If you take too much zinc for too long, it can cause a copper deficiency in your body, possibly resulting in anemia, neutropenia, impaired immune function, serum lipid (fats) abnormalities, and many types of neurological dysfunctions such as myelopathy because large doses of single nutrients cause imbalances with other nutrients.
You may want to check out the latest women’s health update, “Women’s Health Update 2012 in Review,” by Tori Hudson, ND. To see what’s changing. One issue is that when you take too much of one vitamin or mineral, it tends to pull out another vitamin or mineral.
Check out some of the health problems caused by taking too much of any given type of supplement if you take just one type of supplement for too long, in the January 2011 issue of the Townsend Letter magazine the current editorial by Alan R. Gaby, M.D. (The magazine is now available in print in your library, bookstore, or by subscription.)
In that edition you’ll find Dr. Gaby’s editorial on page 94, “Do Calcium Supplements Cause Cardiovascular Disease?” See that article. Or check out the original study referred to in the editorial, “Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovscular events: meta analysis,” BMJ. 2010;341:c3691.
Other supplements mentioned that could cause problems is zinc, if taken in too high a dose for too long. The editorial directs the reader to medical journal articles on page 95 noting studies to back up the claims of the editorial.
The wrong type of vitamin E doesn’t contain all the parts: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta forms
For example, the long-term administration of the wrong type of vitamin E, which sometimes is that cheaper or synthetic health food store or supermarket variety that contains only one type of vitamin E called alpha-tocopherol may explain the increased incidence of heart failure associated with taking vitamin E that only contains alpha-tocopherol.
Instead, your vitamin E when taken in its natural form, should have all four parts of the vitamin E such as d-Gamma tocopherol, d-Delta tocopherol, d-Alpha tocopherol, and d-Beta tocopherol. To read more about this study of vitamin E and its health effects related to an increased incidence of heart failure, check out the study, “JAMA — Vitamin E Supplementation, Cardiovascular Events, and Cancer, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 2005;294:425. (Gaby, A.R.). Also see the study, JAMA — Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular and Cancer.
Too much calcium decreases your magnesium levels
In the Townsend Letter editorial, the author notes that when animals are fed a high-calcium diet, the high calcium decreases the level of magnesium in the tissues of the animals studied. Now, if a human has a diet deficient in magnesium and then takes calcium alone, what do you think the result will be? Probably a magnesium deficiency.
Doctors know that magnesium in the human body has various heart-protective effects (cardioprotective). Just the right amount of magnesium in the human body helps to stop blood from clotting too much, relaxes the smooth muscles, promoting vasodilation. You want some vasodilation if you need to lower your blood pressure somewhat.
If you have certain types of arrhythmia, magnesium has been found to have some anti-arrhythmia properties. So talk to your doctor to see whether some magnesium can be of help in your particular condition. If you look closer at what magnesium can do, you’ll notice in the studies that magnesium plays a role in the synthesis of ATP. And you need a normal amount of ATP for normal heart function. But you need to find out what’s normal for you to function in balance.
Scientists know that magnesium promotes the uptake of potassium in the cells
A small amount of potassium, in balance with other minerals, of course, is another heart-protective mineral, if not overdosed. That’s why you need to ask your doctor whether your kidneys can handle magnesium or a small amount of potassium.
Too much can harm. Find out what’s the balance for your optimum health levels. The right amount of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D3, for example, all in balance can possibly lower blood pressure and raise the good cholesterol, HDL levels.
If you look at studies of the general population in the USA, often the studies show that too many people have low levels of magnesium. This could be due to sugary beverages washing out the magnesium from a lot of people’s bodies. Another reason is stress.
Did you know that emotional upheavals in relationships, work, or other stress-makers lowers your magnesium levels?
Think of stress lowering your magnesium, then eating certain comfort foods such as sugary desserts and beverages lowering it even more. If you’ve followed the standard American/Western diets of meat, fries, and pastries followed by caffeinated beverages, sugary drinks an cakes, ice cream and puddings and few vegetables containing magnesium, you’ve lowered it even more.
What the editorial emphasizes is that if you’re cellular levels (rather than just your blood levels) of magnesium is low, and you then take calcium supplements alone without vitamin D3, vitamin K2 (mk-7), and a balanced amount of magnesium (and other minerals in balance), you could lose even more magnesium from your body….And all those factors might combine to increase your risk of developing heart disease.
So should you get your calcium only from foods?
You need calcium in a balanced amount with magnesium and other minerals to keep your heart working. But how much should you take? And should you take supplements or get your calcium from foods?
You need to have an interaction between calcium and magnesium to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. But then again, if you take supplements, you’re possibly risking kidney stones, if kidney stones run in your family or you might have developed an increased risk of getting stones.
Studies note that calcium supplementation may promote the development of kidney stones, according to the Townsend Letter editorial. There’s a reference in the article to an actual study. Check out the original study, “Effects of magnesium hydroxide in renal stone disease,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1982;1:179-185. Johansson, G., et al. There are certain conditions under which calcium supplementation has been found to “promote the development of kidney stones.”
That’s when you take calcium supplements between meals or with meals low in oxalate. But, according to the Townsend Letter editorial, if you take calcium with oxalate-containing meals, kidney stone risk actually is decreased because oxalate absorption is then decreased.
Most people aren’t going to know what meals contain oxalates
So if you look at magnesium, rather than calcium, you’ll see that magnesium inhibits the crystallization of calcium oxalate in your urine. You don’t want crystals of calcium in your urine. You’d have to look at studies of magnesium supplementation to see how many reports reveal that magnesium decreases “the recurrence rate of kidney stones by 90 percent in recurrent stone-formers. Are you a recurrent kidney stone former?
This study of magnesium decreasing the recurrence rate of kidney stones in kidney stone formers can be found in the study, “Effects of magnesium hydroxide in renal stone disease,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1982;1:179-185. Johansson, G., et al.
Calcium may react with silicon
Now you have another factor about calcium. It may react with silicon. And you need some silicon for cardio-protective effects, to protect your heart. As you get older, you lose a lot of silica. Should you be taking a mineral replacement of silica to protect your aorta?
Silicon, often called silica in the supplement world, strengthens the body’s tissues, cartilage, connective tissues, and bones. It also may help heal fractures. Silica helps keep your flexibility. Can it prevent your aorta from splitting or prevent an increased risk of cardiovascular disease?
Silica is in various plant fibers and is found in whole grains, but in the hulls of wheat, oats, and rice. Some silica also is in vegetables such as beets, lettuce, cucumbers, and onions, and in herbs such as horsetail and oatstraw.
You need calcium for bone mass, but you need it in certain forms to prevent bone loss
Also you need to find out from your health care team if you should be supplementing calcium under certain circumstances. For example, should you be taking calcium supplements with magnesium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K-2 (mk-7 from natto)? You need to ask your health care team what form of vitamin K-2 to take, assuming you’re not getting enough from green vegetables and leafy dark green vegetable juices or whether the vitamin K-2 interferes with your blood thinning medication.
If you’re taking blood-thinning medications, you probably will be told you can’t take vitamin K-2 supplements. So check with your health professionals before you take any specific vitamin supplement if you have a condition or are taking certain medications.
If you look through the various studies of how much calcium to take compared to how much magnesium, you won’t find agreement on what ratio to take of each. Find out how calcium reacts with silicon in your body.
The more calcium rats took, the more calcium decreased the needed silicon in their bones
If you look at studies with rats, the more calcium the rats took, the more the calcium decreased the needed silicon in the rats’ bones. You don’t want the silicon/silica decreased in your bones. So on one hand you need calcium, but on the other hand, if you pop down supplements of calcium alone, it might take out the silica from your bones. That’s why you have to look at the studies. You need the silica for your connective tissues.
Silica may protect your arteries. If you look at the studies done with rabbits, rather than rats, the silicon the rabbits were fed prevented the rabbits from developing hardening of the arteries. Check out this 1979 study, “The antiatheromatous action of silicon,” published in the journal Atherosclerosis. Authors are Loeper, J. Goy-Leper J., Rozensztajn, L., Fragny M.
Check with your health care team to see whether a multimineral supplement containing magnesium and silicon is right for you (and your kidneys). Perhaps a mineral supplement may be helpful containing all the minerals you need that you’re not getting from your daily food intake.
Vegetables and fruits that contain silicon
Or if you don’t want to take supplements, get your silicon from foods such as bananas, wheat bran, green beans, root vegetables, soybean meal, or even beer. The question is whether the food contains enough silicon/silica if you’re older and losing your silicon due to age? That’s why you need to talk with a health care professional because silicon in grains is in the bran.
And people who can’t digest or who have adverse reactions to grains or bran need to get silicon from somewhere that is agreeable to their health. Most grains are refined, heated, or otherwise processed, and the silicon in the bran is lost from the refining process.
Silicon, fiber, and atherosclerosis study
Check out the study, “Silicon, fiber, and atherosclerosis,” Lancet. 1977;1:454-457. Most of these studies on silicon/silica and health effects are more than three decades old and may not easily be accessed by too many people. If a study was done with animals, how closely will it match what happens in the human body? Also see the Naturalpedia site.
A chemical reaction called carboxylation happens when your body is unable to keep the calcium in your bones and sends calcium into your blood and arteries. What happens is that your arteries and veins become a toxic waste dump. And to protect itself from the toxicity, your arteries become calcified. That’s why it’s important to find your ideal balance of minerals.
Ask whether your body type needs more magnesium than calcium and why. One book recently published is called The Calcium Lie by Robert Thompson, M.D. and Kathleen Barnes. View The Calcium Lie uTube video on this link. Another recently published book is Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D’s The Magnesium Miracle.
And don’t forget the section on the health benefits of magnesium (in the proper amount) stated in Dr. Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. book titled, Is Your Cardiologist Killing You? View two of Dr. Roger’s videos on uTube on the effects of air pollution on your body and other health and nutrition topics.Another recently published book is titled, How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues.
What you need to know about magnesium is that it is an essential nutrient
Why are so many people deficient in magnesium? You need the right amount for your body, not too much and not too little. In Finland, salt shakers in some restaurants have begun offering magnesium to sprinkle on food, sometimes mixed with other spices or condiments such as garlic and onion, dulse, or dried herbs.
What you need to know is magnesium’s role in lowering cholesterol. Find out the vital role this mineral plays in your own body.Most doctors have not considered that mineral cofactors are involved in our biochemical reactions. This means in plain language that we all need a mineral balance. Are you taking a small amount of multiple minerals and silica to balance your minerals? Your first step is to investigate what multiple minerals in ionic form you do need.