It saddens me to see older women diagnosed with “osteopenia” or “osteoporosis” listening to their doctors and taking supplemental calcium and even problematic drugs called bisphosphonates. These are irrational, dogmatic, harmful approaches to the problem of degrading bone as we age. In my time practicing nephrology and internal medicine, I saw numerous patients suffering from vascular disease while taking the recommended doses of calcium. X-rays revealed perfect outlines of calcified blood vessels and calcified heart valves.
Pictured here is a calcified breast artery, often seen in women who are being treated for hypertension. The primary drug used in high blood pressure, a thiazide diuretic, causes the body to retain calcium and lose magnesium and potassium. We incidentally note these types of calcifications in the large arteries of the entire body, not just the breasts. I believe these problems are avoidable.