Monday, February 18, 2013

Calcium, Magnesium, and the Reverse Effect

For years we have been taught to take our calcium.  The most recommended product was calcium carbonate with vitamin D.  Last year a US government Task Force concluded there is insufficient evidence to determine that calcium and vitamin D prevent fractures in men or women.  It also said that taking calcium and vitamin D products might increase the risk of kidney stones, coronary artery diseases and heart attacks.

Calcium carbonate is poorly absorbed.  Calcium citrate was better but these products did not consider the other minerals that are part of the bodys balance.  Taking one mineral only is a shortsighted approach to disease prevention.  This approach creates a mineral imbalance that could create the disease you want to prevent.  An example is that calcium is needed for some enzyme systems, but too much can have a “reverse effect” to block enzyme action.

It is well known that calcium is important as a basic building block of bone and teeth.  It also is part of biochemical processes in muscle contraction, nerve conduction, enzyme processes, and cellular communication.  It plays a roll in insulin secretion, and the production of serotonin and melatonin. 

Magnesium can be viewed as a balancer to calcium.  It is also important for bone growth, muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and strengthens tooth enamel.  Symptoms of low magnesium include leg cramps, irritability, and nervousness.  So if you are taking calcium alone and have any of the above symptoms consider discontinuing the calcium, and adding magnesium(Magnesium Complex) (Mag Chlor) until symptoms are alleviated.

Phosphorous consumption in the form of phosphoric acid in soft drinks can deplete calcium, as calcium is a buffer for the acid.  Conversely, stomach acid is important for calcium absorption.  Taking any antacid interferes with the breakdown of protein and the absorption of minerals.  This is another reason that calcium carbonate and antacidssuch as Tums are poor calcium choice.

While dairyis a source of calcium, it is not the best choice if you have a dairy allergy.  Any food allergy creates excess cortisol that depletes calcium.  It is noteworthy that cows eat greens to produce calcium.  Calcium absorption is inhibited by fiber, high fat intake, and the tannins found in tea. It is best to take calcium in the morning and at bedtime. 

A good calcium choice is Cal Gel Capsules.  This is a liquid filled gelcap that is easy to swallow.  It contains a blend of different types of calcium with magnesium, boron, horsetail (herb containing silica), vitamin D3 and K.

Stay Well!

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