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Three Common Health Myths: #1

Health advice can be very confusing, especially because there are so many myths and money making schemes out there. This week we are looking at three of the most common health myths and this is the first:

Calcium makes your bones strong.

The old adage that ‘bones are made of calcium, and milk is rich in calcium, so drink milk to strengthen bones’ is very misleading. Evidence shows that there is little correlation between rates of osteoporosis and calcium intake from milk, in fact- recent studies also show that calcium for bone health is only effective if taken with the appropriate co- factors, which include vitamins D and K and minerals magnesium, zinc and boron.
The RDA for calcium is between 800 and 1200mg, with an average daily intake of around 900mg. Some people incorrectly supplement 100mg of calcium on top of their daily normal daily intake. The problem with this is that studies show that calcium, particularly if taken without magnesium and vitamin D, encourages deposition in arteries and raises blood pressure. This can be devastating, especially for those who believe that the more calcium they take, the stronger their bones will be.

Seeds, nuts and beans are a great source of calcium. Additional calcium can be supplemented with a good multivitamin tablet, which should also contain the needed co-factors. Patrick Holford’s Advanced Optimum Nutrition is a daily essential multivitamin, multimineral and antioxidant formula that is idea for this. Maintaining exercise, particularly weight bearing, is also important for maintaining healthy bones. Make sure that you exercise regularly, not only for your bones but to keep your joints supple as well.