For years we've been told that calcium builds strong bones. How is it possible that calcium may be CAUSING hip fractures? And, not just a few more hip fractures - 64% more hip fractures.
As usual, though when we dig a little deeper, we learn that it's not so much the calcium, but what we're not chasing it with.
Vitamin D comes out shining...again
This news maybe getting a little old now, but even when we get enough calcium, it doesn't do squat without the almighty vitamin/hormone. Calcium absorption rate is poor in the absence of adequate vitamin D, as it is needed to form the matrix of bone.
Get enough protein, too
According to calcium researcher Dr. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of Tufts University, the increase in hip fractures may be in large part due to insufficient protein intake. There must be a balanced amount of calcium and phosphate to convert calcium into bone.
Many people - particularly the elderly - are not consuming enough protein to absorb sufficient amounts of phosphate.
What should you do?
Be sure you are getting enough vitamin D and protein first, then worry about calcium.
For a guide to vitamin D intake, see here.
Supplement where necessary - many calcium supplements come with vitamin D, a good bet is 1000 IU's per day.
This revelation seems to be a commentary on the nutritionism that is plaguing our dietary decision-making. More often than not, it isn't about plugging in a missing nutrient, so much as it is about making wholesale changes to the diet to include adequate amounts of nutrient-dense foods.