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Our 53rd Year

Osteoporosis, Calcium and Sunshine By Ruth Sackman

In reading an article about osteoporosis, a widespread problem that is mentioned repeatedly in medical reports, newspaper items, on the media and elsewhere, I realized that too much emphasis to correct or avoid the condition was being placed on the intake of calcium instead of focusing on calcium metabolism which is usually the problem.

Calcium is probably the most abundant element in the food chain. It is so essential that Nature in its wisdom has generously provided it in a wide variety of foods. If the body is lacking in calcium, most likely this may be due to malabsorption due to poor metabolism or poor thyroid or parathyroid function, instead of a lack of calcium intake.

There were suggestions in the article to take all sorts of calcium, most of them from inorganic sources in the form of pills (usually manufactured from seashells or eggshells) that the body cannot metabolize. No matter how much calcium is ingested or from whatever sources, good or bad, unless the body can metabolize the calcium, it will never create good bone, nails or teeth or provide the bloodstream with needed calcium.

If calcium is unavailable to our skeleton, then we need to examine why it is not fulfilling its job of maintaining bone density and protecting against osteoporosis. The likely problem is malabsorption. There are a number of areas that are worthy of investigation. It would be wise first to determine hormonal balance. Hormonal imbalance can cause a disruption in the endocrine system, especially thyroid function, upsetting the thyroid’s ability to metabolize calcium adequately. Sometimes the conventional thyroid test concludes that thyroid is operating in the low normal range, but that may be too low to maintain bone replacement.

Alan Nittler, M.D., a nutrition authority who wrote the book, New Breed of Doctor, claimed that the parameters established in the routine (conventional) thyroid test, although categorized as normal, were too low for adequate bone replacement.

Kelp is extremely rich in natural iodine, which is essential for the function of the endocrine glands, especially the thyroid. Biochemically speaking, iodine deficiency can disrupt normal thyroid function and cause diminished hormone production.

Personal youthful appearance is largely related to thyroid function. Premature signs of aging might be a clue to check the thyroid. Thyroid function is also known as a key which maintains homeostatic regulation (natural or self-healing power) in the body system, similar to adrenal function.

Another flaw that might interfere with calcium metabolism and may be responsible for osteoporosis is a lack of vitamin D3. This is natural vitamin D derived from sunshine. Sunlight is converted into vitamin D3 by the skin and stored for continual use, thus available for calcium absorption during periods of cloudiness or if we spend too much time indoors. Taking vitamin D tablets is not the answer. The vitamin D in tablets is not D3 which is specifically from sunlight.

Too many people are avoiding sun exposure due to the warnings of the danger of skin cancer. Sun deprivation will produce other, and possibly more serious, health problems. The wisdom is to take everything designed by Nature that is essential for human health in moderation. About 15 minutes at a time in sun should pose no danger for most people. Deprivation or overdoing leads to imbalances that usually manifest in unrelated problems. Unfortunately, in our desire to do exceptionally well, there is a tendency to go to extremes of too much or too little.

If a thyroid test determines inadequate thyroid function and it cannot be resolved by balancing hormones or adequate vitamin D3, a doctor can prescribe Armour’s Thyroid, a natural thyroid, to restore balance. Avoid using synthetics such as Thyroxin or Synthroid.