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I am pro supplements. I am totally against taking Calcium!

Enter the arguments....

"But, I am a woman, aren't I supposed to take calcium for my bones?"

"But, my OBGYN said I can prevent osteoporosis if I take it."

"But, its easy and tastes like chocolate so why stop?"

"How bad could it be if they sell it everywhere?"

My friends, this conversation is ripe with the potentiality for disagreement. And that's fine. Never take my word for it. Go do the research and decide for yourself.

In my studied opinion, calcium supplementation is unnecessary, ineffective, and can be potentially dangerous.


I have cited below a recent email from a functional MD whom I fully agree with on this topic. He, and many others in the health/medicine sphere, are all speaking out on this concern on the over used calcium supplement in favor of many other options for maintaining and increasing bone health.

While I wont make this post redundant to what is cited below, I will give you a few of my key thoughts and remind you that preventing osteoporosis and moving out of osteopenia is a good reason to work with a functional MD as well as a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner (such as yours truly).

Osteoporosis is not something to be expected simply due to age or gender. It is just like any other non-acute but debilitating dis-ease like high blood pressure, type 2 or 3 diabetes, IBS and other dis-eases of modern living. In other words, the choices we make around food, exercise, and health care will decide if your body loses minerals so rapidly as to be at risk of the osteos.

Now, I fully realize that there are circumstances which may cause bone loss that is entirely out of one's management. I'm going to leave that topic alone. I am not speaking about situations like that. I am speaking to those of you who went in recently for your annual exam and left with many suggestions which may have included taking a calcium supplement.

Ok, so then what CAN you start doing if you stop taking that chocolate chewy nonsense?

Here is a brief list to get you started. Read on to see what Dr. Kresser has to say, and then do your homework!

  1. Bones are like muscles, to keep them strong you HAVE to challenge them. No pill replaces exercise. Bones are alive! They respond to your effort in the weight room, in the dance class, at the CrossFit gym or anywhere you are getting stronger.

  2. You are most literally what you eat and drink. What else could you be made of? Speaking on the topic of fluids: coffee is wonderful, but it strips your minerals. Soda is awful and does the very same. If you are going to enjoy your morning roasted goodness, please replenish yourself with magnesium and other electrolytes afterwards. If you are drinking soda, STOP.

  3. Food rich in vitamins and nutrients are all the calcium you need. You know this. Say it.... I know!! Eat your cooked greens. Kale is possibly the most nutrient dense food that we have easy access to. Cook and eat it all the time. Hate kale? ok. Spinach, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Beet Greens, Arugula. You get the idea. Green is good.

  4. Got K? When calcium is ingested, we want it to go to the bones. Enter Vitamin K2. This vitamin directs calcium to the bones instead of allowing it to settle in the heart or elsewhere. This is really important. While I wont get into the concerns about cardiovascular disease and calcium overload, I will say vitamin K does a body good.

  5. Animals that were nourished on greens are the meats that nourish you. Know where your chops, cutlets, steaks, bone broth and more come from. Grass fed makes a huge difference.

  6. Lastly, drink your tea. All the tea. Black tea, green tea, ALL the herbals. They are high in antioxidants and rich in minerals. Yep. They are another way to get your greens. Nettle tea is a super star here. The amount of calcium, magnesium, and more within a cup of nettle tea (for the record, please infuse for more than 4hrs for this) can equal a serving or more of cooked leafy greens. No Joke.

Please read on for the rest, and if you are taking a calcium supplement, ask yourself, "do I know if I need this? Have I ever tried to make the choices that would allow me to go without it?"

Stay well my friends. LMK if you are ready for your own holistic health journey. And reach out if I can make you a custom tea!

From Chris Kresser, MD,

In my Functional Medicine practice, I’ve always asked patients to bring the supplements they’re taking to the first appointment. I’d say that more than 70% of the adults over 50 years old who I’ve treated were taking calcium supplements, with doses ranging from 500 mg to over 1,000 mg. They’d been told that calcium supplements would improve their bone health and prevent fractures, which are a leading cause of early death in the elderly. This is simply not true.

In fact, it’s one of the biggest myths in modern medicine and nutrition.

Countless studies and large reviews of the available evidence have shown that calcium supplements do not increase bone mineral density or reduce the risk of fractures. What’s more, studies suggest that calcium supplements may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, prostate cancer, and early death. Sadly, most people are completely unaware of the ineffectiveness of calcium supplements and the dangers that they pose.

For more on this topic from Dr Kresser:


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