Calcium is one of the more plentiful elements in the body. Most of it in the bones, teeth and nerves. Most people do not ingest nearly enough bioavailable calcium because there are few excellent sources of available calcium.
Calcium is the primary structural mineral in the body. It allows us to stand upright by giving strength to our bones. However, it has many other functions as well.
THE FUNCTIONS OF CALCIUM
The functions of calcium include:
Restoring the calcium in the bones, however, always requires more than taking calcium. A number of trace minerals, along with balancing body chemistry, are also required.
CALCIUM AND THE FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT RESPONSE
When our bodies come under a lot of stress, they move into what is called the fight-or-flight response. When this happens, the body excretes calcium in the urine. This causes the muscles and nervous system to go into a state of heightened alertness to respond to stress. Those who live in a fight-or-flight pattern much of the time are continuously losing calcium in their urine.
A different phenomenon occurs when a body is in slow oxidation, or the exhaustion stage of stress. Low tissue sodium and potassium levels prevent calcium from remaining in an ionized or soluble form in the blood. Instead, it precipitates and deposits in many body tissues including the joints, arteries, kidneys and elsewhere. This is a cardinal sign of aging. It is associated with elevated hair tissue calcium and a calcium shell pattern.
The process is identical to calcium deposition on faucets in hard water areas. ‘Hard’ water does not contain enough sodium to ‘soften’ the calcium. Adding salt or potassium with a water softener prevents calcium deposition.
The same approach can dissolve calcium deposits in the body. Eating salt and potassium are not adequate. One must restore adrenal glandular activity which is responsible for normal retention of sodium and potassium.
THE PERSONALITY OF CALCIUM
Stability, hardness and physicality are qualities of calcium. Calcium personality types tend to be earthy, plodding, steady and blunt. They often move slowly and awkwardly, and are unpolished in their language and mannerisms.
When calcium is deficient, a person tends to become weak and fragile. The dental arch, shoulders and pelvis tend to become narrower. This is very common today.
When calcium is in excess, one can become somewhat rigid, detached, suppressed emotionally, and out of touch. These are personality characteristics of those with a calcium shell on a hair mineral test.
SYMPTOMS OF CALCIUM IMBALANCE
Deficiency Symptoms. These may include osteoporosis, rickets, non-union of fractures, tooth decay and insomnia. Teeth, fingers and other bones may be misshapen. The posture can be poor and legs bowed.
Other symptoms are muscle cramps, irritability, hyperkinesis, hyperacidity, bruising, high blood pressure, fight-or-flight reactions, fast oxidation, lead and cadmium toxicity, tetany and cancer.
Toxicity Symptoms. Calcium toxicity symptoms may include fatigue, depression, defensiveness, muscle weakness, pain, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, kidney stones and gallstones. Others are bone spurs, rigidity, slow metabolism, constipation, social withdrawal and spondylitis (rigidity and inflammation of the spine).
Biounavailable Calcium. In many instances of calcium toxicity, calcium builds up in the body in a biounavailable form. This means it is present, but cannot be used properly. This condition causes symptoms of both deficiency and excess at the same time because there can be a deficiency of available calcium, and an excess of biounavailable calcium at the same time.
The biounavailable form can be an oxide.
TESTING FOR CALCIUM IMBALANCE
Serum Calcium. Calcium tests in the blood are generally of little value. The body robs the bones to keep the blood level in a narrow range.
Urine tests can measure how much calcium one is excreting. However, they are subject to daily variations due to stress, hormonal factors, diet and other things such as the state of the autonomic nervous system.
X-rays. X-rays are helpful to assess bone density. However, they have several weaknesses.
– Osteoporotic changes are a late indicator of calcium imbalance.
– Osteopenia and osteoporosis can be due to other imbalances besides calcium. For this reason, low bone density does not necessarily indicate a greater need for calcium. The bones also require boron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, phosphorus and vitamin D.
– A normal bone density test does not necessarily mean that one’s bones are healthy. For example, lead deposited in the bones will cause opacity on an x-ray, giving a false reading. Strontium in the bones will do the same. These minerals do not produce the same bone strength as having plenty of calcium in the bones.
– Bone strength is due to more than just the calcium level. It is also due to the integrity of the protein matrix of the bones. This cannot be seen on x-rays or other standard medical tests.
Hair mineral testing. The level of calcium in human hair tissue can vary from about 8 mg% to over 1200 mg%. Hair analysis is not a method to detect osteoporosis. However, if a very low or very high calcium persists in the hair for years, osteoporosis is likely.
Hair mineral testing is very helpful to evaluate other aspects of calcium metabolism. Among these are the degree of biounavailable calcium, calcium buildup in the tissues, and calcium loss through the hair.
Interpretation of hair tests. Tissues such as the hair become depleted of available calcium long before blood tests or x-rays reveal a deficiency. The body shunts calcium out of the tissues, usually early in life, and moves it into the blood to maintain the blood.
However, although available calcium in the tissues is depleted, the reading in the hair may actually increase due to accumulation of biounavailable calcium in the soft tissues.
Fast oxidation. In the state called fast oxidation or an alarm stage of stress, generally the hair tissue calcium is low, and is always low relative to the levels of sodium and potassium. This is due to excessive thyroid and adrenal gland activity that raises sodium and potassium. these minerals tend to dissolve calcium out of the tissues and the blood.
Slow oxidation. In the state called slow oxidation, the hair calcium level is usually elevated, and always elevated in relation to sodium and potassium. A reason for elevated hair calcium is that biounavailable calcium precipitates into the soft tissues of the body because the body cannot keep it in the blood.
The excess calcium in the tissues is a biounavailable form of calcium, often an oxide or carbonate. Calcium becomes essentially a toxic mineral, causing narrowing of the arteries and calcium deposits in the joints, arteries, kidneys, brain and elsewhere.
CALCIUM IN THE LIFE CYCLE
Children and breast milk. Children’s growing bodies need lots of calcium for their bones and for their nervous systems. This is why substituting soda pop, teas, water or even other milks such as soy milk for the more nutritious breast milk is a terrible practice.
Mother’s milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D that help create a calcified skeleton. Keep breastfeeding until the child will not accept any more, or about age three. This will give a child the best start in life. However it is important for the mother to be on a good healing program.
Cow’s milk and milk substitutes. Pasteurized and homogenized milk is not as good a source of calcium. In earlier times, well-informed doctors recommended only raw, certified milk for children. This is milk from cows that have been rigorously inspected for disease by government authorities and must meet very high standards of cleanliness.
Pasteurization. Cooking the milk renders its calcium less biologically available to the body. It also damages the protein in the milk. It also allows milk from sick cows to be sold. It also permits lax standards of cleanliness on a few huge dairy farms that supply large areas of America.
Copper and pasteurization. Copper rollers are often used in the pasteurization process. This can add excess copper to the milk products.
Homogenization is another insult to milk. Vigorous shaking breaks up the fat particles so they stay in solution instead of rising to the top. However, the small particles are absorbed directly into the blood stream instead of being digested properly. This also renders the milk less healthful.
Magnesium helps keep calcium in solution.
Silica is another calcium synergist. It may be transmuted into calcium according to Dr. Louis Kervan, author of Biological Transmutations.
Chlorine, hydrochloric acid in the stomach and adequate protein in the diet are also required for calcium utilization.
Potassium. This is another potent calcium synergist, although in high quantity it can become an antagonist by dissolving calcium from the bones and elsewhere. Potassium is absolutely critical for calcium metabolism in many enzymes. In fact, a recent study found that potassium is required for bone strength or density. (Jehle, S., et al., Partial neutralization of the acidogenic Western diet with potassium citrate increases bone mass in women with osteopenia, J Am SocNephrol. 2006;17:3212.)
Copper is required to fix calcium in the bones and helps raise the hair tissue calcium level. Many people have biologically unavailable copper which causes their calcium problems. In fast oxidizers, copper deficiency contributes to a calcium deficiency.
Iodine is required for thyroid activity. Low thyroid activity is associated with biounavailable calcium and calcium deposition in the soft tissues.
Boron apparently improves adrenal gland activity, which makes copper more available. Boron is found in beans, leafy greens and bone extracts.
Vitamins A and D are important for calcium utilization and are commonly deficient. Vitamin D is only found in enriched milk, fish oils, lanolin and from sun exposure. Vitamin A is only found in fish oils and meats.
Some people substitute beta carotene for vitamin A. However, beta carotene must be converted to vitamin A and deficient thyroid activity – almost universal today – impairs the conversion.
Adequate adrenal hormones levels are also essential for proper calcium metabolism. Hormone replacement therapy, however, is not the best way to improve adrenal hormone production.
Sugar upsets the calcium/phosphorus ratio in the blood more than any other single factor, according to researcher Dr. Melvin Page, DDS. It also stresses the adrenal glands and upsets the hormone balance which affects calcium metabolism.
Lead and cadmium antagonize and replace calcium in the bones and elsewhere. Hidden lead toxicity, for example, is an important cause of weak bones and osteoporosis. Tests for toxic metals may not reveal it when it is deeply embedded within the bones. However, a hair analysis often reveals it later as it comes out of the body through the hair and other routes.
Excessive fluoride replaces calcium in the bones, causing them to become brittle and weak. Sources are fluoride tablets, fluoridated tap water, some mineral waters, foods contaminated with fluorides from the soil and foods processed with fluoridated water such as reconstituted fruit juices and soda pop. Some foods are naturally high in fluorides like tea. Drinking fluoridated water or consuming products processed with fluoridated water is a cause of osteoporosis.
Excess phosphorus binds calcium and impairs its absorption from the intestines. Sources are soda pop and diets very high in animal protein.
Phytates found in high grain diets, soy and other beans bind calcium preventing its absorption.
Excessive oxalic acid found in spinach, cranberries, rhubarb and tea can interfere with calcium utilization, but only if eaten in large quantities.
Low stomach acid and low protein diets impair calcium utilization.
High tissue sodium and potassium tend to dissolve calcium out the bones.