I have been thinking about and researching calcium lately and I wanted to share some thoughts with you. It’s pretty safe to say that we all know your bones need calcium. Although that’s true, bones are just the beginning! There are so many calcium related functions in the body that very few doctors/healthcare providers ever talk about.
In my clinic I see so many conditions that are either directly or indirectly linked to some issue with calcium. I have seen men and women with muscle cramps, all ages with brain fog/focus issues, teenagers in bone loss, older people who have been diagnosed with osteopenia and osteoporosis, young adults with sleep issues (who are otherwise healthy), and much more.
Calcium plays so many important roles in your body other than your bones. Allow me to share just one example…
(PS…for my fellow practitioners/scientists/physiologists, this is purposely oversimplified for the sake of brevity and highlighting the specific role of Ca++.)
Calcium is key to every move you make— literally.
When you want to move your arm, a signal is sent from the central nervous system down the cell membrane of a neuron to an axon terminal (end of a nerve cell) where it meets with a muscle cell. Stay with me… this all just means that a signal is being sent from the brain to the muscle… But here’s the important part: The nerve cell and the muscle cell are in close proximity, yet they NEVER ACTUALLY EVEN TOUCH. When the message arrives at the end of the nerve cell, it triggers the opening of a calcium channel. At this point, your muscle hasn’t even moved… it is not until the calcium ions (calcium with a positive charge) flood the axon terminal that the message can be transferred from the nerve cell to the muscle cell. Then, once the message is transferred, calcium ions are once again released from inside the muscle fiber. It is these calcium ions that initiate the actual contraction of muscles itself.
You may have to read that a couple of times to understand, but please do as I am really passionate about this.
Too many Americans know more about their cars or their credit card perks than they do about their own body.
You don’t need to memorize these steps (if you want to, just know there are several steps that were left out:), but you do want to have at least a general idea of WHY this mineral is so special and what it does in the body (and what happens when you’re lacking it).
Here’s the takeaway
Without the right amount of calcium, the proper forms of calcium, and the ability to efficiently assimilate it into the body, we are headed for disaster.
This is one of the reasons why people often become stiff, in pain and don’t move as well as they age. It’s not the age per se— it’s the amount of time that they have been struggling with either a lack of calcium or too poor of a digestion to assimilate it. This also explains why I have seen teenagers with poor bone metabolism. Additionally, many babies are being raised on poor quality formulas, then their first foods are processed and full of no real nutrition. After 15-20 years of that, the body is running out of reserves.
Just as your car wasn’t created to run on water (even though that would cost less), your body wasn’t created to run on soda, coffee, white bread, animal flesh, or Pop-Tarts.
If you are young, or have young children that you’re looking out for, it is easy to avoid these calcium challenges. If you are older or already having symptoms of bone loss or other problem, take heart— there is still hope for you, too! But if you know me at all, you know I am always going to be honest. It’s going to take consistent effort over a long period of time (aka lifestyle changes).
But YOU ARE WORTH IT and you CAN do it!
The medical answer to a lack of calcium is, of course, medication. If you or someone you know are on medication for calcium, just know that these medications are dangerous and have very serious side effects. (Always know what you are taking and the potential or imminent side effects.) Instead, I like to spend more time on the actual solution rather than things that end up creating more problems.
First, in order to get a handle on these issues, you have to stop the ROOT CAUSE. A diet rich in animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.), processed foods, sugar, coffee , soda and other elements of the standard American diet (SAD) is a recipe for calcium depletion. Much in part to their acid forming condition, but also due to synthetic minerals disrupting the system as well. Alcohol and nicotine are also major players in calcium depletion. The sooner you can dramatically reduce or, even better, completely eliminate these things, the faster your track to healing will be. Remember that our bodies were created to be self-healing if we give them what is needed.
Additionally, many medications also contribute to this lack-of-calcium issue.
If you are taking medications, please ensure that they’re not harming the assimilation of calcium in your body.
Next we need to replete the loss with organic, whole-food plant sources of calcium. One of the most nutrition dense, pure and digestible sources of calcium are dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine, Swiss chard, watercress, parsley, etc. If you’re already having calcium challenges, a handful of greens in a salad will not be enough. The easiest way to get LOTS of these dark leafy greens in is by having at least one green smoothie each day.
(Side note: You might think in a culture where there is so much dairy that calcium issues would be unheard of, yet they are in abundance. Dairy, however, isn’t beneficial for calcium. In fact, the countries with the most dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis. This is a fact and easy to validate; there’s no real controversy on this matter if you ask any educated nutritionist. You may be asking, “Then where did the idea that you need milk for healthy bones come from?” Follow the money— It’s primarily propaganda from the American Dairy Association, sadly.)
Now I mentioned above that changing a calcium deficiency will take some time.
You may have taken 20, 30, 40 or 50+ years to create this deficit. Think about having a HUGE credit card bill that you need to pay. You won’t be able to pay it off by putting $20 in your checking account once or twice. You’d have to do that every day for perhaps a year or more! The same is true with your body. You have to give your body the right nutrition for more than just a day or two. However, your body is intelligent so it works much more efficiently than your checking account as long as you are doing the right things.
Not to drop a bomb but… all of those diet changes above are the easy part.
There’s also the issue of ensuring that the kidneys and parathyroid are functioning properly, as they both play a major role in the proper use of calcium. In general, you can start by drinking plenty of water, getting adequate plant-sourced DHA (5-10 caps with your largest meal) and consuming some good quality concentrated green tea such as Green Tea-ND (liquid, 1-2 teaspoons in the morning) or Chlorella (capsules, 1-2 per day). (You may want to consider working with myself or another natural health practitioner for more specific help on this.)
Supplements can also be helpful.
Here are some general supplements for calcium challenges, along with general doses for an adult. (Again, this is not specific to your personal needs and there are many factors that can alter the dosage. That said, this is whole food nutrition. Also remember, as I always say, these are supplements– they support a healthy diet/lifestyle, not replacing it!)
- Greens Powder: 1-3 tablespoons per day in water or a smoothie
- Digest: 1-2 per meal. This ensures you’re able to digest and assimilate your food (including calcium sources)
- DHA: 5-10 per day, all with your biggest meal
- D3 and Limonene: 6 drops of the D3 along with 3 drops of the Limonene in a bit of water with your biggest meal
- Green Tea-ND: 1-2 teaspoons in water in the morning
- Osteoven: 2 per meal
- Deltanol: 1-3 per day with your biggest meal
I have had the privilege to help so many of you and your friends and family. I have clients travel in from all over the country, young and old, male and female. It’s never too late (or too soon) to get started! It would be an honor to assist you. If you are really struggling, you may need more support or more specific help than this post can offer. If this is the case for you, please call our clinic at 269-204-6525 and we would love to give you the specific help you need!