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Calcium Deficiency Information
by Jon Miller, holistic natural health educator & author
Calcium deficiency is widespread. Good calcium information is important for everyone.
Most people are calcium deficient. Better calcium intake is much needed. But only the right kind of calcium should be taken, and not too much! Only calcium that can really be used is worth taking.
After water, calcium is the next greatest substance in the body.
People think they are getting the calcium they need from consuming milk and dairy products, and calcium supplements, or multivitamins containing calcium. Actually, these are usually extremely poor sources, leaving people more deficient in calcium.
The common diet and stress are both acidifying, leaving most people overly acid. Soda pop and coffee are the worst offenders for most people. Over acidity is an unhealthy condition behind many of the illness problems that are rampant.
If there is not enough good ORGANIC calcium in the diet, the body will steal it from the bones and teeth, and even the nerves as a last resort, to keep the blood from going too acid. Otherwise one would die.
If needed to protect the sensitive nerve tissues, calcium will be drawn from the bones for that too. Osteoporosis results from the body leaching calcium from skeletal tissues for these crucial needs.
Strong bones, strong teeth, a stronger heart and calmer nerves would be more likely just by avoiding acidifying beverages.
Most toxins are acidic. The resulting free radicals use up essential oxygen and leave us vulnerable to acute infections, and chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. By alkalizing, we neutralize the toxic acids, and free up oxygen. We can reduce illness and prevent osteoporosis.
Calcium is consumed in metabolism as well as being stored in the bones. If calcium of the right type is not provided sufficiently by intake, the body will take calcium from the bones to feed cells and protect the nerves. This is when calcium deficiency is becoming serious.
Once this begins, there can be a great amount of calcium released into the bloodstream, which can foster deposits such as bone spurs and kidney stones. At the same time, deficiency of calcium is masked in blood tests by the higher levels of calcium in the blood.
The deficiency of calcium can be a causative factor in bone density problems and other conditions, including the following common disorders:
~ bone fracture
~ tooth decay
~ kidney stones
~ loss of bone mass
~ deterioration of cartilage
~ osteoarthritis and joint pain
~ nerve, muscle and back pain
~ stress and anxiety
~ bone spurs and heel spurs
It has been established that the most significant causes of osteoporosis are soda pop and coffee consumption, smoking and physical inactivity. These contribute to over acidity of the body. Further, the phosphorus in colas can impede the absorption and use of calcium.
The osteoporosis epidemic has been worsened by fluoride, which is added to public water supplies and is contained in many food and beverage products and medicines. There is NO evidence that fluoride has a benefit for teeth, but plenty of evidence that it causes teeth and bones to become brittle!
On the other hand, the most valuable thing for increasing bone density is exercise, even simple walking. Exercise is more important than either the consumption of dairy products or common calcium supplements in terms of improving or maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis.
Click here for more information about the toxic mineral fluoride and affordable methods of removing it and other harmful poisons from the water in your home.
The Right Calcium
Dietary minerals need to be organic, ionically-bonded in a food form, or properly chelated in a food molecule. The best food sources of calcium are organically-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and super foods, particularly kale, carrots and spirulina.
As a secondary supplemental alternative, "chelated" minerals are offered by the marketplace. In a special laboratory process these have been chemically-bonded with an agent that the body recognizes as food.
(NOTE: The term "chemical" does not only apply to synthetic chemicals. It refers to any interactions between elements and compounds, whether synthetic, natural, inorganic or organic. Everything in the body is a "chemical" compound with chemical bonds. Natural biological processes in the body are "biochemical" reactions.)
"Chelated" minerals, those bonded with food acids, are known to be better absorbed in the human body as they are recognized as food substances.
The forms of chelated calcium available are: calcium aspartate (an amino acid chelate), calcium lactate (the form found in raw milk and dairy products), calcium citrate (chelated with citric acid as found in citrus fruits), calcium gluconate (chelated with gluconic acid), calcium orotate (chelated with orotic acid), calcium ascorbate (chelated with ascorbic acid), and calcium malate (chelated with malic acid).
Although lab chelated minerals are better absorbed than "rock dust form", such as calcium carbonate and dolomite, or ground oyster shells, usually chelated minerals are not as good as those in plant form.
The Wrong Calcium
I DO NOT recommend the many "calcium added" food products such as orange juice, soy milk and cereals with extra calcium. This is most often not well-absorbed calcium, and there is a danger of getting too much calcium, as described below.
I especially DO NOT recommend calcium carbonate, dolomite, di-calcium phosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, oyster shell or bone meal as calcium supplements. "Antiacid" products touted for calcium are of the lowest quality and should be avoided. None of these provide well absorbed calcium.
You have probably heard about "coral calcium". Now that coral calcium has been marketed for years, and gained a lot of attention, there is plenty of information based on independent analysis that shows that coral calcium is not the good stuff it was made out to be.
TOO MUCH CALCIUM, especially if it is inorganic calcium, may contribute to male prostate problems and cancer, according to recent research. It is thought that the high calcium uses up vitamin D, leaving an insufficient amount for other uses.
Further, extra calcium consumption is not necessarily helpful for osteoporosis. Results from seven different research projects have indicated that there are no significant reductions in bone fractures from increasing intake of calcium.
In regard to osteoporosis, studies have shown that both consuming a lot of milk and dairy products AND taking supplemental calcium have resulted in GREATER incidence of osteoporosis! The countries with the most per capita calcium consumption have the greatest rates of osteoporosis.
It is likely that these results are based on the use of common inorganic calcium supplements and pasteurized or cooked milk and dairy products. (See below for information on ways of getting good, effective calcium.)
In the way of foods, as you know, dairy products are promoted (by the dairy producers) as the main foods for calcium. However, dairy foods often actually lower bone density.
As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition back in 1985, the National Dairy Council sponsored a study which showed that the more milk women took in, the greater their bone loss!
Milk is usually homogenized, making it poorly digested. Further, milk and other dairy items are almost always pasteurized and often used in cooking, making them less well-digested and less nutritious, and more acidifying and mucus-forming in the body.
So milk and dairy foods are not digested well, and the calcium in them is has been ruined and is less available for use by the body than calcium from vegetable sources.
The most valuable thing for increasing bone density is exercise, even simple walking. Exercise is more important than the consumption calcium supplements in terms of improving or maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis.
New research suggests that potassium and magnesium as found in vegetables and fruits may be far more crucial to healthy bones than calcium intake.
There is a significant correlation between high levels of fruit and vegetable intake and bone density, unlike the NEGATIVE correlation with consuming dairy products and poor quality calcium supplements.
The traditional emphasis on higher calcium than magnesium is also distorted. Most calcium products provide magnesium in them, as supplemental calcium tends to bind up magnesium in the intestines.
There has long been evidence that the magnesium level in supplements should be higher than calcium. More recently researchers have determined that the magnesium should be far higher.
Why are vitamin D & magnesium usually recommended to be taken with calcium? These may or may not be needed with the calcium.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, improving absorption of even the less-absorbable chelated or inorganic forms of calcium in the intestine.
Most people are deficient in vitamin D from too little exposure to the sun. We are indoors a lot, and when we go out we often use sunscreen due to concern about skin cancer, which blocks the UVB rays needed to act on the skin to form vitamin D.
In the normally alkaline pH of the small intestine, inorganic minerals tend to attract each other and form a sediment which itself is even more poorly absorbed. Thus inorganic calcium actually reduces the absorption of other minerals, especially magnesium.
Extra magnesium is often suggested to be taken with supplemental calcium to prevent other magnesium in the diet from being blocked by the calcium.
Poorly Absorbed Calcium
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1200 mg for ages 11-24, and 800 mg. for those over 30. This refers to the amount of "elemental calcium" in the diet.
Calcium is highly interactive with other elements, and is almost always found in a compound. The body must separate the elemental calcium out of these compounds to make it available to cells.
Research has shown that the body's cells can only utilize about 12.5 mg. of pure ORGANIC calcium in a day for their metabolism. The vast difference between the RDA figures and the small amount actually used suggests how poorly absorbable most calcium is.
What happens to all the excess calcium from the poorly absorbed calcium supplements that people are taking to try to get the RDA?
Most of this calcium is not absorbed and remains in the intestine, perhaps contributing to the formation of cement-like deposits there.
The excess of what does get absorbed may form deposits in the body, including the arteries, and could block other crucially-needed minerals from getting into cells.
And what about the cheap forms of calcium being added to orange juice, soy milk and other food products?
It is definitely possible to take too much of wrong types of calcium. The calcium in most supplements is common inexpensive rock dust.
Rock forms of inorganic calcium, including calcium carbonate (chalk), oyster shell, dolomite, di-calcium phosphate, and "coral calcium", are extremely poorly absorbed.
An excess of such forms of calcium would bind up magnesium in the intestine, possibly throw off blood calcium levels, potentially form deposits in joints, arteries and other locations, and could disturb the nerves, which also need calcium.
The reason that conventional mineral supplements do not contain the RDA of calcium along with the RDA's of all the other minerals is that either the tablets or capsules would be too large to swallow, or you would have to take so many of them at once that it would be overwhelming.
A further problem is that calcium supplements of compounds found in nature such as dolomite, bone meal or coral calcium may contain heavy metals such as lead or mercury.
At the moment, calcium products are not tested by any regulatory agency for heavy metal content. Therefore, it's best to avoid these for this reason as well.
Calcium in Foods
Foods organically-grown on good soil have a far better mineral profile than those grown on deficient chemically-fertilized farms. Carrots, broccoli, kale and sesame seeds, organically-grown well, are some of the richest plant foods in calcium, yet they do not have anything near the calcium levels that people are trying to take in through supplements.
Also wheat, barley and kamut grass juices, fresh or in cold-dried powder form, are the most alkalizing of nutritional supplements, providing an array of organic minerals, including calcium AND magnesium.
Properly-raised spirulina, a highly nutritious edible algae, is one of the best superfoods as well. 16 grams of Spirulina contains as much calcium as 16 grams of milk. It has 300% more calcium than found in chicken, and is a superior source of protein to meat, dairy products, soy products, or any other food. It is also rich in magnesium.
CLICK HERE for my web page about spirulina.
The calcium and other bone-building minerals in organic foods and superfoods are far superior to the poorly absorbed calcium from coral, oyster shell, bone meal, dolomite (from limestone), di-calcium phosphate, tri-calcium phosphate or pure calcium carbonate (chalk), sold for many years in cheaply-made products to the calcium-seeking public.
Further, minerals are synergistic. For example, the trace mineral boron is needed for helping to retain calcium. And silica can be transmuted and form calcium as needed if the body is functioning well.
A variety of minerals are present together in vegetables and superfoods. However, the minerals are only a portion of what is present there, along with vitamins, enzymes, pigments and phytonutrients.
The minerals in the normal intake of vegetables and superfoods would not be all you would need.
What about milk and dairy products, the foods that have been touted for years as a source of calcium?
The calcium level in cow's milk is for supporting the structural growth of an animal that could weigh almost a ton! This is not an appropriate level or type of calcium for a human. And the calcium in dairy products, especially when altered by pasteurization, is not suitable for proper utilization in humans.
Calcium Information and Products
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(fine for those with normal calcium needs)
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to learn more about calcium and its functions
Important Note About Other Minerals
Calcium is not the only mineral your body needs.
Extra magnesium and other minerals should usually be taken when extra calcium is, to allow the body to maintain a good balance of mineral levels in the various cells.
CLICK HERE for more information on magnesium.
CLICK HERE to read about the importance of minerals and the best form for good absorption.
Really good calcium together with extra ionic magnesium, superior ionic minerals, vitamin D and other nutrients, should gradually help your body be the strongest it can be.
For building bone density, the best form of exercise is rebounding.
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