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Question: We are told that in order to prevent osteoporosis we should take 1,200 - 1,500 mgs of calcium and half that of magnesium, plus vitamin D for absorption. If I am taking a good superfood blend and I maintain a good diet, do I need to continue to take my Cal/Mag & Vitamin D supplements?
Response: An excellent question regarding the vast array of health options presented to us today. This is a common concern, particularly among those of us who have been taught that what we need in order to create or maintain health is a particular amount of specific minerals or vitamins or other isolated nutritional compounds. This advice is an outgrowth of the antiquated megavitamin era that is still being taught and practiced in certain health circles today.
While that era was helpful in that it made us aware of the value of some of the various components found within plants and clays and other natural resources, we are rapidly moving toward an era of a deeper understanding of how Mother Nature originally provided for the human being long before allopathic medicine and the megavitamin age were given the spotlight.
A major New Zealand study, designed to determine the effect of calcium supplementation on myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden death in healthy postmenopausal women, found that taking calcium supplements raises your risk for heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death, and does nothing noteworthy for osteoporosis.
Since this 2008 study, vested interests in the meat, dairy, egg, and the nutraceutical industry have sought to produce their own studies proving the opposite, and with some degree of success. Buffaloing the public is an art form today.
Yet, the New Zealand study above was focused only on the ingestion of a 1,000 mg calcium citrate supplement for 5 years compared to the placebo group. It was not considering dietary calcium. A later metadata study concluded:
It is already accepted that calcium supplements increase vascular risk in patients with renal compromise, even in those not yet requiring dialysis. Also, there is substantial epidemiological evidence that serum calcium levels in the upper part of the normal range are a risk factor for vascular disease, and that calcium supplements acutely elevate serum calcium - a combination of findings that lends plausibility to supplementation increasing vascular risk.
Another metadata study concluded:
It is estimated by a meta-analysis (including eleven randomized controlled trials) that calcium supplements have up to 30% increase risk for myocardial infarction.
The studies compared placebo or non-supplement groups with a group that took calcium supplements for a period of time. The "increased risk" indicates there is a set risk (of about 128%) among the non-supplement population. So taking calcium supplements increases your risk an additional 30%.
If you fail to question the results you might also mistakenly believe that a 128% incidence of vascular/heart events is normal for an aging population, meaning if 2000 people are studied, a placebo group of 1000 will demonstrate a "normal" rate of 1280 vascular and coronary events of a serious nature. Then the supplement group will experience a risk that is 30% higher than that, or 1664 vascular and coronary event of a serious nature.
Keep in mind here that zero vascular incidents is the true normal (common among indigenous tribes consuming a low meat/low fat/high starch diet). 1 or more vascular events is a sign that the diet or lifestyle of that 1 is out of balance.
Of course, we all have issues related to diet, toxicities, medication, environment, etc. This is the nature of our "modern" society revealing the inherent state of imbalance we were born into.
The studies are simply demonstrating that megavitamin therapy can be complicit in further increasing an already out of balance population.
The finding that cardiovascular diseases increase with calcium supplementation is not necessarily surprising, as calcium supplements, under common conditions, contribute to elevated serum calcium levels along with increased cardiovascular calcification over time (especially when the diet includes a phosphate excess), both of which are predictive of cardiovascular event rates.
We have been taught since the days of Adelle Davis that megavitamin therapy is the way to go. Yet I hear almost daily from people who have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars for many years -- even decades -- on what I call "fragmentary health products" (isolates & extracts, only fragments of Nature's whole food resources), recommended by some of the best Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Nutritional Consultants, and product manufacturers, yet these sincere clients remain sick, battling with an ongoing series of hormonal, nutritional, toxicity, and organ/gland imbalances for years while taking these very fragmentary substances.
How can this be? The reason is obvious -- vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are only fragments of their original whole food source are inherently imbalanced. They do not contain all of the other nutritional components that Nature knew were necessary to function properly in the human body. Fragments of whole foods do not function in the body the same as the original whole food itself.
However, the cultures of today which still live in a more natural habitat, such as the Hunzas, the Okinawans, and the aboriginal tribes of Australia, South America, and Mexico, maintain their health and vitality long into their late 80's, 90's, and 100's, partly because they live close to Nature, and partly because they grow their own food, or eat from the wild, maintain an active lifestyle, and follow their life purpose.
Those cultures do not need megavitamins because they get all of their nutritional requirements from whole herbs, cultured foods, mineral-rich water sources, and foods grown on mineral-rich soils from crops watered with mineral-rich water or grown wild.
So what is it about these original food sources that give these exceptional cultures their health and longevity even late in life, while America struggles to keep up (being listed an embarrassing 37th on the list of nations for quality of health), and the average American starts showing signs of physical degeneration long before puberty?
For one, whole foods, fresh herbs, and unheated clays are nutritionally balanced. Nature made them this way for our benefit.
In truth, it is not nutritional abundance that counts, but nutritional balance that brings health to the human body.
The megavitamin philosophy attempts to create a semblance of balance by suggesting half as much magnesium as calcium (while others reverse that ratio), then goes on to say that if you take some vitamin D with it, it will assimilate even better. But, in the same breath, do they clue you in to the other minerals that influence, or are influenced by, calcium and magnesium?
In fact, science of today is even acknowledging the harmful effects of an excess of calcium from meat and dairy as well:
“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994).
Also a 12 year long Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that those who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. This is a broad study based on 77,761 women aged between 34 and 59 years of age.
In the authors’ own words: “Data does not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures.” (Source: Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. American Journal of Public Health. 1997).
Calcium activity in the body is influenced by, not just magnesium, but phosphorous, chromium, iron, sulfur, fluoride, zinc, manganese, and copper.
Iron activity in the body is influenced by aluminum, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc, phosphorous, and cobalt, in addition to calcium and magnesium.
Phosphorus activity is influenced by iron, sodium, beryllium, aluminum, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, as well as calcium and magnesium.
Copper activity is influenced by silver, cadmium, iron, phosphorous, sulfur, molybdenum, potassium, mercury, zinc, as well as calcium and magnesium.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic processes in the body, yet is suppressed by the abundance of calcium.
Due to these delicate balancing relationships between all of the minerals naturally found in whole foods and herbs, or earthen resources like clays, humic substances, and original sea salt, giving the body an unnatural abundance of one or two minerals can indirectly initiate a chain reaction of detrimental effects on the usability of many other minerals and hundreds of metabolic functions throughout the body.
The point is, too much of any one mineral can throw off the availability, or workability, of several other minerals, because the entire list of 70+ minerals are interrelated. Sometimes they work for each other and sometimes they work against each other. They function as both antagonists and protagonists within their own group -- the mineral kingdom.
This entire interrelationship is based on ratios. Too much calcium cancels out magnesium. Too much magnesium can result in difficulty breathing, excessively low blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat. What counts in the mineral kingdom is not a mineral abundance, but a mineral balance of ratios.
Minerals and gasses are the building blocks of hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. They are the building blocks of the DNA itself. Minerals and gasses, of a wide variety, are required for virtually every metabolic function in the body.
Do we dare consume less than the most comprehensive spectrum of mineral and nutritional complexes that Nature can provide? Do we dare alter the delicate balance of mineral and nutritional ratios that only Nature, at this point, knows how to assemble?
Can a lab-concocted assortment of 2-60 isolated minerals and vitamins, put together by the best minds of medicine, bring about the same kind of balance in the human body as a full 70+ mineral complex plus hundreds, even thousands, of phytonutrient compounds, assembled and balanced by the material source of the body itself - whole earthen resources?
When you consume ginger, you get over 400 known nutritional compounds (one of the most studied plants on earth).
When you consume yerba mate' (a South American herb) you get 197 known nutritional compounds.
When you consume an organic apple you used to get over 10,000 nutritional compounds. (Depleted soils have reduced this to less than 1,000).
When you consume a clay, you get numerous mineral compounds and other life-building qualities in the form of macro minerals, trace minerals, angstrom (single atom) elements, electromagnetic and paramagnetic influences, detoxification powers, and a host of other benefits that science is only now just beginning to comprehend.
Yet these benefits have been there for hundreds of thousands of years. Having passed through the Dark Ages, when herbology and natural medicine were deliberately suppressed (and still are to a degree), we are just now, as a human people, re-awakening to their benefits.
She has put together an amazing array of nutritional benefits that range from the simple mineral and vitamin, to the complex molecular compounds (phytonutrients) that are specific to various plants, to the friendly bacteria that assist in their digestion, to the electromagnetic and paramagnetic forces, to the etheric qualities, and many other attributes that science has only vague ideas about, or has yet to discover.
The wisest thing that science can do today is to just observe the healing powers of a natural plant, sea vegetable, or clay in their raw, unaltered forms, and learn from them, then simply use them in their whole forms (if they want the same remarkable benefits that raw Nature provides).
Feeding ourselves only a small fragment (like just two minerals) of Nature's extremely complex array of nourishing influences, is simply setting the stage for further imbalances down the road (as is borne out by the massive failure of today's “fragmentary nutrition” to bring overall health to the human body).
Is it really possible to create balance in the human body (an organic and complex biological organism), with substances that are disconnected from their original organic, wholesome, and balanced source?
It is time that we reconsider our societal fetish for the isolates, concentrates, and synthetics of “fragmentary medicine”.
No one knows how to create balanced nutrition for the human body better than Mother Nature. Why mess with a good thing?
Restoring balance and health to the body is much simpler than it seems. The work has already been done for us. The resources are abundantly available. The human body is perfectly capable of healing itself when given the wholesome resources provided to us by Nature.
If it is a good source of calcium and magnesium in a proper balance that you seek, consider seaweeds, one the richest sources of magnesium known, balanced by hundreds of other minerals and phytonutrients, including calcium. Or try our Ancient Mineral Blend, a magnesium-rich source of fossilized plant matter combined with Humic Substances - all of which are naturally balanced earthen resources.
If it is Vitamin D that you seek, spend more time with your face to the sun, even if it is a cloudy day, and notice how nourishing it feels (goes right to the gut). If the sun is too bright just keep the eyes closed. You will still get nourished by the sun.
Watch every sunrise and sunset you can manage to fit into your busy schedule. Sunlight contains the essence and primal energy necessary for your body to manufacture the full array of required nutrients, including minerals. Primal light (outside the visible spectrum) is the source of all material existence. Such a light is radiated out by our own sun.
Supplement facing the sun with medicinal mushrooms and you will receive an abundance of Vitamin D that your liver is able to store up for 3-4 months and distribute as needed.
If it is bone health that you seek, consider boswellia, white oak bark, nettles, and horsetail, along with full spectrum mineral clays rich in silica (one of the major keys to mineral assimilation), all of which are found in Back, Muscle & Joint.
If you are willing to take a walk on the 'wild side', investigate the "forbidden" comfrey plant (AKA "knitbone"), recognized by Rudolf Steiner and many others as one of the seven most beneficial herbs on the planet.
Of course, common sense says to also consider what else might be contributing to the deterioration of bones (or any other health abnormality in the body), and correct that as well - two of the most obvious being the consumption of sugars and other acid-promoting or fungus-promoting foods and drinks - with pastries, breads, coffee, oils, and yes, nuts and nut butters being among the worst offenders among our health conscious society today.
Yet an abundance of a good, mineral-rich seaweed blend (minimum of 1 ounce per day) can go a long way toward balancing out even these health-deteriorating substances and restoring the pH back to the ideal, slightly alkaline level.
A good blend of seaweeds, algae and other superfoods will nourish not only the bones, the blood, and the heart, but the entire hormonal, nervous, and digestive systems as well. They provide a massive array of building blocks for every metabolic function in the body -- bar none.
It may be surprising to learn that ocean water, the juice of seaweeds, and human lymph fluids have very close to the same chemical mineral composition. Dr. Rene’ Quinton discovered that a diluted version of pure seawater used as a complete replacement for blood allowed the natural biology of a dog to rebuild its full red blood cell count within four days. The dog continued to live another five happy years.
Sea Vegetable Blend plus Moringa is our solution for getting a spectrum of nutrient-dense vegetables from the oceans.
There is no synthetic compound, isolated nutrient, or other fragment of a whole food that is capable of accomplishing such an astounding event! Fragments of whole foods common to the megavitamin world, and the toxic synthetic medicinal compounds typical of the allopathic world, are simply unable to provide the body with the balanced nutrition it needs to heal itself.
Only wholesome natural substances, unaltered from their original state, are able to properly address the thousands of nutritional and energetic requirements of this extremely complex natural organism called “the human body”.
Chemical allopathic medicine and megavitamin therapy have been developing their “medicines” now for less than 300 years, with their “most advanced” approaches being developed within the last 70 years or so.
Mother Nature has been at the business of developing health products now for over 5 billion years! She has more experience and her resources are not only more comprehensive, but more compatible with the human body. She has earned our trust!
Whole seaweeds, algae, phytoplankton, sea salt, herbs, medicinal mushrooms, clays, humic/fulvic substances, bee products, cultured foods, deep, underground aquifer water, sunlight, highly ionized evergreen forest air, qigong type exercises (providing electron nutritional substances), and self-grown garden produce are the most effective healing resources known for the human body. They abundantly provide the balanced nutrition and energetic support the body needs to simply heal itself.
Rest assured, Mother Nature has not abandoned us. There really is an answer -- and the answers are simpler than we may have thought.
If we are looking for something to improve the health of the human body, natural whole food resources and superfood blends (like Vital Cleanse & Nutrify) are more likely to provide us with the balanced health-building qualities that we seek. The wise among us will reach first for whole food nutrition before trying anything else!
Many blessings of health & success.
Enjoy the many gifts from Nature!
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