Yes, I know, I’ve been away from the blog for too long. I’ve allowed Facebook to eat into my time (as if I weren’t already busy enough).
Any rate, I saw a an article on Calcium supplements in the news today, with the headline:
Well, that got my attention, since I recently got back on calcium supplements myself in order to stop the nighttime cramping (which I strongly suspect is caused by one of the blood pressure meds* I’m taking).
Reading the article, however, I noticed a few interesting things that you might not notice just from the headline.
Here’s the first one: “Researchers at John Hopkins Medicine analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people in a federally-funded heart study, and found an association between the supplements and atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup that hardens and narrows the arteries, which can cause heart attacks and strokes by blocking blood flow.”
10 years of medical tests, eh? Federally-funded heart “study.” And “association.” What dietary fad has been prominent for the last 30 years? Oh, and when did “association” start to mean “cause”??
Followed immediately by: “The scientists still don’t know why exactly the supplements damage the heart. In fact, getting calcium naturally from foods like milk and yogurt is shown to help prevent heart disease.”
Well, at least they admit that they don’t know. But I see some clues here. Care to guess what percentage of those 2700 people were on a low-carb, high-fat diet? My guess: ZERO. Next clue: What macronutrients are typically found in milk and yogurt? Well, gee, some carbs, some protein, and ARTERYCLOGGINGSATURATEDFAT. Also, most milk sold in the US is vitamin-D-fortified.
Next clue: The rest of the article is clearly anti-supplement. Imagine that…
Note to the “scientists” who did this “study:” One of the basic principles of Real Science is that if you refuse to ask the right questions, the answers you get are guaranteed to be meaningless, even if correct.
Here’s a question you might ask: “What are the effects of calcium citrate with added vitamin D on somebody who is following a well-formulated low-carb, high-fat diet?”
(*) I developed chronic hypertension just after my 2nd round of statin poisoning. Prior to that, my BP was 120/70 even when I was morbidly obese.