3 ways to prevent calcium calcificationㅣDr. Esther Lyuh

Esther Essay

How to prevent calcium calcification

We all know that calcium intake is important. However, some people are reluctant to take calcium because of 'calcification', which is a typical side effect of calcium.

 

Calcium calcification refers to the excessive deposition of calcium in the body and the hardening of body tissues and organs. In particular, when calcification occurs in the blood vessels, the blood vessels become hardened and the blood flow becomes difficult, and blood clots are easily formed. Calcium calcification should be careful as it can cause cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

 

So, how can you safely consume calcium without worrying about side effects?

First, it is recommended to consume as much food as possible.

    

A study published in 2016 found that calcium supplementation was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction due to the calcification of blood vessels. [1] On the other hand, dietary calcium supplementation did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is believed that this is because the calcium concentration in the blood increased rapidly when calcium was taken as a supplement, unlike when calcium was ingested from food. Therefore, it is recommended to supplement calcium through food as much as possible.

 

When it comes to calcium-rich foods, you probably think of dairy products like milk and cheese. There is one thing to keep in mind when drinking milk. It is recommended to avoid eating on an empty stomach if you have stomach-related diseases. This is because casein, a type of protein in milk, can stimulate the gastric acid secretion and stimulate the stomach wall.

Second, it is recommended to take it with magnesium and vitamin D.

First of all, magnesium has a relationship with 'the parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone is a calcium-regulating hormone that increases the movement of calcium from the bones into the blood when the blood calcium level is low. Thus, when parathyroid hormone secretion is increased, calcium levels in the bones are lowered and the risk of calcification is increasedMagnesium can help prevent the calcification of blood vessels by inhibiting these parathyroid hormones.

 

Next, vitamin D, similar to magnesium, is also involved in the secretion of the parathyroid hormone. In general, it is known that when the blood concentration of vitamin D reaches 30-40 ng/mL, parathyroid hormone secretion is suppressed. Vitamin D also helps calcium to be absorbed into the bones, helping to increase bone density. In a vitamin D deficiency, the human body can only absorb 10 to 15% of the calcium ingested, but when vitamin D is sufficient, the absorption rate increases to 30-40%. Therefore, taking calcium and vitamin D together can help bone health.

Third, you need to get enough calcium. 

Did you know that calcium intake can also cause calcification?  A phenomenon in which calcium stored in the bones escapes into the blood due to a lack of calcium is called the 'calcium paradoxIn the process of being absorbed into the artery, calcium is deposited in the arterial lining, which can lead to atherosclerosis. Therefore, it is advisable to consume calcium as much as possible through food but to supplement the insufficient amount with calcium preparations.


Other ingredients that help bone health include vitamin K and poly gamma-glutamic acidVitamin K is involved in the p     roduction of 'osteocalcin', a protein that binds calcium and bone matrix. Therefore, if the blood lacks vitamin K, calcium cannot bind to the bone matrix and is excreted, which can decrease bone density. Polygamma-glutamic acid is a mucus component found in fermented soybean foods such as cheonggukjang. Polygammaglutamic acid is known to increase calcium absorption in the small intestine.

​Today, we learned how to prevent calcium calcification. The absorption rate of calcium is highest at 500mg or less, so it is recommended to take it in divided doses rather than all at once when taking calcium supplements.

This concludes this week's demand clinic. thank you

Esther Lyuh, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University
​