The Calcium Myth: Osteoporosis and Bone Health
What would you say if I asked what would help osteoporosis or build strong bones...?
Maybe Vitamin D comes in a close second.
Then you would be the same as almost everybody out their who has bought into the Calcium myth and sadly, yes, that includes Doctors. Our bones are strengthened by more than 12 minerals, so why would just calcium help us?
A simple google search will quickly tell you that our bones (and teeth) are where the majority of the calcium and phosphorus are found in our body...ok...but that doesn't mean then that calcium is the only thing that has disappeared from our bones in order to make them weak, or that shoving it in our mouths will make them strong.
Our bones are actually made of:
traces of another 64 minerals
Are you already thinking what i'm thinking? So why would just calcium help?
What do I mean by Calcium myth?
Just that. If you have bone density issues or want to keep great bone health, loading up on Calcium is not the answer, in fact it is probably the worst thing you could do, barring deliberately breaking bones. This unfounded belief in Calcium, that is disproved by simple, basic science, is literally killing us. Even worse, if you already have excess Calcium in your body then you could be signing your own death warrant by taking your doctors advice and popping Calcium tablets.
Did you know that Calcium is what hardens concrete? So imagine what else it can harden in your body.
Just a few biproducts of excess calcium include:
Calcium deposits in tissues
Brain cell dysfunction
Calcification, concretions or gravel like (concrete like) calcium deposits in arteries (plaque)
Hardening of the arteries
High blood pressure
Weight gain and obesity
Still feel like taking the daily calcium supplement?
Calcium alone hardens concrete, not bone!
I want to start this section by adding that this topic covers a vast amount of information, so what i'm going to present you with here is only an overview to a fascinating and unbelievably scary vault of information about Calcium, its roles, interplays with organs, functions etc and how it contributes to other major diseases, health concerns and then how we came to believe it and think we needed it in the first place.
Basic biochemistry can answer most of the questions that are at the root of most modern medical conditions.
First off, our body is made up of 72% water. I know you remember this from school. It's one of the first things we learn. It stands to reason then that anything we put in our body needs to be water soluble, or have a mechanism for water based transport and absorption. Makes sense.
The remainder of our body is comprised of minerals - a vital for life mixture of ionizing essential and trace minerals. Minerals are necessary for every function that gives us life:
Now get ready to be amazed...
The oceans and salt beds of the planet contain ALL of the minerals and trace minerals we need to be perfectly healthy. REAL sea and rock salt, completely unaltered contain all of the minerals in the exact proportions that our body needs (except sodium).
Doesn't that blow you away?
What we need for our body to be continually perfectly balanced (chemically speaking) is just lying around most of the planet, waiting for us to eat it. We have been provided with a substance that perfectly balances the well known minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium and the lesser known minerals like chromium, manganese, selenium and copper with the rare minerals like lithium, rubidium, cobalt, germanium and molybdenum and more! For salt recommendations see the section on what to do next.
Do not misunderstand!
Not table salt!
Table salt has been stripped of all but sodium and chlorine, with some added Iodine. Table salt is a killer. Do not ingest it by all means possible.
What's the point? This...We need all of these minerals in balance to have a body in balance which in turn will give us healthy bones. Calcium does not strengthen bones on its own.....just concrete. In fact 90-95% of us already have too much Calcium in our body and we know that more than 5-10% of the people in the world have weakened bones.
It's simple math, 1+1=2.......excess calcium + mineral deficiency = bone deficiency
Did you realise that osteoporosis is defined as a loss of minerals from the bone, not a loss of Calcium? More on osteoporosis later.
How does excess calcium make us sick?
When we ingest an abundance of any substance we begin a chain reaction of imbalance in our bodies. We throw our internal chemistry way off centre. In many cases not only do we cause an imbalance but we create a 'rob Peter to pay Paul' situation. What I mean by this, for example, is that excess calcium can weaken the heart as the body compensates by desperately seeking the other minerals it needs and robs them from the heart store. This is just one example, but it happens all over the body creating some of the conditions I have already listed.
Below is the Calcium Cascade: The chain of events set off by excess Calcium.
Excess or relative excess Calcium in the body
THAT LEADS TO
Calcium seeking and needing more Magnesium to try and keep the bodys calcium and magnesium in balance.
THAT LEADS TO
A relative magnesium deficiency in proportion to Calcium that leads to increased muscle tension and nerve endings firing erratically and other 'electrical' malfunctions in your body.
In its need for more Magnesium, your body has to suppress adrenal function in order to retain more magnesium to compensate for the high calcium. This adrenal suppression causes a continuous loss of sodium and potassium in the urine as well as immune compromise from the adrenal suppression.
THAT LEADS TO
A continual depletion of the sodium and potassium that are stored inside the trillions of cells in your body.
THAT LEADS TO
A loss of the sodium and chloride you need to produce the stomach acid you need to digest protein.
This increases the incidences of heartburn and other digestive disorders, and the use of prescription drugs that have further destructive effects and impede digestion.
Your body gradually loses its ability to digest protein and absorb the essential amino acids that are the building blocks of protein and neurotransmitters.
The sodium depletion leads to a failure of membrane electrical potential and ion exchanges necessary for cellular function, the mechanism by which our bodies get essential amino acids and glucose into all our cells, except fat cells which keep absorbing glucose without sodium whilst the rest of our bodies are starving.
Intracellular potassium levels decline dramatically and this leads to increasing degrees of
thyroid hormone resistance (type 2 hypothyroidism), with all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and slowed metabolism with what are thought to be normal blood tests. Correct diagnosis requires blood tests, HTMA, basal body temperatures and total and reverse T3 ratio.
All cells (except fat cells) become starved for glucose and amino acids
Increased cravings for glucose and increased food intake. This loss of minerals also leads to more food cravings.
Intracellular deficiencies of sodium, potassium and amino acids, and more cravings.
THE END RESULT IS
Multiple metabolic malfunctions, including, obesity, heart disease, type 2 hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, migraines, depression, dementia, hypertension and the list goes on and on...
Believe me yet? Why don't we explore how we got to this point, both of mineral deficiency and belief in an outright lie!
How did we end up with such severe mineral deficiencies?
How much do you love your refrigerator? I love mine. Keeping everything cool and making things last....unfortunately, its invention was the beginning of our deficiency story. Before the fridge came along, we used to preserve our food in...you guessed it...natural sea salt. The divine mineral mix of perfection seeping into our food and our bodies with all its amazing power. When we stopped doing this, we created mineral deficiency overnight and as a byproduct, passing down our mineral imprint to our children, became more and more deficient with each new generation.
Then we 'purified' salt (queue the bells tolling). At the same time we began to deplete the soil where our food grows and spray it with chemicals and even worse genetically modify the morsel of goodness that was left over. Alongside this we built dams, stopping flood waters from carrying essential nutrients back to the soil.
Around 1936 an American Dr working in a project based on research from top universities in conjunction with the US department of agriculture issued a profetic warning:
"...Countless human ills stem from the fact that the impoverished soil of America no longer provides plant foods with mineral elements essential to human nourishment and health. Millions of acres no longer contain the valuable trace elements...It is not commonly realised however, that vitamins control the body's appropriation of minerals, and in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of some minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless."
Dr. Charles Northern
In 1999 a study at Rutgers university in America found that the mineral content of commercially grown fruits and vegetables was less than 16% of normal compared to organically vine ripened produce. T
hat was 16 years ago. Do you find that as scary as I do?
Don't be complacent because it's America, this has happened across the globe (with exceptions).
How did we end up believing the lie?
Saying that bones need Calcium to be strong is a gross over simplification. I believe I have already showed that convincingly. In this case, why do we all believe it...even doctors?!
It was seemingly only of benefit to the dairy industry and as almost everything happens in this century as it began in the last, advertising creates a joint consciousness of 'fact'. Drug company sponsored research, advertisers and the dairy industry have hammered home the message that we need calcium so hard and for so long, its become a dogma in our society. A fatal dogma.
Milk isn't enough for you? Don't worry, we will pump it with extra Calcium.
Don't like milk, how about orange juice, cranberry juice, water and more?
Not a fan of drinking, that's ok, we can put it in your food....especially to make the bad ones more desirable.
Don't like junk food, well why not eat something 'healthy' and we will pump up the health benefits by adding...you guessed it...
We know kids don't like grown up food, so we can put it in their everyday products for you...you're welcome...
What if you can't tolerate dairy.....no problem, lets add calcium to everything else, especially soy, rice and almond products to make them more desirable.
Not a big foodie? Because we are looking out for you, we can put it in your toothpaste....aren't we great?
As if this wasn't enough, if you are actively trying to avoid such sneaky add ins to your food, along comes the fool proof method of celebrity endorsement...
Even i'm nearly sold....
Don't blame David, he doesn't know any better.
Why are they doing it though?
It's all about the money. When we make anything indispensable and spread enough fear about its lack, people will buy in, emotionally, physically and monetarily. It doesn't matter about your health being destroyed because the good old pharmaceutical companies are here to save the day and sell you a massively over priced drug or better yet, synthesised supplement, to cure all your problems. Better still, you could need a costly surgery or long term care.
Bums in seats laddie, bums in seats...or in this case bodies in beds.
Don't you think there is something iffy about the fact that we are getting more Calcium than ever before but apparently we need to take Calcium for the problems we face?
We have already established that Osteoporosis is a lack of minerals, plural...not Calcium. So to recap a little it stands to reason that Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and brittle bones are not caused by a lack of calcium. In fact Harvard Cornell research on 122,000 women participating in a nurses health study showed that the women who drank the most milk, had the highest fracture rates. By now i'm hoping you understand why.
Obviously then you can answer this question...what causes osteoporosis? You got it, mineral deficiency. It is a loss of the structure of the body due to an inadequate supply of all minerals it needs or too much of one of them: Calcium. It isn't mineral deficiency just in the bones though, its in the entire body.