We all know that supplements are good for us when it comes to getting the right amount of nutrient, but new research claims these 2 supplements could be dangerous if taken together. But should you be worried?
Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that taking vitamin D and calcium supplements together might increase your risk of having a stroke. The finding reviewed what we currently know about the health effects of supplements.
Considering the fact that millions of Americans take a dietary supplement, the review prompted some scary headlines. Vitamin D and calcium are among the most common supplements Americans take, which is why people are scared in the first place.
The Journal of Nutrition previous research found that 43 percent of Americans took calcium and 37 percent took vitamin D supplement.
Why do you need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is vital for both children and adults, as it plays a big role in protecting your bones and supports your muscles. Lack of adequate vitamin D can increase your risk of breaking bones as you grow older.
Going outside and getting some sunlight on your skin is one of the best ways to get vitamin D. When sunlight reaches your skin, your body produces vitamin D and stores it. You can equally get vitamin D from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and wild-caught mackerel. Vitamin D can also be derived from soymilk, dairy products (e.g. milk), fortified cereals and orange juice.
Why do you need calcium?
99% of the calcium supplied by the body can be found in the bones and teeth. Calcium allows blood to clot and keeps your bones healthy in addition to allowing your muscles to contract.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a woman of 50 years old needs 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, while women above 50 years need to add another 200 milligrams to that to make 1,200 milligrams.
To get high levels of calcium naturally, you need to consume dairy products including yogurt, milk and cheese.
What does the new research say?
Many studies have looked into a combination of calcium and vitamin D because those two have been the subject of health stories for long. However, the author of the new report, Dr. Kopecky says you should not panic if you have been taking calcium and vitamin D supplement together.
When Dr. Kopecky looked at the previously published evidence concerning the effects of the supplements on our health, he says many of them that have looked at the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements rely on follow-up data, which lacks precision.
If a participant in the study died before the data was gathered, the family member ended filling out a questionnaire about the health of their deceased relative. Of course, such questionnaires are subject to human error.
He says the studies that don’t rely on questionnaires have found that use of vitamin D and calcium supplements didn’t increase one’s risk of heart attack or stroke. He says, there is no correlation whatsoever. However, he says several factors such as not getting enough exercise, being overweight and binge drinking can increase the risk of stroke.
He also says if your doctor asks you to take vitamin D and calcium supplement, you should take them. However, you might want to re-evaluate if you have been taking the two supplements on the advice of someone who is not a doctor.
How you should be getting calcium and vitamin D
Don’t stop taking vitamin D and calcium supplements if your doctor has recommended them. But if you are worried about your vitamin D and calcium intake, and you are not currently taking either of the supplements, try o get the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and calcium.
Dr. Kopecky says “A pill does not make up for our deficient lifestyle. At least, that is what every study has shown.” It is better to get calcium and vitamin D in your diet if it is possible. Although most people take supplements to make up for their diet, it can be a maker of a bad diet.