Our monthly wellness review is back with four different topics designed to empower you to take control of your health!
➡️ Wellness Journey: Well, that was unexpected
➡️ Article 1: Tai Chi and exercise for better sleep
➡️ Article 2: Is the food you’re eating beneficial or harmful for your microbiome
➡️ Rootine Supplement: Calcium
Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris
How You Can Benefit From Rootine
[00:00:00] Dr. Richard Harris: Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secret to the human body. Strive for wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.
And now a word from our sponsors. Have you been struggling with brain fog? Maybe it’s indigestion, abdominal bloating. Maybe it’s fatigue or chronic pains. And you’re wondering, is there a way I can fix myself? Is there something natural I can do? Well, look no further. This is what we do at great health and wellness, my company,
We focus on lifestyle medicine, and you may be asking, well, what’s lifestyle medicine. We like to describe it as everything we do throughout the day is either making deposits or withdrawals from our wellness account, and lifestyle medicine is making sure we’re making many more deposits than withdrawals.
So we have a nice wellness account that helps prevent disease and reverse disease if we have it. And we do this through our online courses, where we go through everything you need to know about lifestyle medicine, nutrition, exercise, meditation, fasting, breathwork, and more. But we also combine that with mindset.
And it’s so important to be able to build these healthy habits. We are about sustainability, and that’s what the courses help you walk through is lifestyle medicine sustainably. And it’s not a get-rich-quick or quick-fix scheme. This is how we set ourselves up for success now and in the future. To learn more about our lifestyle medicine offerings, head to our website, theghwellness.com, and click courses at the top, or click the link for the ultimate wellness course in the show notes.
Let’s talk about CBD. Recently, I joined the clinical advisory board of a company called CBD Health Collection. Why I joined the advisory board is because this product is distinguished and really separates itself from the rest of the competitors in the market for several reasons. They prioritize quality; it’s all over their homepage.
It uses CO2 extraction; also, it undergoes rigorous third-party testing to ensure you have the highest quality CBD. That the potency is top in the market, and also this CBD company prioritizes education. Here at the Strive for Great Health Podcast, we are big on education, and we’ll be contributing educational material.
So people who use CBD Health Collection can learn more about the ECS, the endocannabinoid system, and how CBD benefits them. Also, the products contain a unique terpene profile. Terpenes are molecules that work synergistically with CBD, and the right profile can help accentuate why you use CBD. You use CBD for pain; there’s a terpene profile for that. For relaxation, there’s a terpene profile for that. And they have products in the edible form, and patch form, and topical form. So check out CBD health collection via the link on our website. You can head to theghwellness.com and click CBD at the top. And now to this week’s episode.
Welcome to this episode of the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And today, we’re going to be talking about our April wellness review and for those who are new to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. Welcome [00:04:00] to my baby. Absolutely love podcasting, it’s one of my favorite things that I get to do is come to you and talk about my favorite subject, which is health and wellness.
This episode does a couple of different things. It’s a four-segment episode. The first is we talk about our wellness journey, which is something that myself or a colleague or something that I think would be beneficial that you need to know or it’s something that I think would be beneficial as you walk through your wellness journey.
And usually, these are stories from my own wellness journey. And then, we talk about a research article and then another research article. So there’s two research articles, and then our last segment is the supplement discussion. And we’re still in our Rootine series. We’re about to wrap up this series.
We’re talking about calcium today. And of course, all the links to the articles will be on our website. As well as links to the supplements, and then there’s the episode transcripts available on the website as well. Okay. So enough of the recap stuff, let’s dive into this week’s episode. So our wellness journey is actually something that I experienced this week.
I was doing a ProLon fast, and ProLon is something that I do once every four months. It’s just a way of a metabolic reset. And it’s something that I’ve done routinely. I think this was my seventh or eighth time doing it, but this time didn’t go like the others. Usually, I breezed through these things, and that’s the topic of this wellness journey; what works before isn’t necessarily going to always keep working.
And even if it’s the same, even if it’s the same routine, even it’s something that you’ve done over and over again, there might be a wrinkle, and this ProLon felt different. It wasn’t easy for me. I was hungry this time, and I still did the same things I do every time. I work out; I get my electrolytes in, you know, I take some bone broth, so I do some additional stuff to the fast kit, but it was hard this time.
My energy levels were low. Usually, my energy levels feel through the roof. In fact, I felt so bad, on the second day, I actually had to eat a keto meal just to get some more calories in. And so, even though things didn’t go as planned because every other time things have been so easy, I still stuck with it, but I had to mentally prepare myself.
I had to push through it, and it just got me thinking that even the mundane sometimes will catch us off guard, and then we can do two things in that situation. We can either get upset that our body’s not responding like it normally responds, or we can innovate and adjust. And say, okay, there may be something different this time.
Something else is going on. Maybe it’s because of my mental state; maybe it’s because I’ve been a little bit more stressed. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working so much recently, but in the end, I still completed it. It wasn’t as easy, but it made it much more gratifying that I was able to complete it with the challenges and not just give up on the fast, early, or anything like that.
I adjusted. And I didn’t feel negatively about myself because I adjusted, you know, sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. And if we do something, we have to do a by the book. Perfect. Do it the same way we’ve always done it, but I had to adjust on this one, and that’s okay. Even if it’s something mundane, and even if it’s something that you’ve done a million times, you might have to make some adjustments on it.
And that’s the whole purpose of a wellness journey because it is a journey. Not everything is going to go our way; even the same hike that we’ve done over and over again, may not always go the same way and having the right mindset. And we’ve talked about the growth mindset on this podcast so many times [00:08:00]; having the right outlook, positivity, willingness to accept challenges, all of that is so important on your wellness journey because it can end up all over the place.
You have no idea where it’s going to end up going, even if it’s something that you’ve done before. So that was our wellness journey this week, what we were walking through. The other thing I want to briefly mention is that I was super excited earlier this week. I was giddy like a little school girl.
I get to speak at a conference with Sanjay Gupta and Jerome Adams, two former surgeon generals. And that is really cool that I get to share the stage with these people who have devoted their lives to medicine. And really trying to make a difference. So looking forward to doing that conference, I’ll actually be talking about the growth mindset, which is what we talked about here on this podcast.
Okay. So let’s dive into the first article, article number one; the title is effects of Tai Chi or exercise on sleep and older adults with insomnia, a randomized clinical trial. So in the introduction, which is just our background info, half of older adults worldwide report sleep disturbances. You know, insomnia is a very common condition for a lot of different reasons.
We did a deep dive on sleep in our sleep podcast, science of sleep podcast, 20 to 40% report insomnia. And what we know is insomnia impairs quality of life. So quality of life surveys, their scores are worse with insomnia. We know insomnia increases morbidity and mortality. So it increases diseases and death.
And we’ve talked about that insomnia, and poor sleep has been linked to diabetes and heart disease and strokes and cancer, and just about any type of chronic medical condition. So these authors wanted to look at Tai Chi. Tai Chi has numerous benefits. One of which is self-reported improvements in sleep.
But these tests were subjective measures. These tests were asking people how they feel. There wasn’t using objective data. The study had two goals. The first was to examine effectiveness of Tai Chi on improving sleep and then using actigraphy, which is basically like wearing an Apple watch or an Oura ring.
You know, it’s a non-invasive way of measuring sleep and then measuring rest cycles, active cycles, that kind of stuff. And they also wanted to measure different things that we associate with sleep, sleep latency, total sleep duration, sleep efficiency, time in bed movement, total sleep cycle. So what they did is they recruited 320 men.
This was in Hong Kong, 60 years or older, with chronic insomnia. And that was based on the DSM-V, which is one of the criteria. It basically encapsulates all of the psychological issues, psychological illnesses and gives an official definition for them. That’s what the DSM-V is. It excluded people if they regularly practice moderate-intensity exercise or Tai Chi, just so there wasn’t a baseline effect.
And then if they had major diseases that impact insomnia like cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, chemotherapy. So the control group, the group of no intervention, had a monthly phone call to see just basically what their sleep patterns were like. The exercise group had a 12-week program consisting of brisk walking and muscle strengthening exercises.
And the Tai Chi group had a 12-week yang style, 24 form program. And then, the intervention, both the exercise and the Tai Chi group, had one hour of training three times a week. So pretty real-world scenario there for training. And the training was delivered by trained professionals with at least five years of experience.
And so they measured seven day average of sleep parameters, including [00:12:00] efficiency, wake time after sleep onset, number of awakening, sleep latency, sleep time, and average wake time per awakening. These are all parameters that you’ll see when you look at sleep studies. So the secondary measures were remission of insomnia, insomnia treatment response, and they did this through surveys, the PSQI, and the ISI, Insomnia severity index.
These are two surveys that we use in research, and for monitoring therapy, they also looked at perceived sleep quality, insomnia severity, and then, of course, the self-reported sleep parameters and then use of hypnotic medication, hypnotic medications like Ambien or things like that, that people use to go to sleep.
So remission was defined as no longer meeting the DSM-V criteria, and response was a decrease in PSQI by five, which indicates a moderate response, a moderate attenuation of symptoms. They did this information after the 12 weeks, and then they followed up 24 months later. What did the study show? Both exercise and Tai-Chi had an increase in sleep efficiency, and the post-intervention, it was a 3.5% increase for exercise. 3.4% for Tai Chi. And then at that 24-month follow-up, it was 3.3% in exercise, 6.2%. Tai Chi. And we’ve seen this in a lot of previous studies. One of the first things I tell people to do, if you have problems sleeping; I asked, what are you doing throughout the day? Are you getting movement in?
Are you getting exercise? Exercise is like the answer to just about any of the health problems; get exercise, people, it’s important. So there’s a decrease in wake time after sleep onset. So this is basically if you fall asleep, how much time are you awake between the time you fall asleep and the time you actually get up out of bed?
And this was 17 minutes in the exercise group, 13.3 minutes in the Tai Chi group, the follow-up was 23 minutes in exercise, 27 minutes in Tai Chi. Awakenings, exercise, you had almost three less awakenings a night. It was 2.8 times, and the Tai Chi group was 2.2 times. At follow-up, the Tai Chi group was 2.8 times again, almost three less awakenings per night.
And that’s pretty significant; sleep onset latency did not change among the three groups post-intervention. However, at follow-up, TC was minus 3.8 times. Sleep onset latency is how quickly you fall asleep. And there was no difference in the average awaken time between the groups and the secondary analysis.
Insomnia remission, exercise was 19.4% versus 2.1% in control. So 19.4%, almost 20% of the people had remission of their insomnia and the exercise group. Tai Chi, it was 34.4%. And this actually went up like we’ve seen in the other things, the primary analysis that the follow-up had increased numbers, the follow-up showed that exercise had 42.5% had remission of their insomnia.
Tai-Chi was 54.9%. That’s a massive number. Treatment response was higher in the exercise group; it was 18.4%, control, it was 5.3%. Tai Chi was 28%, and then at follow-up, it was 33.3% versus 20% in the control. And then Tai Chi was 36.3% versus 20%. So in the secondary analysis, both exercise and Tai Chi decreased the PSQI, the ISI, but it was greater in Tai Chi.
So, what does this mean? Let’s move into the discussion part Tai-Chi and exercise, both improved sleep efficiency, wake time after sleep onset, awakenings, and then the measures, the surveys, the PSQI ISI, and they also reduced hypnotic medication use. This is important. The effects remained and often increased at follow-up.
What does that mean? It means that exercise was self-sustaining. So the people who [00:16:00] started exercising during this 12 week study period continued to exercise 24 months later, and they saw a greater effect 24 months later. So the exercise continued to have positive effects. That’s great news that if you start an exercise program, you stick with it.
It has longevity, it has sustainability, and it has a tangible effect. Clinical efficacy by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is an increase in sleep efficiency by 5%, 20 minute wake time after sleep onset or two times, and the number of awakenings decrease. And we saw these endpoints here in the study; all the endpoints were reached by Tai Chi.
And it’s funny; you look at some of these endpoints in some of these markers. You’re seeing similar numbers to what you’re getting with medication. This is a recurring theme here on the Strive for Great Health Podcast. That lifestyle interventions can get the same effect. And this is not just me saying, this is my opinion.
There’s data that shows that a lot of our lifestyle interventions get the same effect or greater effect than medication. So why is it that medication is always the first line? It shouldn’t be; it really shouldn’t be for a lot of situations. There’s a role for medication, but a lot of these chronic issues.
We have safer therapy that’s as effective or more effective. And actually, we talked about this on the sleep science podcast. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is first-line for insomnia. Exercise is a great option. We highly recommend exercise, highly recommend exercise if you have insomnia; in fact, the effect size on the PSQI and the ISI for Tai Chi is on par or higher than medication.
So the response to insomnia treatment for Tai Chi is on par or higher than medication. And there’s other evidence that shows that CBT we talked about on the sleep science podcast, cognitive-behavioral therapies that’s actually the gold standard is the first thing that should be done if you have insomnia.
And Tai Chi in studies is non-inferior, meaning that you can recommend Tai Chi and cognitive behavioral therapy as first-line therapy. The main limitation of this study is that it’s a single-center study in Hong Kong. So that means that it’s a little bit harder to generalize the results to other societies because of cultural differences.
But, there’s a ton of evidence that shows that exercise improves sleep. And this is just another study in the long line of studies that shows this. Let’s move into article two. The title of article two is long-term dietary patterns are associated with pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory features of the gut microbiome.
What’s our favorite topic on the Strive for Great Health Podcast. Well, besides cortisol and inflammation and insulin resistance, it’s the gut microbiome. So this study was very technical. I’m going to give you the high-level information, the take-home points because I think there’s some really cool stuff that this study actually did.
And it’s the first study that I know of that actually did this. So we know the gut microbiome directs the balance of pro and anti-inflammatory responses in the body. Microbial competition for nutrients controls the balance. We’ve talked about this on the Strive for Great Health Podcast before; our microbiome helps us digest foods.
It makes things that are good for us. If you have the right microbiome, if you have the wrong microbiome, it makes things that cause harm. And so an inflammatory bowel disorder, we know that there’s a breakdown in homeostasis, a breakdown in that normal condition, that normal interaction between the gut and the [00:20:00] intestines and the microbiome plays a large role in that.
Gut dysregulation is implicated in numerous conditions like diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s mood alterations. I mean, there’s a gut, whatever disease you can think of link. There’s a lot of research going on in this area right now. Certain patterns are associated with dysregulation in the gut.
And this includes a high intake of saturated fats, dietary, heme, sugar, salt, and low fiber intake. Now the studies before, well, before I get into that, also studies show that processing ingredients, ingredients in processed food like emulsifiers, antimicrobial, additives, artificial sweeteners, promote intestinal permeability, meaning that the tight junctions, the things that are supposed to keep things from just kind of squirming their way out of the intestines that are not supposed to be there, those breakdown and increase intestinal inflammation.
This is one of the reasons why we say get 90% of your nutrients from single-ingredient foods because the processing of foods, the chemicals that they put in them cause a lot of issues. These processed ingredients also increase mucolytic bacteria, and mucolytic bacteria means these bacteria are breaking down the beneficial mucus that helps keep our intestinal lining healthy.
And then something called endotoxins. Endotoxins are toxins. They’re not formed by bacteria. They’re actually pieces of the bacteria. And these endotoxins cause inflammation and immune system activation. Other things are associated with good gut health, like high fiber intake and tryptophan. So the cool thing about this study is that most studies look at single nutrients, but that’s not how people eat.
We don’t just eat single nutrients. It’s not like I just have a plate of B12, and then that’s it. No, my B12 comes with a whole bunch of other nutrients. And what this trial did was they looked at clusters of foods and associations of the microbiome with cluster a food intake. So this study was looking more at real-world scenarios because we tend to eat certain foods together.
You tend to eat a burger and fries with a soda. The methods, it looked at four groups. There was a control group, a Crohn’s disease group, an ulcerative colitis group, and an IBS group. And this looked at people in the Netherlands, and they looked at what food was consumed over the previous month based on a seven-day scale. And they looked at about 25 different food groups.
So there was some baseline associations in the results. Some of the baseline associations, caloric intake, was lower in IBS, inflammatory conditions, immune conditions of the gut. Likely because of all the gut symptoms, right? That makes sense. People with IBS ate less bread, potatoes, cheese yogurts, lower protein intake, and lower plant protein intake.
We’re going to talk about that in a minute. Protein and veggie intake was lower in the Crohn’s disease group than in healthy controls. Other studies have actually shown that lower protein and fiber intake and Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel. So in the Crohn’s disease patients, they often drink more soft drinks.
The healthy controls drink more alcohol. All right. So now we’re going to go into the different bacteria. So bifidobacterium species increase with plant protein, carbohydrates bread, and this is in the Netherlands people. Their bread is not our bread. It’s way different. Their bread is not processed stuff.
They’re using heirloom wheat, grinding it up, and baking it. It’s not the same as our bread. So don’t take this as you can go and eat our bread here [00:24:00] and think it’s healthy. Nope. Sorry. Not the same. So bifidobacteria species, increase with plant protein carbohydrates, bread and fruit decrease with higher intake of animal protein, fat fish, savory snacks, red wine butter.
And why is this important? This species is associated with short-chain fatty acids acetate. We’ve talked about these; they’re trophic to the gut they’re anti-inflammatory. It’s also associated with dense mucosal barriers, reduced LPS. Those are those bacterial endotoxins and actually improved efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.
And it’s depleted in irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, and obesity. Lactococcus and lactobacillus increased by buttermilk, fermented dairy, no surprise there, there were no negative associations, and these bacteria are important because they’re associated with the short-chain fatty acids, also with making thiamine, vitamin B one, and also anti-cancer.
Eubacteria species would increase by plant protein cereals, fruit, red wine, and decrease by carbohydrates, soft drinks. And these are associated with short-chain fatty acid but a different one, butyrate. We’ve talked about butyrate before. I love butyrate. One of my favorite molecules and is also associated with phenolic acid synthesis.
These are polyphenols. These are antioxidants, and eubacterium species are depleted in inflammatory bowel disorders. Roseburia was increased by fish nuts, veggies, plant protein cereals. Again, their cereals are also not the same as our cereals. Their cereals are not loaded with glyphosate. Not loaded with sugar, completely different than American cereals, and also associated with tea, lagoons, veggies, fruit, and it was decreased by sugar, savory snacks.
What they called savory snacks is our junk food, meat, gravy, sweetened milk. And why is this species important? It’s associated with butyrate, anti-inflammatory effects, and it’s also depleted in inflammatory bowel. Another species, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, increases with red wine legumes, fruit, fish, nuts, fat decreased by carbohydrates, soft drinks, sweet syrup.
This is associated with butyrate synthesis, anti-inflammatory effects, and it’s depleted in inflammatory bowel disease. Firmicutes, this is a whole species of bacteria. It’s one of the important things we look at when we do GI mapping is your Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. And it’s increased by protein, animal protein, fat cheese, and mainly it’s a cluster of fast food.
So this is a huge problem here in the States because people eat a lot of fast food. So they have a really high Firmicutes species in their gut. What’s the problem with that? Well, before we get to the problem that what’s it decreased by plant protein, carbohydrates, bread. This is associated with obesity.
It’s associated with inflammation. Bacteroides fragilis is increased by cheese, custard, is decreased in clusters of breads and legumes. It’s an opportunistic pathogen; it’s been associated with or found in increased abundance in colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel, and it’s been associated with raised LPS levels.
So raise bacterial endotoxins in the blood, which is not a good thing. E coli had no positive association with E coli. It decreased in clusters of breads and legumes. E coli is associated with increased abundance in inflammatory bowel, colorectal cancer, also increased LPS levels areas. Erysipelotrichacea increased by animal protein, soft drinks, syrup decreased by plant protein.
This is associated with inflammation, colorectal cancer, lipid abnormalities, and obesity. Streptococcus species increased by protein, animal protein, fat, cheese yogurt, custard, [00:28:00] decreased by plant protein, nuts. It’s associated with inflammatory bowel disease, alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, colon cancer, autoimmune diseases.
And the last one, Blautia, is associated with increase in animal protein, alcohol, meat, cheese, soft drinks, fast food, decreased by plant protein, carbohydrates, fruit, bread, and an increased abundance of this is associated with inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
Let’s all break this down into what’s the actual take-home here. I don’t really want you to remember all the different bacteria and all the different foods that are associated with it. The main take-home here is we need to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods because we need to balance the microbiome, balanced the diversity in our microbiome, and balance the pro and anti-inflammatory signals.
Overall, there was a positive association for higher intake of plant over animal foods, nuts, fermented dairy, fish, and avoiding alcohol, processed food, and soft drinks. That’s a relatively easy no-brainer eat more real food, eat less processed food. There’s less LPS, more anti-inflammatory signals. There’s more phenolic acid synthesis.
So more antioxidant synthesis when you do that. Nutrition plans high in Omega 3’s in animal models decrease bad bacteria, pathogenic bacteria, and pro-inflammatory metabolites. We get an increased anti-inflammatory signaling, and we get more symbiotic or good bacteria. High Omega six intake depletes the short-chain fatty acid producers, which is bad.
We don’t want that. That’s bad for the gut and actually is associated with increased CRP levels, which means more inflammation in humans. We talked about the Firmicutes fast food increase. This it’s associated with obesity. It’s associated with autoimmune disease. It’s associated with increased gut permeability.
This is leaky gut, which a lot of you have heard about leaky gut. Intestinal inflammation and then with low fiber intake, these bacteria eat through the mucus layer. These are the mucolytics that we talked about, and it erodes that layer and causes damage to the cells and immune activation. High sugar intake is also associated with gut inflammation.
There’s something called fecal calprotectin. And this is a marker of inflammation, and it’s associated with inflammation. It’s a marker of inflammation. So we know that higher plant protein intake is associated with improvement in this marker with less inflammation. So limitation mainly is this was in the Netherlands, so it’s not really generalizable.
And also their food and water is much cleaner than ours and their overall diversity. We know that gut microbiomes are different in different parts of the world and different cultures. The main takeaway here is the main benefit is to eat a variety of single-ingredient, nutrient-dense foods to help balance the pro and anti-inflammatory signals.
Our final thing, we’re going to talk about our supplement Rootine. And today, we’re talking about calcium. So, what does calcium do? It’s a vital mineral that’s important in bone health, blood vessel, health nerve, transmission, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, diffusion of nutrients into cells, enzyme reactions, metabolism, neurotransmitter release and storage, and B12 absorption.
Calcium does a lot of things in the body. Our main storage for calcium is in the bones. Our bones contain 99% of the body’s calcium in the form of something called hydroxyapatite. 40% of US adults, this is estimated 40% of us adults do not meet the required intake of calcium from diet alone. We’re going to talk about what [00:32:00] those RDAs are here in a minute.
What causes deficiencies? Poor nutrition. Obesity is actually associated with decreased calcium intake and decreased calcium levels. High sodium intake, and that’s because it causes a calciuria. So you pee out more calcium, especially with processed foods. Cause you get more inflammation, alcohol intake, and then soda is one of the worst things about, I mean, there’s tons of bad things about sodas, but one of the things you don’t hear people talk about is sodas are high in phosphorus, phosphorus binds calcium, and then you excrete it.
You don’t absorb it. High soda intake is associated with low calcium levels. Vegan diets are associated with low calcium levels, very high protein diets, or ketosis again because you cause a calciuria. We talked about that in the nutrient deficiencies podcast, inflammatory bowel disorders because of absorption changes, medications like acid blockers.
Anticonvulsants, steroids are associated with low calcium levels. Age because there’s a decrease in calcium absorption by age. You know, kids absorb about 60% of all the calcium that comes in orally, and adults, it drops to 15 to 20%, but actually, Asians and African-Americans genetically absorb more calcium.
If you have deficiencies in vitamin D and vitamin K, that can make calcium levels off. And actually, if you have too much calcium intake, you start to excrete more calcium and absorb less. So symptoms, confusion, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, weak bones, numbness in hands and feet, mood alterations. What are food sources?
Dairy, spinach, kale beans, lentils, fish bones, edamame, tofu. Some of the genes that we’ll look at when we’re looking at calcium is the VDR gene, the vitamin D gene. Or look at the calcium-sensing receptor gene. And this is exactly what it sounds like. This is a protein that senses what is going on with the calcium in the body.
Do we have adequate levels in the cells? And then it’ll make certain adjustments based upon what’s happening with the calcium testing. We can look at calcium. We can look at magnesium. We can look at vitamin D. We can look at PTH ionized calcium, which is the active version of calcium in the body. And then phosphorous.
So these are all things that are related to calcium metabolism, calcium absorption, and normal calcium functioning. So the dose, the RDA in women 50 and younger is a thousand milligrams daily, 50, and over its 1200 milligrams daily. For men, 70 and younger, it’s a thousand, for men, 70 and older. It’s 1200.
The maximum dose that you’ll see is about 2,500 milligrams per day. The problem with calcium is it has a saturable transport mechanism. Meaning that doses above 500 milligrams at once are pretty poorly absorbed. You can increase absorption by taking it with a meal that’s what’s recommended. Now the two main forums, calcium carbonate, and calcium citrate.
The citrate is better absorbed if you take it on an empty stomach, but if you’re taking it with food, it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s carbonate or citrate. Side effects. It’s usually well-tolerated. You may have gas, bloating, constipation. Now there’s some controversy about cardiac risks. And the controversy is because when we develop plaque, that plaque can get calcified, and that’s how it hardens.
So some people say calcium supplements increase the risk of coronary artery disease and calcifications; some say, is it actually helpful for the heart? I think the main distinction here is a lot of our studies look at calcium in isolation, but you can’t do that. You can’t just [00:36:00] look at it in isolation because it needs certain things to do its job.
Right. So you have to look into account where the other vitamins that calcium interacts with. Okay. Specifically, vitamin K, vitamin K two is important for making sure that calcium goes into the bones. Vitamin D very important for making sure calcium goes into the bones, making sure we absorb enough calcium from the gut, vitamin a is important in calcium homeostasis as well.
So if your levels of these things are off and you’re taking calcium supplements, you’re gonna take extra calcium, but then your body can’t do what it needs to do with it. So that’s my thoughts on the regard that calcium supplementation, especially when you have adequate vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, is very low risk for these type of cardiac scenarios.
Well, this has been our April wellness weekly. Hope you guys found it informative. We’ll be back next week, trying to decide what we’re going to talk about next week. So I would give you a little teaser, but I haven’t decided on it. It’s going to be a guest episode. I have a lot of episodes recorded with guests.
So I guess you’ll find out on our Monday teaser what’s coming next week. Y’all have a blessed day.
Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal with the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose.
You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five-star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform and by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. You can also support the podcast by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you do so and send us an email, we’ll give you a shout-out on the podcast because here at the Strive for Great Health Podcast, we’re all about charitable giving and making the world a better place. Thank you for listening, and God bless.