Are you more irritable lately?
Is PMS or mood swings making you less popular?
Are your facial muscles twitching from time to time?
Do your joints pop, creak, crack and grind?
Is low back pain or neck pain a daily occurrence?
Do you suffer with insomnia and restless sleep?
Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia?
Have you broken bones recently?
Do you have a history of breaking bones?
Did you know that Phosphorus rich colas increase the risk of breaking a bone?
Do you think drinking colas is no big deal? Think AGAIN
If your interest is piqued, read on.
In case you have been in a coma for the past decade –
Let me state CALCIUM is important for health and vitality.
Calcium keeps our bones and teeth strong – helping us to avoid osteoporosis and dental decay.
Calcium helps prevent kidney stones, bone spurs and soft tissue calcification, including the arteries.
Malignant Calcification is the deposition of calcium where it doesn’t belong like kidney stones, bone spurs and blood vessels.
Malignant Calcification is caused by a lack or deficiency of calcium NOT an excess as suggested by recent reports. Do not be misled.
It was once thought that kidney stones were due to excess calcium but studies showed that patients with the LEAST dietary calcium had the highest risk for stone formation.
In veterinary medicine the importance of calcium balance is well appreciated. If a bull gets a kidney stone it kills them [ouch].
A balance exists in our bodies between calcium, magnesium and phosphorus – more on this in a minute.
Let’s take a short diversion into the territory of “DON’T DO THIS”……..
Do not drink colas.
Colas are bad for you.
Phosphorus containing colas are the worst – avoid them.
Don’t just take my word for it.
A Few Quick Excerpts from a Medscape report :
Consumption of Carbonated Drinks by Teenage Girls Associated With Bone Fractures
Grace Wyshak, PhD, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, analyzed self-reported survey data from 460 ninth- and tenth-grade girls concerning physical activities, beverage consumption, and bone fractures to determine the possible association between carbonated beverage consumption and bone fractures among teenage girls. Nearly 80% of girls reported drinking carbonated beverages…… ………………. The author found that the girls who drank carbonated beverages had about 3 times the risk of bone fracture than the girls who did not drink carbonated beverages. The girls who reported high levels of physical activity and drank cola beverages had nearly 5 times the risk of fracture as those who did not drink carbonated beverages. ………………. The author notes that “what is clear is that today’s teenagers are consuming diets that are high in phosphorous and low in calcium,” both of which can impact negatively on attaining peak bone mass. “Osteoporosis should no longer be considered only a geriatric disease but rather a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences,” writes Dr. Golden. “Pediatricians should be playing an active role in the National Bone Health Campaign and, if Wyshak’s work can be confirmed, we should be including education about carbonated beverage consumption in our efforts.”
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154:542-543,610-613
Another Key point:
pH – A Measure of acid and base:
Have you heard of pH, the acid-base scale?
Did you know that battery acid has a pH of 1?
The pH of water is 7.
Lye has a pH of 13.
Where does the pH of the average cola rate?
Would you believe that colas have a pH of 2.5 to 3.3?
~ A little background: The pH scale is on a logarithmic scale.
So, as we progress down the scale there is a multiplication factor of 10.
Battery acid is one million times more acidic water.
Water has a pH 7 [and is neutral] – a pH 6 is 10x more acidic than water, 5 is 100x, 4 is 1000x, 3 is 10,000x, 2 is 100,000x and finally a pH of 1 is 1,000,000 times more acidic than water.
Colas fall in the range of around a pH of 3 or 10,000 times more acidic than water !!!
~ A few quick points
Our bodies work best at a slightly alkaline level, 7.2 to 7.4 –
There are ways we maintain this optimal range.
The kidneys are important to balance acid.
Calcium is crucial in cancelling out our body’s acid output.
Calcium balances dietary phosphorus. [Phosphorus is found in meats, plants and colas to name a few]
Phosphorus is acidic.
Calcium is slightly alkaline
Acid is produced naturally as a by-product of metabolism.
Most of us are aware of the “Lactic acid burn” associated with intense activity.
We can expel a limited amount of acid through breathing. [Yawning makes us slightly less acid and more alkaline making us sleepy – interesting stuff]
The “alkaline tide” makes us sleepy after a meal [the stomach produces acid for digestion and releases the base or alkaline opposite into the blood stream, often resulting in after meal napping]
Acid wakes us up – exercise creates lactic acid and makes us alert.
Colas make us acidic, more alert and more susceptible to illness.
Let’s talk about our super-star, CALCIUM.
Proper Calcium balance is required for a long list of functions in the body – including proper sleep, skeletal muscle, heart, liver and brain function. Of course, calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth.
If you are deficient in calcium, you will not sleep well. Many people are not aware of this fact.
Animals require calcium to sleep and more…..
Laboratory rats, when deprived of calcium become irritable, belligerent and eventually cannibalistic. Yes, you read that correctly. Interestingly enough, these same rats became friendly and docile again when re-fed a proper diet including calcium.
This sounds a bit like ROAD Rage, does it not?
So, it is worthwhile to learn how we can optimize our calcium balance.
I have mentioned the concept of a “calcium balance” a few times, let me explain what I mean.
Our bodies require around 60 minerals for optimal health. As you can imagine, this collection of characters must interact properly or all will be chaos. Some have bigger parts, but all serve a purpose and must be present in the correct ratios.
Calcium has its supporting cast. Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium interact and keep us alive.
Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus have a love/hate relationship, let’s call it co-dependent but they try their best to get along.
You see, Phosphorus is the most plentiful in our diets [meats, dairy, fiber and colas all provide us with all we need, and more].
Magnesium is very important [some say 300 functions in the body] and, of course, Calcium is the prima donna [140 plus functions] that demands the spotlight.
Our bodies insist upon a 1:2:1 ratio [1 Magnesium : 2 Calcium : 1 Phosphorus]
In other words, if we have 1,000mg of phosphorus we need 2,000mg of calcium to be balanced. Here’s where the trouble starts. If we have a phosphorus burden [say a 12oz cola with 1,000mg of phosphorus] we must go to the bones to “borrow” calcium if we are short. A complicating fact is that the “bone bank” loans out calcium in increments of 10. This overshoots our needs and results in a relative excess of calcium that betrays the 1:2 ratio with magnesium [perhaps 1:8]. In nature and in our bodies there are ways that imbalances are corrected. In this case two things will happen – one is increased spilling of calcium in the urine – Secondly precipitation of calcium occurs [aka malignant calcification] in the tissues, blood vessels and bones in the form of spurring or calcium deposits. I told you there’d be trouble.
Take home message:
~We need to avoid excess Phosphorus in our diets [especially dark colas]
~It is important to get plenty of Magnesium [found in plants’ chlorophyll – YOUR veggies]
~Getting adequate Calcium is a must. [dairy is the primary dietary source, but often impractical]
Which Calcium supplement is best?
~Take 500mg of MCHA [Calcium] twice a day.
~MCHA is derived from cows and is 40-60% absorbed where calcium carbonate products are 3% absorbed.
No animal eats rocks for its Calcium, we shouldn’t either.
Remember calcium carbonate is chemically identical to limestone; so are oyster shells, egg shells, coral and dolomite. Calcium citrate is also an example of a metallic or rock-like mineral and therefore not very bio-available. Save your money.
And as I always say….
To achieve optimal health we need Full Spectrum Nutrition.
Around 90 nutrients are considered ESSENTIAL
These nutrients can be divided into 4 groups:
Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids [Protein] and Fats/Oils.
If Optimal Health is the goal, it is virtually impossible to get “everything you need” from foods alone.
To get full spectrum nutrition we ALL need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
5) Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods. I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day. Natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.
As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.