by Dr. Thomas Levy
How can an important nutrient like calcium be bad for you?
There is no question that calcium is essential to life and to normal cellular function. That said, too much calcium is not only bad for you, it will make you die before your time.
Osteoporosis, a disease of the bones, has long been characterized as being primarily a deficiency of calcium in the bones by conventional (western) medicine. While osteoporosis involves far more than a deficiency in bone calcium, this concept has led most doctors to convince their older patients that their bodies have too little calcium. This is completely wrong. Their bones have too little calcium, but the rest of their bodies have too much calcium.
How can there be too much calcium in the body if there is so little calcium in osteoporotic bone?
This is a logical question to ask. In fact, it is the continuous release of calcium from osteoporotic bone that chronically increases calcium levels throughout the rest of the body. The worse and longer standing the osteoporosis, the greater the excess of calcium outside of the bone.
In older persons, there is an epidemic of hard, rocklike ectopic calcifications in the tissues, notably the arteries, of older persons these days, and much of it is due to the continuous release of the calcium stores from osteoporotic bone.
How does calcium supplementation play a role in the calcium status of the body?
Calcium is supplemented with the idea of forming new bone. It simply does not do that. A large enough amount of calcium supplementation will actually increase the density of the bone, but this increase in density does not reduce the chances of osteoporotic fracture, which is the only significant measuring stick of therapeutic success. It simply results in a cosmetically enhanced but structurally poor bone. However, at the same time the supplementation delivers a small amount of calcium to the bones, a very large amount is distributed throughout the body, both in the form of rocklike depositions and in the form of increased calcium inside the cells of the body.
Both supplemental calcium and elevated dietary calcium increase the chances of a heart attack, as well as death from all causes.
Amazingly, and sadly, this is absolutely true. All chronic degenerative diseases are characterized by some increase in oxidative stress inside the cells. The more calcium levels increase inside cells, the worse the oxidative stress becomes, and the worse the underlying disease becomes. Since all chronic degenerative diseases eventually kill, anything that aggravates the disease process ultimately hastens the arrival of death.
What should be done for osteoporosis and other chronic degenerative disease?
Calcium should never be supplemented in any amount, period. Dairy intake should be minimized. Virtually all older persons have excesses of calcium in their bodies. There is absolutely no danger of a generalized calcium deficiency existing in the body. A very basic protocol of treatment should include:
1. Vitamin D
2. Vitamin C (osteoporosis is a focal scurvy of the bones)
3. Bioavailable magnesium
4. Vitamins K1 and K2
5. Essential fatty acids, such as is contained in fish oil with EPA and DHA
6. Addressing deficiencies of sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone)
7. Addressing deficiency or excess of thyroid hormone
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