Can excess Calcium lead to aortic calcification ?

While it is true that Calcium and Vitamin D are a must for osteoporosis and we also need the biophosphonates to help stick the Calcium to the bones and to reduce the Calcium loss from the bones, has anyone encountered a case where a person with excess Calcium intake has had calcification of the aorta--meaning excess build-up of calcified plaque in the aorta the main vessel that is connected to the heart?

One of my friends who was a doctor had told me how excess calcium led her mother to develop this condition which was difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Her mother was on Calicum supplements plus biophosphonates. Was this an isolated case?

Has any research been done on the deposit of Calcium on other vessels and organs of the body other than the bones? What about the blood vessels inside the brain? Can Calcium deposit there?

For example what effects would the biophosphonates have on Calcium that enters the heart? How can we be sure that any medicine that we take for any one part of the body has no deleterious effects on other parts? I believe this is what they call side effects.

It would be invaluable if others could share similar experiences here.

Edited August 14, 2009 at 6:53 am

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Hey Nathji: I have no knowledge regarding Calcium deposit on the arota. However, several years ago I took Fosamax while taking calcium and I developed a calcium deposit on my cornea. I have lost a great deal of my vision in that eye and it has been a nightmare for me. I have had the calcium deposit removed three times but it keeps coming back. I do believe that this is a side-effect of the bisophosphate I was taking at the time. Needless to say, I will not take them any more and I have managed to improve the condition of my bones without them.

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Dear Caleigh,

Many thanks for your studied and important comment. It is indeed an eye-opener and warns us that we must not all go overboard in our enthusiasm to take in as much Calcium as possible with biophosphonates.

The episode about the Calcium in the cornea is frightening to say the least. One can cope with osteoporosis, but losing one's sight would be terrible and would make us more prone to falls.

By the way, apart from the biophosphonates, were you taking the drug Cordorone for any heart beat problem? Cordorone has been known to cause "Corneal deposits" in the eye.

But if you were not, then the only conclusion is that the condition was due to the combined effect of Calcium and the biophosphonates. The manufacturers should put out a warning on the label like the makers of Cordorone do.

I am so glad you are feeling better without the biophosphonates! It is so heartening. I hope you continue to feel well.

Best wishes,
Yours,
Priya

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I took Fosamax for over four years plus calicium etc. and I have severe stenosis of my arotic valve. In my attempt to put off the surgery of replacement I am taking 8,000 unitis of Vitamin D3 and vitamin K1 and K2 with the hope that they will remove the calcium deposits and take them to my osteoporosis bones.

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Hey nathji: I was not taking cordorone. Thanks for your good wishes.

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BobWallace: Did your Doctor advise you to take the 8ooo units of Vit. D3 & Vit. K1 & K2?

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Dear Bob,

I was saddened to hear of the calcification in your aortic valve! This means that the story about the aortic calcification was also true.

You have said that you are taking extra Vit D to remove the excess Calcium, but I am worried. I thought Vit D helped you to absorb Calcium from your food much better -- therefore if you are taking Calcium in your diet, then MORE of it will enter your blood stream due to Vit D-- because more and more will get better absorbed from the stomach.

This means that more Calcium will go to the aortic valve as well as to the bones-- more calcium will go wherever the bloodstream goes, which is probably everywhere in the body!

A lady was taking high doses of Vit D -- and that made her blood calcium shoot up from 9 to 14, and she was in a state known as hypercalcemia, too much calcium in the bloodstream.

Please be very very careful -- and do ask two or three doctors before proceeding further. If two doctors give contradictory advice I always make it a point to go to a third and then take the majority opinion.

Best wishes,
Yours,
Priya

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Dear Friends,

I feel this is a very important topic and more and more members should come forth and relate their experiences-- for here we are dealing with some very serious complications of excess Calcium and biophosphonates.

Caleigh has reported calcium deposits in the cornea of the eye. And Bob Wallace has reported calcification in the aortic valve of the heart. These are indeed matters of grave concern and everyone needs to be alerted of these complications, or side effects.

Yours,
Priya

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Nathji,
Thank you for asking this question. It has been of concern to me for a while. Six years ago I took Actonel for about 9 months, and then stopped taking it because I was getting large calcium deposits in my upper gums (called tori). A few months later, my mammogram showed new calcium deposits and an xray to my shoulder showed new calcium deposits there also. Of course my real concern was if it was also depositing calcium in my heart and arteries.

I don't have any underlying problems--normal calcium, parathyroid, no celiac, etc., so I have not been comfortable with how much calcium to take since that study came out showing too much calcium was causing heart probs and a build up of plaque in arteries.

All the studies on calcium dosage are maddeningly inconsistent---many show that we with osteo need higher amounts, and then there is this study which shows Vegan nuns with extremely low calcium intake who had exact same bone density as calcium takers/non vegetarians. Unfortunately it doesn't reveal fracture data.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416102302.htm

Does anyone know if there are any other tests that reveal if we are taking too much calcium? The serum calcium test and 24 hour urine test were always normal for me, even though I was getting excess calcium deposits placed all over my body.

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My doctor has not prescribed either the higher dosage of Vitamin D or the vitamin K. Dr. Bill Davis recommends men take up to 6,000 units of Vitamin D with the aim of rasing blood level to 60 for treating coronary atery plaque. I read somewhere that a man taking a high dosage of D reversed the calcification of his aortic valve in a year. By the way the D is oil based,.

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Dear Bob,

Many thanks for the clarification. Undoubtedly you would have good reasons to take the Vit D for the removal of plaque in the arteries. However the question remains: what about the fact that added Vit D will lead to a greater amount of Calcium in the bloodstream, which can then again be re-deposited in the aortic valve? Could you ask this of Dr. Bill Davis? It would be of great help to all of us.
Thank you for starting a very important topic of discussion concerning the heart!
Yours,
Priya

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Dear Santa Fe,

Thank you for sharing your experiences! First it was excess calcium in the eyes, (Caleigh) then the aorta (Bob Wallace), and now in the breast and teeth and shoulder areas (Sante Fe) as you have reported.

Surely these findings should cause all of us to sit up and think of Calcium intakes -- and to question the medical community more and more on the subject. Many doctors would still be ignorant about these episodes and would shrug their shoulders and dismiss them!!

Best wishes,
Yours,
Priya

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Hello Prya

I was advised to add Vit K to my 'Mix" as this counteracts the effect of Calcium deposits where we don't want them!
It also helps activate specific proteins that build bone.

I take a phial of brand name KONAKION 10mg a day.

There are natural sources including dark leafy vegetables.

Vit K has importance in the treatment of Osteoporosis according to may Specialist.

You have raised some good questions, as always.

Kind regards
Gishy

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Nathji There is one i can tell you, i had a friend
who pass away when she was 80. Was toll bye her Dr
that she has calcium in her Brain.
The answere is yes calcium can be in the Brain. Have a nice day Iola

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Dear Gishy,

Thank you for your kind note. It was nice of you to have shared your information about Vit K preventing Calcium deposits. I shall certainly read more about this very important piece of information. Thanks again!
Yours,
Priya

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Dear iola,
Thanks for sharing the information. It is indeed terrible news about Calcium in the brain-- it appears that this was not just a conjecture on my part but a reality, which makes it more of a matter of concern. Thank you for wishing me a nice day, I wish you the same.

Yours,
Priya

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Dear Priya

Regarding a previous question, which I have just noted regarding does Vit D increase risk of calcification

In the absence of vitamin K or with drugs (particularly blood thinners) that interfere with Vitamin K metabolism, Vitamin D can promote soft tissue calcification.

This puzzle of ours keeps growing and we need all the bits to fit, let's keep going!!

Kind regards.
Gishy

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I have calcium deposits in the aortic vein or artery and(age 66) was not taking any osteo meds and had not been diagnosed with osteo. Heart specialist told me no concern as it is fairly common when one gets older? Then the question: Was my body taking calcium from the bone, putting it the blood and depositing the "excess" else where? With the osteo, I was diagnosed with hypercalcimia, too much urine calicum(age 73). Supposedly kidney leaking calcium and taken diurectic to "seal" the calcium leaking into the urine. But is this indicative of some more basic problem-such as too acid a diet and the body adjusting the PH by taking clacium from the bone?

Have added more calcium to my diet so will this stop the leaching of the bone calcium? How much calcium does one need? Maybe it depends on how acidic the blood is as caused by the individual diet? So there is no "one size" fits all.

Very good question Priya. You ask the most profound questions.

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Here is an article I found on VitK for clearing calcium in the arteries---scroll down to "Calcium Paradox" and below that the doctor explains a better test to take for checking if you are VitK deficient.

http://blogs.webmd.com/integrative-medicine-wellness/2007/11/vitamin-k-keep ing-calcium-in-your-bones.html

And this one is good on Vit K as artery cleaner (shorter too!)
http://stanford.wellsphere.com/general-medicine-article/vitamin-k2-artery-c leaner/680493
When he talks about the complications between VitK and blood thinners, I wonder if that would include Fish Oil and or Advil, as they also work as blood thinners.

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Dear Eamenad,

Many thanks for your comments, as also for your compliment. You have raised some good questions yourself, which do not have easy answers. You are right about the calcification of the aorta being common in old age -- although it is frightening. In the comments above we also read (Bob Wallace) of calcification of the aortic valve with severe stenosis, for which he is trying to stave off surgery.

I think Hypercalcemia means too much calcium in the blood. The body tries to get rid of the excess calcium in the blood by excreting it in the urine, --so that one gets a lot of calcium in the urine also.

So if we try to stop this excess calcium from leaking out in the urine, then it will only accumulate in the blood. And once it has accumulated in the blood it can get deposited in many places --cornea of the eyes, aortic valves, shoulders, breasts, as we have seen in the above discussion.

As far as the acid diet contributing to loss of bone is concerned, I dont believe I have much knowledge about that, and will have to study it, although I know this argument has been advanced.

I dont know whether adding more calcium to the diet will help an already overloaded system with calcium.
Are you taking these things on your own, or on the advice of a doctor? Please be very, very careful with the calcium intake if you have hypercalcemia.

My sister had hypercalcemia and the first thing that the doctor did was to stop all her calcium supplements !!

I am already worried about your situation-- and fear that you are not getting proper medical guidance from an expert.

Have you had your Parathyroid Hormone tested? They say there is a condition known as Hyper Parathyroid Hormone levels HPT, which, if high, give one hypercalcemia.

The whole thing is so, so confusing. I wish NOF had a doctor here who could guide us all on the proper things to do!!

Maybe after reading this discussion they will depute someone to answer all our questions.

I have already written to Pam Flores, known as Windblown on the Inspire site, whose knowledge about these things is fantastic, and I do hope she gets the message I left for her on osteoporosisconnection.com regarding such questions.

Please be well.

With best wishes,
Yours,
Priya

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Dear Santa Fe,

I just saw your reply. Many thanks for the 2 sites you have given. I am going to them right away!! You are right, fish oils contains omega 3 aids which are blood thinners in high doses!! I am now in uncharted territory and wil have to do some serious reading on this subject. But thanks a lot for letting us know!! It may be very helpful and life saver.

Best wishes,
Yours,
Priya

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