Calcium supplements have no role in the Undoctored/Wheat Belly lifestyle. For years, doctors have advised people to supplement calcium to prevent bone thinning and osteoporotic fractures based on the simple reasoning that if something is lacking, taking more of it must be the solution. But clinical trials have repeatedly demonstrated virtually no benefit with calcium supplementation— no slowing of bone thinning, no reduction of osteoporotic fractures.
Likewise, people who consume plentiful dairy products containing calcium do not have better bone health. One thing that people who supplement calcium do have is more death from heart disease. It should be a familiar theme by now: Not only has conventional advice not worked, it is responsible for causing health problems.
Calcium is an ineffective bone health supplement because just taking it orally does not mean it will go where it is needed, just as throwing a pile of bricks in the backyard does not mean that they will eventually form a nice brick patio. It may even end up where you don’t want it to go, such as arteries and heart valves, just as the haphazard pile of backyard bricks trips you every time you barbecue.
People deficient in vitamin D start with low blood levels of calcium due to poor intestinal calcium absorption, but they also have elevated levels of parathyroid hormone, PTH , a pituitary hormone that extracts calcium from bones in an effort to compensate for low blood calcium, weakening bones over time. Restore vitamin D, and calcium blood levels increase due to better intestinal calcium absorption and PTH hormone levels drop, a phenomenon associated with better bone health, reduced fractures, and reduced heart attacks. So the solution is not more calcium, but more vitamin D, and calcium naturally follows.
Vitamin D is therefore a powerful control factor over calcium. When replenished, vitamin D increases intestinal absorption of calcium from food, causes calcium to be deposited in bone, and inhibits its deposition in arteries and valves. Calcium is passive; it’s the vitamin D that directs its fate. And bear in mind that with the Undoctored/Wheat Belly lifestyle, we eliminate the plentiful phytates from wheat and grains that block calcium absorption. Combine the calcium absorption–increasing effects of vitamin D, the removal of the calcium absorption–blocking effects of grain phytates, and the drop in PTH, and calcium supplementation is completely unnecessary. The Undoctored/Wheat Belly lifestyle restores normal calcium status without the dangers of calcium supplementation.