It’s not often you hear an expert say that a published study is “complete bull,” but that was exactly one expert’s reaction to a just-out report published in JAMA last week.
It made my blood boil, too.
Others commented as well, such as a University of Nebraska Medical Center professor of nursing Nancy Waltman, who says that the study is “a disservice to women.”
The report that’s been causing such an outcry is on the benefits — or lack thereof — of taking vitamin D and calcium supplements to protect your bones.
According to a group of Chinese researchers, you might as well be taking air pills. In fact, they went so far as to say that it’s “time to stop taking calcium and vitamin D.”
What! This is a joke, right? Everything we’ve learned to date tells us that this advice is one way to practically guarantee a bone break!
The real news here is that to actually prevent a life-altering bone break, you want to keep your bottle of vitamin D close at hand… and if you’re also taking calcium, you need to add something else to your routine.
And that’s a “forgotten” vitamin that can help protect your heart as well as your bones.
Ignoring the obvious
Yes, sticks and stones may break your bones — but it turns out that words can do so as well!
Just ask Dr. Robert Recker, an expert on osteoporosis at Omaha’s Creighton University. He has a big bone to pick with this new study out of China — one that, as he says, is “going to result in fractures that might not otherwise have happened.”
Vitamin D has been studied up, down, and all around when it comes to bone health. And the conclusions practically all say the same thing: Having enough vitamin D is a requirement if you want strong bones and muscles.
As Professor Waltman put it, “You’ve got to have an adequate level of calcium and vitamin D, otherwise there’s no way to build bone.”
That’s why what these Chinese researchers had to say — that vitamin D and calcium supplements won’t protect you from breaking a bone — sounds like it’s straight out of Looney Toons!
But if you take a closer look at their research, it’s pretty obvious why it comes up short.
While it did cover a lot of patients (over 51,000), those numbers were simply totals gathered from 33 previous trials, not individual patient studies. And even the D-bashers had to admit that some of those trials they picked their data from were not of the highest quality.
Many of the studies they looked at didn’t even collect any information regarding the participants’ actual blood levels of vitamin D!
Despite all of that, the mainstream media reported it as gospel, ignoring the fact that this crazy new Chinese advice left out one very important thing: You shouldn’t be ditching your supplements, you should actually be adding another one!
It’s the missing link when it comes to strong bones and a healthy heart — vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 serves the vital function of making sure that calcium ends up in your bones, where you need it… and not your arteries, where it can cause trouble.
As HSI panel member Dr. Mark Stengler says, the power of vitamin K2 to clear out calcium from your arteries and put it into your bones, where it belongs, “isn’t up for debate… that’s its job.”
Unfortunately, the best source of K2 is a Japanese favorite called “natto.” But as Dr. Stengler says about this dish, “It smells bad and tastes worse.”
But another, much easier way to get K, is with a supplement — one made from natto or nattokinase. The only caution is that vitamin K can interfere with drugs taken to thin your blood.
As for vitamin D, during the summer months, you can usually get all you need by exposing your skin (with no sunscreen on!) to the sun for around 15 minutes a day.
Supplements are a must, however, during the winter or when you’re getting little or no sun exposure. It’s well known by now that a deficiency in D can cause a whole host of health problems, including increased risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and cognitive impairment (especially in seniors), and can even pose a severe asthma risk in kids.
You should be aiming for around 2,000 mg a day, or more if you’re deficient — something you can determine with a simple blood test.
“Experts rebuke report casting doubt on link between vitamin D, calcium and bone health” Rick Ruggles, December 28, 2017, Statesville Record & Landmark, Statesville.com