November 2010
Center For Natural Medicine Newsletter
In This Issue
Calcium and the Heart
Vitamin D and K
Sources of Calcium
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Most of my patients are aware that calcium is important for bone health.  Recently information was in the news suggesting a link between calcium and heart disease.  I want to offer some information and advice for my patients on this issue.

Calcium and the Heart

Professor Ian Reid, from the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland, reviewed 11 studies of almost 12,000 people. He published a summary that calcium supplements were associated with up to a 30% increased risk of heart attack.


Professor Nordin, from the RoyalAdelaideHospital, has been working on calcium metabolism and osteoporosis for more than 50 years. He states, "Concluding that calcium supplements can lead to a 30 per cent increase in heart attack risk is quite premature and alarmist and can only set back the cause of osteoporosis prevention which should be our primary objective."


According to National Osteoporosis Foundation, adults under age 50 need a total of 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources every day. Adults 50 and older need a total of 1,200 mg of calcium from all sources every day and you should only use calcium supplements when you can't get enough calcium for your body's needs from foods alone.

Vitamin D and K

There are three points worth considering.  First, the increased incidence of heart disease was seen in patients taking calcium without vitamin D.  Both European and American studies showed a definite protective effect of vitamin D and suggest we need to do studies looking at patients on calcium combined with vitamin D. Vitamin D is protective against cancer and heart attacks. Second, the risk to the heart is related to how much calcium is taken as a supplement. Taking up to 800mg calcium in a supplement showed a minimal increase in heart attack risk.  The third point is that patients on a high dietary intake of calcium showed a lower incidence of heart attack.


Vitamin K is part of a healthy diet and supplement plan.  Vitamin K can help prevent calcium from depositing in the arteries and arthritic joints. Vitamin K is also one of the nutrients known to protect from bone loss.



More than calcium and vitamin D and K are needed to prevent osteoporosis. It is wise to increase your dietary intake of calcium. You are more likely to get a full compliment of bone building nutrients from whole food.


We have an herbal mix available at the clinic that is designed for bone health. It is high in calcium and other bone nutrients.  The herbs do not taste bad, but you must eat the herbs because not enough of the calcium ends up in the tea when it is brewed.


Trained as a Naturopathic physician who specializes in nutrition, I have always recommended supplements that provide a full scope of necessary nutrients rather than just calcium.  I have told many patients over the years not to take 1,200mg. or even 1,500 mg. supplements as recommended by their medical doctor.  It is nice to see more support for this in the literature.

Beware of too much dairy.  While dairy is high in calcium, it was associated with hip fractures in a huge nurse's study many years ago.


If you have friends with bone loss or nutritional questions be sure to suggest a consult with Dr. Keaton.  Dr. Keaton has over 20 years of expertise in helping patients reverse bone loss and improving nutritional habits.  Remember, the clinic offers you a $10. discount on your visit when a new patient gives your name as a referral source.

Healthy Sources of Calcium


There are many healthy sources of dietary calcium.


Broccoli          1 cup        72 mg.-103 mg.

Kale              1 cup        94 mg.-180 mg.

Collards          1 cup        304 mg.

Okra              1 cup        100mg.

Sardines          1 can        300 mg.-888 mg.

Salmon canned

  (With bones)    3.5 ounces   250 mg.          

Garbanzo beans    1 cup        80 mg.-150mg.

Navy beans        1 cup        80 mg.-150 mg.

Pinto beans       1 cup        100 mg.

Lima beans        1 cup        60 mg.

Split peas        1 cup        20 mg.

Black beans       1 cup        60 mg.

Tofu/ Tempeh      3.5 ounces   128 mg.

Almonds           1 ounce      80 mg.

Peanuts           1/4 cup      25g.-30 mg.

Pumpkin Seeds     1 Tbl.       20 mg.

Sesame seeds      1 ounce      280 mg.

Molasses          1 Tbl.       130 mg.-172 mg.

Figs              5 dried      137 mg.

Corn meal         1 cup        24mg.

Corn Tortillas    2            120 mg.

Oats              1 cup        40 mg.

Brown rice        1 cup        25mg. (cooked)

Whole wheat flour 1 cup        50 mg.


If you take a supplement I suggest a well-rounded formula such as Osteoprime.


Dr. Dana Keaton
Center For Natural Medicine