For about the past 10 years, we have been told by GPs and television marketing that we are not getting enough calcium from our diets and that we need to supplement. Then the dairy industry decided to fortify milk with calcium. Most of the calcium used in over-the-counter supplements and food fortification is in the form of Calcium carbonate. Many labels do not even identify the ‘form’ of calcium used.
Then many years of the “slip, slop, slap” campaign has seen us heading the warnings that sun exposure is dangerous to our health. The outcome is children suffering from ricketts, chronically low Vitamin D levels, increasing and early onset of osteoporosis yet no decrease in the incidence of skin cancers. In an attempt to thwart the low Vitamin D levels, supplementation is being pushed at the naiive consumer.
Medical research now reports ‘getting it wrong’ and that calcium supplementation is linked to cardiovascular disease. Research is readily available at: British Medical Journal, Mayo Clinic, Medical News Today, Science Based Medicine and more.
So what went wrong?
Calcium carbonate is the hardest form of calcium making it extremely difficult for the body to break down and utilise. Before supplementing with any vitamin or mineral, it is essential that the individual’s needs be assessed. The qualified practitioner, trained in nutritional medicine and human nutritional biochemistry, will be able to recommend supplements in the best form for the body. Calcium that is found in the bones of human beings is in the form of calcium phosphate (not carbonate or any other form).
The calcium carbonate is only very poorly metabolised by the body, leading to calcium deposition in soft tissue such as blood vessels, muscles, tendons and on the outside of bones (as spurs). Poorly utilised calcium can also lead to kidney and gall stones.
One of the reasons for the calcium push was osteoporosis. Initially, only calcium was recommended. Now, we are told that we need Vitamin D to absorb the calcium for healthy bones. Indeed, Vitamin D (which is more a hormone than a true vitamin) does assist in calcium absorption but only in our digestive tract. It does not assist correct calcium deposition into our bones. To add insult to injury, when people are diagnosed as being Vitamin D deficient, they are often given mega doses, which can contribute to significant complications.
As with most health issues, osteoporosis is multifactoral. A major contributor to loss of bone density is acidity. Calcium is an alkalising mineral. When the body struggles to eliminate excess acidity, it tries to neutralise it and sequesters calcium from our bones. If the acid assault on our body continues, bone density suffers.
Osteoarthritis is another condition that is largely caused by over acidity. In this instance, the acidity causes inflammation and erosion of joint cartilage causing the all too familiar pain and associated disfigurement of joints.
Natural Vitamin D from daily safe sun exposure is preferrential to any supplement. Depending on where you live, morning and afternoon sun is generally safe with as little as 10 minutes of sun exposure enough to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels.
Low thyroid function has been linked to decreased calcium deposition into bones. Stress can affect thyroid (and adrenal) function, causing imbalances in the hormones regulating bone density.
Lead and other heavy metals are known to displace calcium from bones. Magnesium, which also plays a role in healthy calcium balance throughout the body, is displaced by aluminium.
There are a multitude of environmental toxins and other factors that impact our health. Many of these do not become evident until many years’ of continued exposure. Only a trained practitioner can identify the many ‘hidden’ contributors to a large variety of health concerns.
What to do?
Always seek the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner, trained in nutritional medicine. NEVER self-prescribe – no matter how convincing an article or web page may be.
For natural solutions to your health concerns, call True Medicine on 07 5530 1863 today.