moral? Eat whole food to get your calcium – fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat (if you choose to)… AVOID supplementation unless thorough and specific testing (& I’m not talking standard testing from your GP) tells you that you need it.
There is actually an important link between iron in the body and this triggering release of calcium too – but more on that another day…
Until next time!