Calcium has been the faces of nutritional research for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Main clinic trials of calcium supplementation have found that it can indeed reduce bone loss and lower risk of bone fractures.
However the trials often include a simultaneous treatment with magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and many other trace minerals, fat intake (1), life style, and exercise. Also hormones such as parathyroid, adrenal, insulin (2) and estrogen play important parts in the regulation of bone health. It is difficult to attribute the benefit to calcium alone. Calcium requires other specific nutrients in order to be utilized.
When you want to do what’s best to build and maintain strong bones through out your life, what is the best action you can take? Most people go after calcium supplements. The medical profession just assumes that it has a homing device and it knows to go into your bone. Some of which have little or no benefits and some of which may actually be harmful. Calcium is too often deposited in soft tissue, where it can cause arthritis and arteriosclerosis. In my clinic, I see people who took 1600mg of calcium per day for last twenty years, but osteoporosis is getting worse and accompanies severe arthritis or stenosis with whole body of joints ache and pain. This is because the calcium you took did not go to the bones and it went to soft tissue and joints.
Dr. Robert Thompson M.D. wrote an entire book, The Calcium Lie, addressing this important issue. Although he’d been able to resolve many illnesses with supplements and herbs and other less toxic alternatives to drugs. He concluded that enormous amounts of money were being wasted on supplements that had little or no health benefit, and in some cases could actually worsen your health.
One of the tenets of his book is that bone is composed of at least a dozen minerals, and if you focus exclusively on calcium supplementation you are likely going to worsen your bone density, and will actually increase your risk of osteoporosis!
Dr. Thompson believes that the overconsumption of calcium with the goal of preventing osteoporosis creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will also increase your risk of heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, he proposes that one of the best practical alternatives is the use of naturally occurring ionic supplements, as ionic minerals are the most plentiful form of minerals found on earth. He believes that almost everyone needs trace minerals, not just calcium, because you simply cannot get all the nutrients you need through food grown in mineral depleted soils.
If you take calcium supplements, make sure it includes vitamin D (is absolutely the nutrient to utilized calcium), vitamin K (is co factor for the enzyme that makes new bone), magnesium (Prevent calcium to be pulled out of bones also it will pull out unwanted calcium from arteries and joints), Boron and Zinc and many other minerals. Sometimes fat intake as omega-3 fish oil and cod liver oil has the secret to building your bone density. Exercise is the key for building strong bones. Get out in the sun. Your body needs vitamin D from sun exposure. Just a few minutes a day is enough.
Smoking interferes with the absorption of vital nutrients that feed bone and also put toxic substances such as cadmium and other metal or chemical to destroy bone tissue. Smoking leads to an increase in the risk of bone fracture. Caffeine may be linked to calcium loss from bones, and tends to promote calcium excretion in urine. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages will help bone density.
We must always remember that what you eat and drink is #1 priority for healing of your bones and all parts of your body. A new study suggests that calcium from food sources may be more effective than calcium from supplements. It found that women who get most of their daily calcium from food sources have healthier bones and great bone density, even though those who took more supplements tended to have high average levels of calcium. The evidence continues to mount that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is good for your health. In this case, researchers found that both young and old age groups had improvements in bone minerals status when they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Especially those green vegetables that contain fair amount calcium, magnesium and phyto-nutrients that feed your bone. God is our healer; He has provided natural resources for humans to live healthier lives. Back to nature is the key for healing osteoporosis.
(1) American journal of clinical nutrition April 2005; 81 (4):934-938
(2) Dr Ronsedale M.D Insulin and its metabolic effects