Here’s a common question – ‘What is the best calcium supplement for women?’ Well actually, the best calcium supplement for women, or anyone else for that matter, is probably not calcium at all! The correlation between two vital minerals, calcium (Ca) and magnesium(Mg), is so important that I want to tell you about the serious significance of an imbalance between these two alkaline metals.
A dangerous imbalance
There is invariably a serious imbalance stacked against Mg, with too much Ca intake nearly always being the case. It is more likely that Ca is in abundance in comparison to very little Mg and Ca without Mg can have devastating affects on your health.
The many different RDAs (recommended daily allowance) come to an average of 5.32 Ca to 1 Mg, with recommended levels of 8 Ca to 1 Mg for children aged 1 – 8 years. This is just the time when good levels of Mg are vital. Young children need high Mg levels to help with brain development and bone growth apart from the vital organs that obviously need to be growing healthily. These RDAs actually increase the Ca to Mg ratio to dangerous levels.
Mg deficiency is an epidemic
There is no doubt that Mg deficiency is an epidemic in these modern times and those deciding the amounts of Ca and Mg we should take have got no clue and have not kept up with research on this dangerous ratio. The public look to these figures to guide them and they are being guided erroneously. Are these guidelines set down by the pharmaceutical companies or perhaps the food manufacturers?
Have you noticed how often you are told that a food has plenty of Ca in it, for strong bones and healthy teeth? All the adverts on the TV stress how much Ca is in their food products, especially childrens’ foods like, milk, yoghurts, cheeses and Ca rich snacks to take for school lunches. Many of our foods are fortified with Ca. Orange juices have Ca added to them.
Too much calcium causes weak bones!
The elderly are advised to take Ca supplements to avoid bone fractures, especially broken hips. As they age, they are told to take even more Ca and this is very dangerous advice. No wonder so many of our elderly suffer with broken bones as they get older. A broken hip in an elderly person can often be the start of the end as it was for my Mum.
It was at this time that I started to learn about Mg and the health implications of a deficiency. My Mum had all the symptoms of a severe Mg deficiency and if I had known earlier, her last years may have been more enjoyable, without the suffering she had to endure. Mg deficiency can cause falls in the elderly and maybe she wouldn’t have had the fractures she suffered if she had been replete with this vital nutrient. Perhaps she wouldn’t have fallen so often and when she did, perhaps her bones would have been strong enough to withstand those falls. What is so infuriating to me is that this suffering is completely unnecessary! What’s worse is that the medical fraternity seem to have little knowledge of Mg, to the detriment of many of their patients.
Of course calcium is vital
Don’t get me wrong, Ca is a critical element and neither Ca or Mg can function properly without eliciting a reaction from the other. The problem is, a vast amount of enzymes critically depend on a sufficient amount of intracellular Mg and too much Ca will have a detrimental effect on those enzymatic reactions. Our 37.2 trillion cells only work well if they have an abundance of Mg within them. Mg resides mainly inside our cells and Ca is mostly kept outside, unless needed temporarily for specifics like the fight-flight response.
Calcium aids the dying process
Ca is essential for muscle contraction but excess Ca can lead to serious problems. Think of your heart contracting without relaxing, your muscles going into cramp, constricting of your airways, constriction of your blood vessels, thickening of your blood. All this will happen without enough Mg to balance and keep Ca out of the cells. Even in rigor mortis, it is the Ca rushing into the cells when Mg drains out, that causes the stiffening of the body. Ca is essential but can be deadly.
This is why Mg deficiency adversely affects so many different areas of the body and hence can cause such a multitude of health problems, some of which are life threatening, like cardiovascular disease, syndrome X, diabetes and various conditions affecting the brain such as dementias.
Excess Ca will migrate!
Excess Ca will actually migrate to parts of your body where it doesn’t belong. It can hang on to plaque and stick it to your artery walls, it can migrate to your kidneys and cause kidney stones. It can weaken, yes weaken, your bones. Ca is essential for good health and strong bones but it won’t do the job if Mg isn’t there to control it. Ca without Mg produces chalk-like bones. Think of Mg as the glue that holds the Ca together to make your bones resistant to fracture, durable and strong. Mg actually keeps Ca dissolved in your bloodstream, your heart, brain, kidneys and all other tissues. Things start getting sticky without it!
How much Ca have you got lingering?
Research proves that excess Ca will be deposited in soft tissue and cause calcification. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension, heart disease, fibromyalgia, tooth decay, breast tissue calcification. All muscles contain more Mg than Ca, or they should do and this includes the heart and blood vessels.
Calcium encircling the heart
This picture shows you just how much damage excess Ca can do to your body. This is the ‘eggshell’ effect with Ca encircling the heart. Calcification of the arteries and heart is life threatening. Coronary Calcium Scans are used to give an indication of how serious a heart condition is. A ‘Calcium Score’ is allocated to the patient depending on how much arterial calcification is found with the CT (computed tomography) scan. The higher the score the worse the problem.
Bladder and kidney stones
Ca deposits in the bladder can cause rigidity and lowering of capacity, apart from the obvious pain, distress and frequent urination. Look at this image showing a huge bladder stone suffered by a 52 year old male. It weighed ½ kg!
This is serious!
This is serious stuff with this calcification within your body causing all kinds of conditions not least Coronary Arterial Disease (atherosclerosis). It is beyond me why doctors don’t advise about the dangers of excess Ca and a deficiency of Mg. They already know about coronary calcium scans and why they are done so why is this fundamental mineral imbalance not addressed?
Our evolution regarding Ca and Mg.
Over the past six or more millenia, man evolved in a Mg rich environment which was poor in Ca. To survive, the body developed ways of conserving Ca and those mechanisms are still with us. Now, because of our modern diet which contains much junk food, sugar, sodas and artificial sweeteners and a plentiful supply of Ca, the reverse is the case.
The false idol
Our attention has been focussed on the ‘VIP’ of minerals, the ‘star’ Ca. We have been lulled into a false sense of security by taking a good amount of this ‘megastar’ of minerals. This has been exacerbated by the misleading advertisments from food moguls and the medical profession alike who seem to have no concept of the importance of mineral balance.
A doctor’s lot
You can’t really blame the medics because vitamins and minerals are not even on the curriculum of medicinal studies. Doctors are taught about diseases, illness and the sick body, not wellness. Their studies are somewhat controlled by the drug companies who want to control your illness, not cure it. Curing a disease does not keep the funds coming in to pay for the research and keep the coffers full. A drug would not be worth the expense if it was only used a few times and then was unnecessary because it cured the patient. Don’t forget, big pharma is just another large consortium of several companies. They are just businesses and profits are the name of the game, even if it’s at the expense of the best way to treat your condition.
Magnesium is harmless, natural and vital
Mg is a completely natural and harmless element. It has no side effects and it has grown with us as we have evolved throughout the millennia. We are now disregarding this vital nutrient at our peril. How many people over how many years have suffered unnecessary heart attacks, strokes, heart arrhythmias, migraines, kidney stones, gall stones, osteoporosis, pre-eclampsia, depression, cerebral palsy, raynaud’s disease, glaucoma, cataracts, infertility, insomnia, diabetes and died before their time?
Be careful of hidden Ca!
How many of you consume antacids. What about ‘tums’, ever had them? Most antacids will have copious amounts of ‘Calcium Carbonate’ (CaCO3) which is in fact just chalk. Tums is particularly bad for you. The daily dosage allows you to consume 3000mg of CaCO3. This is a massive amount of Ca and no way will the body use it all. Apart from that, the manufacturers make tums look like a bag of sweets with such adverts as ‘chewy delights’ ‘soft & delicious’ and ‘very cherry’. Ideal to entice young children.
Seeing as your doctor won’t advise you, how about taking your health into your own hands. Supplementing with Mg can help so many diseases and it is harmless and at the same time vital. Research confirms that the majority of the population is deficient in this mineral. Mg Chloride solution is easy to take on a daily basis by just putting it in your daily water. Mg Citrate powder is ideal for those who have a sluggish digestive system, often the case with a Mg deficiency. It is also great for kids as the powder is tasteless and can be put into food. Being a powder, dosage is easily controlled. If you want to up your Mg levels through food take a look at foods with high magnesium. There is also the alternative method of supplementation by way of topical magnesium. The molecule of Mg Chloride is so small it is easily absorbed through the skin.
Dump the junk
Do yourself a big favour, start taking a Mg supplement. Eat plenty of the foods that are more magnesium rich and supplement with a good quality Mg. This is necessary because it is so difficult to obtain all your Mg needs through food alone. A ratio of 1:1 for Ca and Mg should be strived for, but this is nigh on impossible with just food intake.
I would be very pleased to receive your comments on this subject. Your life experiences, tips, advice and insights, can really help others who need support and guidance.