Calcium – assumed to be the answer to all things bone.
It was years ago that the dairy farmers began touting that the calcium rich milk that they were providing would keep bones strong. And indeed, they are correct that the necessity of calcium is a very real truth. However, have you ever wondered why the milk drinking baby boomers and their parents before them (think milk man, circa 1860-1960), had osteoporosis like nobody else in history?
The idea of calcium being important is dead on, however, the idea that calcium alone will solve the deficiency needs of Americans as it relates to strong bones, electrolyte imbalance, or any other nutritional deficiency is flawed. There is one simple reason, all minerals are necessary, and all minerals have ratios that matter.
Lets tear it down.
When looking at minerals, you will see a significant number of them first off, that are present in the typical plant (vegetable), and likewise, a high number of them that are utilized in body processes, however, if we simply focus on the electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium), we see that the balance of these four minerals is crucial to maintaining a high level function in our cells and in other body process. This article discusses where to find the top “10” minerals in the body – –http://www.zliving.com/wellness/natural-remedies/10-minerals-your-body-needs-how-you-can-get-them
But the biggest issue is the ratio. Calcium and magnesium in particular, are very similar molecules in their need and function. When we find ourselves concerned over calcium levels, without concern over magnesium levels, we set ourselves up for imbalances that could cause our bones to stay weak, or perhaps have more negative impact on our cellular health.
Linus Pauling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling) did much work in the field of supplementation, and as a two Nobel Prize winner, was a top scientific mind. He was one of the first who popularized, and identified the need for magnesium, but went further in increasing this need to a balance of minerals in the body. Much of his work has continued through the Linus Pauling Institute to drive the idea of a mix of minerals being taken at all times.
Personally, I have had most of my patients over the years get off the calcium pill, get onto Juice Plus for its balance of minerals, and then increase magnesium balanced minerals to bring it up if needed. This is far more effective in gaining a good balance for strong bones and cellular function, vs. simply taking a calcium pill.
The image is an example of the value of the “common minerals” and their needs in detoxifying the toxic elements that are listed. Lead, mercury and cadmium are all toxic elements that we test for in our hair mineral analysis, and we test these ratios which are significant in identifying the body’s ability to function beyond these imbalances.
There are other balances that are tested between the necessary minerals, which are key factors in making sure you have the ability to synthesize strong bone, and to maintain electrolyte balance in and around the cell. The body does a great job of fighting to maintain these levels from a hierarchical standpoint (whichever is most important is maintained the most). This is why bone density can often fail, because cellular function will always stay above bone density in the hierarchy.
This is another reason why I recommend 13 servings of fruit and vegetable a day, not the basic RDA which I believe leaves a significant amount of optimal health potential in the trash can. Push for higher levels, and see how well the body can work over time.
For now… dump the horse pill of calcium, switch to a balance of minerals, and try to eat more healthy food.
Be blessed and be well! – Dr. E