Strong bones? Why calcium dosent work!
Saul Yudelowitz BSc (Hons)
The point of this article is to encourage thought and not to encourage you to just go out and purchase a product, use it excessively and hope you shall be healthy!
There is no doubt that the human body needs calcium however we are overdosing on this. We have been led to believe, mainly from marketing that is aimed at females, we need calcium for strong bones. This reductionism approach is what leads to disease and not health and it is just one of the many examples of why commercialized health is unhealthy!
Let me point out some of the things that excess calcium can cause. Stiffening of the arteries, Alzheimerís disease, brittle bones, tendons, nails and hair as well as cataracts to name just a few.
What needs to be included in the mix is MSM and Vitamin K. MSM is sulphur, in the ocean plankton binds it to carbon making it organic. Sulphur we add to fertilizers is inorganic. In the good old days of farming, the main reason for crop rotation was for the soil to be allowed a chance to get the sulphur from the ocean via the rains.
Animals need more sulphur than plants so plant and animals from the ocean are a rich source of sulphur especially shellfish. Sulphur maintains the flexibility of tissue in the body. Collagen requires sulphur. This needs to be the organic version and NOT the inorganic version. So anyone with excess calcium will eventually have tendon issues among others, however there is another very important Vitamin to consider that works to place the calcium in the correct areas of the body.
Vitamin K places calcium in the correct places and keeps it from being deposited in the wrong places which can lead to, calcification of vessels and soft tissue as well as bone spurs to name just a few. Calcium is ubiquitous to health, impacting on syndrome X conditions like, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and malfunctioning of the cellís signaling system.
Optimum calcium nutrition depends on the interplay of magnesium, Vitamin D and K. Vitamin K1 and more importantly K2 play a critical role in preventing arterial calcification.
Vitamin K was discovered in the 1920ís, a fat soluble factor important in blood clotting. Vitamin K1 is found in plants and K2 in animals and produced by the bacteria residing in the gut. If there is even slight dysbiosis of the gastrointestinal tract Vitamin K2 will be in short supply.
Prescription anticoagulants interfere with the metabolism and function of Vitamin K. How Vitamin K was involved in blood coagulation was discovered in 1974 when scientists found Vitamin K was shown to be required for the formation of numerous proteins known as
gama-carboxy-glutamic acid (GCGA) proteins. GCGA proteins bind to calcium to carry them in the body. Vitamin K is a cofactor in the carboxylation via an enzyme of glutamic acid which forms GCGA. With out GCGA the regulation of calcium canít take place. There are different GCGAís found in the body.
When Vitamin K is in short supply GCGA cant function to regulate calcium in four main areas: The liver, bone, cartilage and arterial vessels. These four tissues can extract Vitamin K from the blood; K1 uptake in the liver is highest however K2 inhibits arterial calcification induced by anticoagulants. Because the liver requires a high amount of Vitamin K, this can lead to inadequate GCGA levels in cartilage and bone and so dietary Vitamin K requirements for bone, cardiovascular and cartilage may not be achieved even though normal clotting occurs.
The FDAís recommendation on Vitamin K dosage is based only on the livers requirements; this then leaves the three other tissues mentioned earlier vulnerable to excessive calcium. This could lead to symptoms as osteopenia, osteoporosis or coronary disease among others.
There have been many good studies on the effects of Vitamin K pertaining to: Increase in bone mineral density, vascular elasticity increase, reduction of bone loss in postmenopausal women, reduction in cardiovascular disease, anti-inflammatory antagonist of IL-6, regulation of blood sugar, antioxidant effect and in Alzheimerís. The positive effect on Alzheimerís is via the vascular elasticity increase to the tissue that supplies the brain.
Please note, that while we have pointed out that anticoagulants impede Vitamin K it is not recommended to just stop taking anticoagulants. Any change that you consider MUST be discussed with your health care provider(s). The purpose of this article is to provide information so that an informed choice can be made in the future.
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