Calcium and vitamin D means better protection

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium into the bloodstream, which lowers PTH levels and prevents calcium loss from the bones.

by Dr. J. Ann Dunn — 

Conventional medicine says that we need to take 1,500 mg of calcium every day to fight osteoporosis. But the truth is more complicated than that. There is evidence that we probably don’t need to take any more than we would find in a quality multivitamin.

A recent study looked at 310 participants in Iceland. The subjects were divided into groups based on their daily calcium consumption. Then the researchers measured the participants’ vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels.

PTH, which is made by the parathyroid glands, is critical for regulating the amount of calcium in our blood. If we don’t absorb enough calcium from our food, our glands will secrete PTH, which draws calcium from our bones to keep up proper blood levels. The result is osteoporosis.

The best way to keep our PTH level low is to keep our vitamin D level high. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium into the bloodstream, which lowers PTH levels and prevents calcium loss from the bones.

The researchers concluded that Icelanders (who get very little winter sun, a major source of vitamin D) with the highest levels of vitamin D, didn’t need more than 800 mg of calcium daily. Based on this conclusion, the authors suggest that low levels of vitamin D over a long period of time might be the biggest risk factor in osteoporosis.

The other issue that cannot be overlooked with osteoporosis is absorption, in general. If our stomach acid is insufficient or we take antacids regularly, our absorption will be suboptimal. Also as we age, our ability to absorb nutrients can become impaired. The body requires sufficient hydrochloric acid in order to use minerals.

Taking Tums® to get our calcium does not work because the acids are blocked by the antacid action. In addition, we need a proper functioning gallbladder to absorb water-soluble vitamins such as D, A, E, K and our essential fatty acids.

Vitamin D is one of the most valuable nutrients available. It can prevent osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease, raise immune function, assist in joint repair, increase athletic performance and much more. It is important to use a vitamin D supplement that is well absorbed, such as an emulsified form.

Magnesium, however, is even more important than calcium, potassium or sodium, and regulates all three. Magnesium deficiency can lead to headaches, insomnia, PMS, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, backaches, muscle tension, cramps, fatigue, heart disorders, kidney stones, osteoporosis, depression, irregular heartbeat, constipation, anxiety, irritability and accelerated aging.

Excess calcium in the body results in calcium deposits causing gallstones, kidney stones, arthritis and hardening of the arteries. All have been known to disappear after taking extra magnesium.

Some studies indicate that 90 percent to 95 percent of the population is magnesium deficient, including many who do supplement it. When too much calcium is consumed, it will pull magnesium out of the body in order to assimilate it, creating a magnesium deficiency. In addition, it is important to get our hormone levels tested, as natural progesterone plays a big role in preventing and reversing osteoporosis.

 

Dr. J. Ann Dunn is a kinesiologist, chiropractor and founder of Wholistic Kinesiology. 888-236-2651 or www.wholistickinesiology.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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