Readers of CANCER FORUM must surely be familiar with my repeated attempts to negate the present hype appearing in the media and in health articles claiming that people should take calcium supplements to protect themselves against osteoporosis. If you have paid careful attention, you are aware from the explanation in CANCER FORUM that inorganic calcium supplementation will create a calcium deficiency instead of improving bone density.
In the Winter 1988/89 (Vol. 9 No. 7/8) issue of CANCER FORUM, I reported about two letters to the editor of MEDICAL WORLD NEWS from two doctors, Neal D. Barnard, M.D. and H. Robert Silverstein, M.D., that called the editor’s attention to research which concluded that it was not insufficient calcium that caused osteoporosis but high protein was responsible. The two doctors urged the use of raw vegetables and grains as an excellent source of high quality, easily absorbed calcium with the added benefit of the vegetables and grains in the diet capable of improving the health of the individual in general. Now we can add a third doctor.
Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. has written an article titled, “Calcium the Killer”, which was published in NATURAL FOOD & FARMING, June 1990 issue, detailing the process which creates the calcium deficiency instead of improving bone density.
“Hard to believe, but true,” she writes. “The way in which many are supplementing their calcium is killing them. They are speeding up the degenerative diseases that accompany it like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and , yes, don’t forget cancer.”
She explains that calcium, along with a host of other minerals, is absorbed from our food and incorporated into the bone. What happens if any of the minerals, such as magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, sodium, etc., are missing? Since they must be available for proper synergism, the body draws from storage (i.e. nails, bone, teeth) in order for the calcium to be utilized, as a result causing weak bones.
Dr. Rogers says that the first sign of deficiency is osteoporosis of the jaw bone.
Unfortunately, that is not the only condition produced by inorganic or fragmented calcium. The unused calcium has to find a home so it settles in the blood vessels of the heart and brain. This calcification of blood vessels is labeled arteriosclerosis. When it settles in the joints at the bone ends, the inflammation is arthritis.
Dr. Rogers blames the lack of the bone’s ability to absorb and hold sufficient calcium on drugs like cimetidine, antacids, food additives like buffers, stabilizers, dough conditioners, and more. Diuretics and vitamins cause a loss of calcium in the urine.
Another cause of calcium loss is food high in oxalic acid such as prunes, spinach, beets, swiss chard; but since they are balanced with minerals, they are less harmful substances unless they are overused by ingesting them daily. Used judiciously, they have a natural role in the diet.
It is scary listening to the media hype advertising synthetic type calciums leaving a no-harm impression that one should take supplementation with or without the doctor’s help.
Hopefully, readers of CANCER FORUM, will be cautious and ever alert and alert others to the hazards of taking inorganic or fragmented calcium (containing no minerals) to avoid osteoporosis.