The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    The bottom line on calcium supplements

    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have written a succinct review.

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    Risk of heart attack

    • A meta-analysis suggests that calcium supplementation without coadministration of vitamin D is associated with an increased incidence of heart attack.
    • More studies evaluating the cardiovascular effects of calcium supplementation, with and without vitamin D, are needed.

    Benefits for bone loss.

    • A meta-analysis revealed that the benefit of calcium on fractures is minimal — about a 10% risk reduction in all fractures.
    • Patients with significant fracture risk should take medications with proven efficacy.
      • But it’s too soon to abolish calcium supplementation.

    Benefits for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women

    • Patients are still encouraged to consume adequate calcium.
    • Calcium supplements should be recommended only to patients who consume insufficient calcium from dietary sources.

    The bottom line?

    Here what to remember about calcium treatment.

    • Prior to initiating calcium supplementation, a healthcare team should estimate daily calcium intake.
    • Calcium supplements do not apply to calcium-rich foods.
    • There are no reported cases of calcium intoxication from dietary calcium sources.
    • Because the calcium in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of calcium, it’s preferred to supplements.
    • Lactose-intolerant patients and those on a strict vegetarian diet should be encouraged to obtain calcium from nondairy or calcium-fortified products.

    3/14/11 20:24 JR

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