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.
Bones are the go to place for minerals in your body. This means whenever the body is lacking minerals for a process, it takes them from the bones. So you can understand here why bone density decline as a natural part of the ageing process doesn't hold up under scrutiny. If your body has sufficient minerals, your bones will remain strong. Blaming the ageing process is just a denial of the endemic mineral deficiency problem we face as a race given our lifestyles and what we have allowed to happen to our food system and ecosystems.
To throw in some science, without the right proportions of minerals, the body can't make enough hydroxyapatite crystals which make up the bone matrix and build bone strength.
Now, if anyone asks you what causes osteoporosis, I truly hope you will never ever say Calcium deficiency ever again.
If you are concerned about having weakened bones or osteoporosis ask your GP for a DEXA scan. This is a simple non invasive test that will show the mineral density of your bones.
Does anyone need Calcium, ever?
The short answer is yes, but it tends to be very few of us...as low as 5-10% of the entire population. The best way to know for sure is to get a hair analysis test (HTMA) or another reliable mineral count test. I personally will never take calcium without knowing for sure that I need it.
Mineral deficiency, stress and emotion
It isn't just what we put into our body that can affect our internal chemistry. Our thoughts, emotions and the way we react to the world can have a dramatic effect on it also, throwing the balance off in the ways described throughout this piece.
Chronic stress, worry, fear, sadness, loneliness, lack of purpose, anger, resentment, bitterness and all types of negative emotion WILL have an effect on your body chemistry. This is why, a key to our health is learning to and implementing ways of creating a balanced emotional state.
When we experience one of the emotions above, or grief, a physical trauma and many other things, we potentially put our body into fight or flight mode, as if it needs to survive an attack. You are probably aware of all the things that happen to us physically when we go into fight or flight mode (as if we are running away from a rabid dog).
Heart rate increases
Digestion shuts down
Blood pressure rises
Creativity and healing shut down
Cortisol and other hormones are produced
to name but a few.
Here's a video to help you understand a little better...
All of these things have an impact on our body chemistry so we must find ways of reducing and ultimately eliminating their influence over our system. Here's where our brilliant bodies can get sneaky. Have you ever felt a familiar fight or flight response when you are doing something plain, dull or even nice? You don't know why but your heart starts to race or you start sweating or you get a panic attack out of the blue, maybe you get very worked up at night when you try to sleep.
When this happens it is because we have the memory of a time when we needed to be in fight or flight stuck in our brain (and therefore body) and whatever we are doing has triggered the response, even though we don't consciously remember it. These are the things that we really want to get rid of because they are affecting our body chemistry on a much more constant basis without us even realising it, causing much longer term deficiencies and therefore symptoms of medical conditions, starting with the basics....
Aches and pains
Feeling 'not right'
Constant colds or viruses
Muscle tension and pain
Type A Personality - very driven, competitive, self critical
If you relate to anything in that list, take the following advice to heart.
What can we do?
Well the most effective way I know of dealing with the emotional aspect described in this section is a technique called B.E.S.T. Little known in the UK but widespread across Europe and America, the BioEnergetic Synchronisation Process is a completely non invasive, relaxing therapy that deals with the emotional root causes of problems you are facing. It was created out of chiropractic work and creates the situation whereby your body can begin to heal naturally as it was designed to. If you have tried any alternative or natural therapies, you must give this a go. It is truly life changing. (I am speaking from personal experience). You can read more about it at www.beyondphysical.co.uk and it's wider reach of positively impacting your health.
Other things you can do to reduce negative emotional impact on your system include:
Breathing techniques (find a great way to calm yourself in any emotionally charged situation in the you tube video below)
Eating foods that will calm your system - organically grown fruits and vegetables without high natural sugar content
Supplementation - Energetix do wonderful products for emotional responses as well as many other things. You can check out Energetix on their website www.goenergetix.com. You can buy Energetix from practitioners only when they have been interviewed and authorised to sell.
Rescue Calm (check it out here)
Fields of Flowers (check it out here)
Bach flower remedies - the Rescue remedy can be useful for keeping calm.
St.Johns wort can help with depression and mood lifting. Do not take this if you take a blood thinning drug like warfarin or aspirin. You may be able to take the amino acid sAme 400 which is another natural mood enhancer.
Exercise - It sounds like hard work but it really does help you to deal with stress at times even when you are not exercising
Changing your perspective - If you think about how someone else might feel in a situation where you would normally blame them, or get angry, you may gain a new perspective that allows you to maintain emotional balance rather than fall off the deep end :)
Read - try some new books. Maybe you have heard of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise L Hay, Byron Katie, Esther and Jerry Hicks and Abraham, Mike Dooley and many others.
Go after your dreams, goals and desires no matter what - much of our displeasure with life stems from our basic needs to go after our dreams which we have long shelved to make way for 'the way life is'. Make a promise to yourself and start doing little things that move you towards your goals.
Affirmations - these are short sayings that will help focus your mind and get you on the track of your choice. Read more about affirmations here...
Here's the breathing video, which will help calm your adrenals and put you back in a balanced state in the face of an emotionally tumultuous situation. I like to do this a number of times through the day to keep myself at neutral.
What do I do next?
We have talked about ways of addressing the emotional side of chemical imbalance, what about the practical side.
Here are some things to help you out:
B.E.S.T - I can't emphasise that enough. Balance your emotions.
Drink Pure water. Just water. Not juice, not the water that is in your coffee. Pure (preferably reverse osmosis filtered) water. Most of us don't get what we need out of our water because of our imbalances. There is an energetix product called Rehydration that I recommend to almost everybody. Read my blog about what we get from water here.
Scans - if you are worried or just want a better picture of your overall health, ask your GP for the DEXA scan
Get a hair (HTMA) test or another reliable mineral content scan
Eliminate table salt from your diet
Start eating organic, vine ripened foods. Yes they are more expensive but we are talking about your health and longevity here. What's more costly, organic food or a hip fracture?
Eliminate anything processed or with added synthetic vitamins (calcium, vitamin D)
Eliminate anything with no added sugar, sweeteners or low fat on the label. Think of those words as corporate speak for chemical sh*t storm.
Start taking a water soluble trace mineral supplement. I am trying to buy one from the US at the moment and am waiting on if they will let me. If anyone knows of an amazing one in the UK please let me know.
Don't take colloidal minerals or metals. They are not water soluble and cannot be processed as effectively as necessary in the body. A trap I fell into myself.
Sort out your digestion. When you relieve digestive distress, you relieve stress on your entire body. Digestive distress, gluten intolerance, food allergies and IBS are all signs or mineral deficiency. Take (only necessary) digestive aids. My preference are Super Digest and Alka Pan taken before and after meals respectively. Click on their names to find them. If you have IBS, Energetix do an amazingly effective pair of products called Colo-chord and IBD-chord. Inflammatone will also help with the inflammatory aspect. I have never known anyone with IBS not benefit from taking them.
Get your essential fatty acids - Cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil and the fats in nuts and seeds. Do not fall for cold processed oils this is a marketing gimmick and just means that they were cooled at some point. You do not want these. If you do have bone density issues, avoid almonds and cashews and favour pumpkin seeds over sunflower seeds.
Eat high quality proteins, but again if you have bone density issues avoid red meat animal protein. Stick to mainly fish (low mercury) and high quality white meats. Don't eat pork.
Get your monosaccharides. They are pretty hard to find in nature but some are in sweet potatoes, beetroot, parsnips and onions. Pure organic maple syrup is the best source. Try looking at www.dennisfarmsmaple.com . I found the maple syrup hard to find but worth the time it took to find it.
Vitamin K2. You can get versions of this supposedly made from natto, which is a japanese food: Fermented soy beans. Personally i prefer to eat the natto but find it very hard to get it in this country.
ANY SUPPLEMENTS SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THIS PIECE ARE WHOLE FOOD, COLD PROCESSED, NON COVALENT BONDED OR HOMEOPATHIC AND OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY. DO NOT TAKE SYNTHESISED OR HEAT PROCESSED SUPPLEMENTS. Read my blog about the difference between whole food and synthetic supplements.
Dale Rutherford: The UK's only Elite DIplomate B.E.S.T. practitioner
 The Calcium Lie II. Dr. Robert Thompson, MD and Kathleen Barnes
Natures Answer, Replenish the Earth, Anderson F.
Salt your way to health, David Brownstein
Trace elements and other essential nutrients, David L Watts
www.thefooddoctor.com... and many more
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are the opinions of the writers and not intended to take the place of other medical opinion. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information and we encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research in partnership with a qualified professional.
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