Monday, August 9, 2010

Do Calcium Supplements Actually Improve Bone Health?

Do calcium supplements actually improve bone health? Bill Sardi says they don't and discusses what does.
The dietary supplement industry is such a mixed bag these days. It has such promise, but often fails to deliver. For example, garlic pills were once the number one herbal supplement. But studies showed most garlic pills failed to deliver the active ingredient produced by fresh-crushed garlic cloves. Subsequently garlic pills fell from their top-seller spot. Turns out that stomach acid destroys the enzyme (alliinase) that produces the active ingredient allicin. Only if a garlic clove is crushed outside the acidic stomach is allicin produced. Only enteric-coated or buffered garlic tablets produce what a fresh-crushed clove of garlic delivers.


But now the dietary supplement industry is once again, crying foul, and circling its wagons around calcium supplements, its number-two seller next to vitamin C and used by 43% of the American public (2003–2006), claiming a recent analysis of pooled studies shows calcium pills increase the risk of a heart attack by about 30% represents "cherry picking" of studies. But the dietary supplement industry reacted more out of protection of their vested interests than in delivering solid public health information. Read more

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