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7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Calcium

7-secrets-of-calcium

Today, I’m thrilled to share with you seven facts about calcium that you may not know, and that could make a big difference in the way you benefit from this crucial supplement.

So let’s get started!

1. The name “calcium” is derived from Latin.

Calx or calcis is Latin for “lime.” This makes sense since calcium is extracted from limestone, and also from marble and chalk. Of the elements that make up the earth’s crust, calcium is the fifth most abundant one.

In nature, calcium is never found in its pure form; its molecular structure causes it to attach itself to other elements to form compounds. This is why you usually see calcium referred to with another element in the name: calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium sulfate, and so forth. Because of this binding characteristic, calcium is used in industry to remove oxygen, sulfur, and carbon from alloys.

2. Diets high in animal protein and phosphorous-rich foods like soft drinks and cow’s milk inhibit calcium absorption.

Animal protein is acidifying, and the body therefore uses calcium to neutralize the acidic environment caused by its consumption, especially when bicarbonate reserves are depleted. So in essence, the calcium that is used to neutralize the acid never makes it into your bones.

Phosphorus, which is found in acidifying foods and beverages like soft drinks (phosphoric acid) and cow’s milk, also has an detrimental effect. The debilitating effects of phosphorous on bone are well-documented – the jaw disease known as osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) was once called “phossy jaw” because of its clear correlation with phosphorous exposure. And of course, the most widely-prescribed osteoporosis drugs are phosphorous-based bisphosphonates, which artificially alter bone metabolism, making it brittle and prone to fracture.

This is why the diet described in the Save Our Bones Program focuses on correcting the acid/alkaline imbalance that is so prevalent nowadays. The pH-balanced Save Our Bones diet emphasizes plant-based calcium sources, which brings us to our next little-known calcium fact.

3. Calcium from vegetables is better absorbed than calcium in cow’s milk.

A recent study compared the absorption rate of calcium from kale and from milk, and the results were clear: the calcium from kale was absorbed at a rate of 40.9%, whereas the calcium from milk was absorbed at a rate of 32.1%. 1 Kale is an especially good plant source for calcium absorption because of its low oxalate content.

4. You lose calcium from your bones as you sleep.

Interestingly, calcium loss occurs at a higher rate during the night, with women losing more as they sleep than men. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, this may be due to a difference between the sexes’ parathyroid (PTH) levels at night. PTH monitors blood calcium levels, and men tend to increase their PTH production at night, whereas women do not. 2

5. Smaller doses of calcium are best.

While the Medical Establishment tends to prescribe massive doses of calcium as a treatment for osteoporosis (and they often prescribe the wrong kind of calcium – more on that later), your body is actually unable to absorb more than 500mg of calcium at a time. However, you need more than 500mg per day, so that’s why the Save Our Bones Program recommendation is to spread your calcium intake throughout the day.

6. Calcium helps far more than just your bones.

It’s also necessary for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and amazingly, calcium facilitates communication between the brain and every part of your body. Calcium also plays a role in your circulatory system by mediating the expansion and constriction of blood vessels (vasodilation and vasoconstriction).

And here’s another important function of calcium: it helps with the release of insulin and stabilizes and optimizes various enzymes.

In short, calcium affects the functioning of your entire body.

7. Overconsumption of calcium carbonate or any form of inorganic calcium can cause major health problems and unpleasant side effects.

The irony is, calcium carbonate is the form usually prescribed by doctors; but it’s one of the least absorbable forms of this mineral, and therein lies the problem. Another commonly prescribed form of inorganic calcium is calcium citrate.

When calcium carbonate is ingested, very little is absorbed into your bones, especially if other synergistic minerals and vitamins (such as magnesium and Vitamin D) are not consumed in proportion to the calcium. That’s why large amounts taken in isolation are particularly dangerous – it simply increases the amount of unabsorbed calcium in your body. This excess calcium then gets deposited in soft tissues, contributing to the formation of kidney stones, artery blockage, and the development of hypercalcemia.

Additionally, consuming excessive inorganic calcium can cause side effects such as nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, constipation, fatigue, and a general feeling of weakness.

The vast majority of kidney stones are comprised mostly of calcium oxalate, leading researchers to believe that calcium supplements contribute to kidney stones. However, as I mentioned above, calcium from food sources does not cause kidney stones. That’s because the calcium in foods is organic, and therefore bioavailable.

So Should I Take Calcium Supplements Or Not?

While food sources are ideal, it’s nearly impossible to get all the calcium you need from food alone, especially if you want to build your bones. It comes down to finding the right calcium supplement – one that’s bioavailable, organic, plant-based, and doesn’t come in a high dosage.

In fact, one of the most asked questions I receive from ‘Savers’ involves which calcium supplement they should take. Here’s what I recommend…

TrueOsteo: The Perfect Compromise

TrueOsteo is a plant-based organic calcium supplement that is easily absorbed, and the daily dose is only 800mg. It’s derived from marine algae, and contains additional Foundation Supplements like magnesium, Vitamins D3, K2, and other bone-building nutrients.

In addition to the minerals and vitamins, TrueOsteo contains plant extracts such as Ashwagandha (which reduces bone-damaging stress), Amla fruit (an excellent food source of Vitamin C), and cilantro and chlorella algae (detoxifiers).

I was very impressed when I first tried TrueOsteo and read the ingredients, and I was also pleased with the one-year, money-back guarantee.

TrueOsteo’s manufacturer has agreed to offer to the Save Our Bones community a 20% discount.

Click here to learn more and enter the coupon code SAVEOURBONES at the checkout page.

Please note that TrueOsteo only ships to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. My apologies to those of you in other parts of the world.


Exclusive 20% OFF TrueOsteo Coupon Code for Save Our Bones Readers!

Use coupon code: SAVEOURBONES at checkout to get 20% off your order!

Try TrueOsteo, the perfect calcium, now →

Click here to read more about TrueOsteo →

Till next time,

References

1 Heaney, R.P. and Weaver, C.M. “Calcium absorption from kale.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. April 1990. Vol. 51 no. 4; 656-657. Web. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/51/4/656.abstract
2 Calvo, M.S., et al. “Circadian variation in ionized calcium and intact parathyroid hormone: evidence for sex differences in calcium homeostasis.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. January 1991. 72(1):69-76. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1986029

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51 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Gwendoline Yates March 2, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Very interesting and infotmative

  2. Rosemary Lambert February 25, 2014, 6:18 pm

    Every time I take calcium (I’ve tried citrate, liquid calcium, and numerous brands over years that are balanced with magnesium) I get a stiff neck and shoulder pain even with a tiny dose. It just doesn’t seem to want to absorb. I also get body aches and pains from eating most grains, even gluten free ones.
    I have osteoporosis and fibromyalsia.
    What could the trouble be with all the stiffness and pain?

    • Kelly March 27, 2014, 11:02 am

      You probably eat animal products like milk, right? This is very bad for calcium absorbsion and very bad for the bones and nerves too.

  3. Nancy Perna February 18, 2014, 9:55 pm

    I recently read an article in The Journal of Natural Health stating that calcium is practically useless when it comes to improving the health of your bones!!! They say strontium not only slows down the breakdown of bone, it actually stimulates new bone growth. They are selling “Ultimate Bone Support” which includes strontium, Hop extract, vitamin D3, K2, L-lysine, silicon, boron, manganese, copper and zinc. What is the truth?

    • Customer Support February 19, 2014, 6:19 am

      Nancy, you might want to use the site’s Search feature to learn more about strontium. :) Just type “strontium” into the search box, and everything Vivian has written about this topic will be listed. There’s quite a bit of information available!

  4. Mamata February 18, 2014, 12:52 pm

    True Osteo has 720mg calcium, and 64mg magnesium in 4 capsules which is recommended to take per day. There is something wrong with this cal to mag ratio. Shouldn’t be 2:1. Do I need to take extra magnesium with this? Also vitamin k2 is only 45 mcg. Is that enough?
    Mamata,

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 18, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Hi Mamata,
      True Osteo doesn’t contain all the Foundation Supplements that are recommended in the Save Our Bones Program. :) But you can easily make up for the low magnesium content by taking a multivitamin that contains magnesium. This will bring your magnesium intake up to desirable levels.

  5. jvh February 18, 2014, 5:05 am

    You mention:
    I was very impressed when I first tried TrueOsteo and read the ingredients,
    and I was also pleased with the one-year, money-back guarantee.

    These are not reasons enough to endorse and promote this, or any other product.

    There is no doubt you are receiving revenues for promoting TrueOsteo. That would not be an issue if you have done due diligence and verified all claims made by the manufacturer of the ingredients contained in the product, and the efficacy of those ingredients. This would involve –
    – sending the product to an independent, reputable lab (that has no affiliation with the manufacturer) for testing
    – reviewing the lab test results;
    – posting the lab findings report on your website;
    – conducting independent tests with random people to determine efficacy;
    – posting such random test results on your website

    If you say the manufacturer has done necessary testing, we all know that manufacturers only test with labs that provide the results they want.

    The problem is, there is no government body that regulates the sale of supplements. Even though poor grade supplements might not cause the same harmful side affects as drugs, it still ends up being a waste of money to be ingesting something that offers little or no health benefits.

    You are very critical of drug companies (as you should be). One has to wonder why you don’t apply the same rigorous scrutiny to supplements you choose to endorse and promote. If you are accepting revenues for such promotions, you have a moral and ethical obligation to take such steps.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 19, 2014, 6:16 am

      Thank you for your comment, jvh!
      Unfortunately, government regulation does not guarantee safety. Government agencies regulate and approve drugs now, and clearly that does not mean the drug is “safe.” The same would go for government regulation of supplements!

      For further reading, you might like to read this post about an FDA-approved drug that was later discovered not to be as safe as they thought…

      http://saveourbones.com/fda-admits-huge-osteoporosis-drug-mistake/

      • jvh February 21, 2014, 3:35 am

        Just because government agencies and drug companies don’t do the right thing, it does not mean product claims made by supplement manufacturers should not be scrutinized and challenged. If you are willing to accept, at face value, any and all claims made by supplement manufacturers, in exchange for revenues for endorsing their products, you are no better than those you are pointing fingers at.

        It indicates when money is part of the equation, your viewpoint is biased and your opinions cannot be trusted.

        The question, therefore, remains : Why don’t you do due diligence and rigorously scrutinize claims made by supplement manufacturers, before accepting endorsement revenues and undertaking product promotion?

  6. ekt February 18, 2014, 12:19 am

    I am taking the ultimate bone support that I thought you recommended, but it doesn’t have any calcium, so which should I take? Or should I take both?

  7. joyce February 17, 2014, 11:00 pm

    What about green tea? It’s supposed to do wonders for bones, but has caffeine ? does decaf tea have same properties?

  8. stewart February 17, 2014, 7:46 pm

    There s a rumor that store milk is fake. The calcium is not organic.

  9. Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 17, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Dear Nancy, Carol, and others,
    The important thing is to take the calcium supplement that’s right for you. :) The Save Our Bones Program recommendations for calcium supplements are still the same: first choice, organic marine calcium; second choice, amino acid chelated calcium. If you want to switch to TrueOsteo, great! But if you are happy with your current supplement, there’s no need to stop. :)

  10. Sally February 17, 2014, 1:11 pm

    Wish your products would not have all the fillers-gelatin and magnesium stearate. Especially if you are vegan like me. But neither of those are good for you. I have to get my supplements online without added fillers or excipients.

  11. Jo Ann Hoppe February 17, 2014, 12:57 pm

    I am taking a brand named NewChapter called Bone Strength -take care . It has 1000iu of D3 targetCal, K1 -35 mcg, K2 (MK-7) TargetCal 45mcg ,Calcium from algae 770mg, Magnesium from Algae 58mg, Strontium from Algae 5 mg, Silica from Algae 2mg, Vandium from Algae 13 mcg. Is this as good as the Bone Strength you suggest.

    • Julia February 17, 2014, 4:31 pm

      I have been taking New Chapter for about 10 months and see tremendous improvement in my nails. I’m looking forward to my next bone test to see whether there’s any difference. (that and calcium rich foods and exercise).

  12. shula February 17, 2014, 12:46 pm

    From my last year experience, and last BMD test – the main contributor to maintain my BMD was the walking and the exercises. I took the Algae based calcium for a full year and didn’t see any improvement.

  13. Sheila February 17, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Shipping on this item to Canada is outrageous!
    Too bad because it looks like a great product.

    • Julia February 17, 2014, 4:33 pm

      Try New Chapter. It is a vegetable based calcium and can be found in stores that carry a wide variety of quality supplements. I buy mine at Fairway Market or the Vitamin Shoppe if either of those retailers are near you.

  14. Linda February 17, 2014, 12:07 pm

    OH GREAT!! I just bought 6 bottles of osteocal because it was reccommended by this site. I thought that since Vivian endorsed it she would have done the foot work on whether it was a good product for us “bone losers” and now I see there is conversation about soy and the ashwagandha in it causing potential kidney damage . UGH Im wearing out. So, Vivian, What say you??
    Also, to answer an earlier question there are 120 capsules in the trueosteo and you take 4 a day.

    • Bronwyn February 18, 2014, 11:46 pm

      I have osteoporosis caused by the immuno-suppressant prednisone. I lost 80% of my kidney transplant two years ago because a non-renal doctor prescribed the wrong drug for me so when Vivian first recommended TrueOsteo I was elated – something that might actually work. But I could find no research into it’s effects on the kidney anywhere and so did not take it. I couldn’t risk losing the last 20% of renal function. Dialysis is not my treatment of choice. To date there still hasn’t been enough research done on marine algae (that I can find). I try to get my calcium through carefully managed food sources.

  15. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) February 17, 2014, 11:51 am

    Hi! Vivian,

    I Think I’ve Asked You Something On This Subject Before.
    But Anyhow- Can You Get TrueOsteo Without Cilantro And Other Spices Related To It, Like Coriander And Tarragon, If They Are In The Ingredients As Well?

    And I Thank You, As Always, For All You Do For Us. Take Care, And Stay Well.

    Love, Leslie

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 17, 2014, 3:45 pm

      Leslie, TrueOsteo does not offer their supplement without the extracts! But there are plenty of other bone-healthy options that do not have those substances. :)

  16. Sandra Squires February 17, 2014, 11:24 am

    Hi Vivian,

    I also have tried TrueOsteo only to find I am allergic to ashwaganda. Any other suggestions?

    • Linda February 17, 2014, 12:10 pm

      How did you find out about the allergy to ashwaganda
      .??

  17. Linda Bishop February 17, 2014, 11:23 am

    My sister had stomach by-pass surgery in the 1980’s before the present day, shorter version. She has trouble absorbing drugs she took, how does the by-pass affect her absorption of calcium and other minerals? thank you.

  18. Finetta February 17, 2014, 10:45 am

    Hi Vivienne, I find your information and comments very interesting; but when you talk about cows’ milk I am sure you are referring to pasteurised cows milk—what about raw milk which does not have the various beneficial enzymes removed from it, and is therefore considered superior?

  19. Rosemarie February 17, 2014, 10:03 am

    I see comments but few answers from you Vivian. I too bought the algae cal

    • job February 17, 2014, 12:46 pm

      Rosemary, I have found the same to be true. It would be very helpful if Vivian could offer an answer or reply to the questions. Every once in a while there is a comment.
      I find these calcium supplements to be very expensive and not affordable for the average consumer, since one bottle usually lasts only a month or a little over. Isn’t there a good product that isn’t so expensive, Vivian?

  20. shirley Allert February 17, 2014, 9:50 am

    Dear Vivian
    Thank you for your correspondence on Bone Health,I very much appriciate it all these years. My Question:
    Are estrogen based ingredients in calcium (such as Boron, milk thistle, flax seed etc) harmful to take if I have had breast cancer? I am trying to get information and thought who better to ask than you.
    Thank you again
    Shirley Allert

    • Clinton February 17, 2014, 10:36 pm

      Shirley, Cancer is a nutritional problem. Look up DOGTORJ.COM for one and then to find out what cancer is look up Dr Otto Warburg and then consider chemotherapy as a shortcut to the grave.

  21. nancy lorenz February 17, 2014, 9:19 am

    I just talked to someone from TruOsteo and they tell me there is no soy in their
    product. They also have 120 caps in each bottle and that you take 4 a day. The cost through Vivian’s Save your Bones website (this one) is $149.98 for six bottles
    plus $6.95 shipping. That would mean one bottle would last 1 month and for me
    that cost is cheaper then the current price I’m paying for ALgae Cal Plus. When I
    run out I’m going to consider switching.

    Nancy

  22. Donna E February 17, 2014, 9:04 am

    I like the save our bones program (and I did purchase it) but wish you would give several choices for calcium (and other products) that fit the program. I like this article until it gets to the last thing where there is an ad to buy a specific product. This then appears to be just another sales pitch which makes me question the rest of the information.

  23. Rita February 17, 2014, 9:00 am

    I am looking for great calcium supplement that I can take it has to be chewable,powder,liquid or it won’t go down and you help me.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 17, 2014, 1:03 pm

      Rita, you can whiz your calcium tablets into a smoothie if you like. :) TrueOsteo comes in capsules, so you can open the capsule and sprinkle the powder on applesauce or some other soft food. :)

  24. Pat February 17, 2014, 8:46 am

    I believe in your Save Our Bones program you recommended marine plant based calcium, therefore I switched to Source of Life Garden Calcium that contains certified organic AlgaeCal. Now I’m reading that you are promoting TrueOsteo. Since I was diagnosed with osteopinia and osteoporosis a few years ago and will be having another bone density in April, I would like to know if they are equally the same or is one better than the other.

    • Diane February 17, 2014, 11:13 am

      Have you tried the Source of Life Garden Bone Support, I take it instead because it contains K2, some magnesium and 1000 each of D and calcium, so even though it costs a little more than the Source of Life Calcium you get more in it.

    • nancy lorenz February 17, 2014, 9:05 am

      Yes, I have been on ALGAE CAL PLUS for a couple years and now I see you are
      promoting Osteo Cal. Is it suppose to be better? Also it does not say how many
      caps are in a bottle and how many you take a day but the price is considerably
      more. Can you comment? Thank you!

      Nancy

  25. carol dejno February 17, 2014, 8:36 am

    Is there a reason for recommending TrueOsteo vs. AlgaeCal? I’ve been taking AlgaeCal now for 4 years, and my dexa bone scan has improved! Plus I have eliminated soy from my diet for many reasons – is there soy in TrueOsteo?

  26. Andrea February 17, 2014, 8:20 am

    I use a calcium supplement that I buy at Whole Foods. I like it because the pills are easy to swallow and it appears to fit the description that Save Our Bones recommends. You take three per day, spreading out the dosage, and it contains K2, D3 and Magnesium etc. It’s NewChapter ‘Bone Strength take care.’ Can’t remember the price but it is not cheap! Bottle contains 120 tablets.

  27. Adele February 17, 2014, 8:01 am

    TrueOsteo has soy in it! That does not work for my thyroid nor my bones. I stopped taking it after my first order, since that information was not available at the time I ordered it. Shalom, Adele

  28. Nancy February 17, 2014, 7:58 am

    I also could not find out how long a bottle lasts. I am taking a similar product with calcium from AlgaeCal but without ashwagandha. It costs less than $30 for a one month supply and shipping is free from Amazon.com if you purchase a 2 month supply. It is Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code Raw Calcium. I have been taking it for two years now but do not know if my bone density has increased because I have not yet had had another dexa scan.

  29. Grace February 17, 2014, 7:17 am

    I also would like to know how long a bottle lasts. Freight cost is very high at $45 for 6 bottles. I get other health products out of US for $14.95?

  30. Micky February 17, 2014, 6:34 am

    I don’t know how many tablets there are in the bottle of TrueOsteo. But I take a calcium tablet which is food based calcified seaweed from a company called CYTOPLAN. There are 60 capsules in each container and cost £12.70. You can take one or two tablets a day. Its really difficult to know what to take, I guess eating the right healthy food balance is the best way forward.

    Kind regards Micky

  31. Lynn Jacobs February 17, 2014, 6:23 am

    Yes, I would also like to know what the recommended dosage is per day. I’d also like to see the ingredient list.

  32. Celia February 17, 2014, 6:17 am

    I have been managing slightly elevated calcium levels for about 10 years until recently, when the calcium became much too high, along with high parat hormone. I’ve had scans which show an adenoma on the left inferior parathyroid gland and am threatened with an operation.
    I would be interested to read your comments about this. I saw a kinesiologist after the initial diagnosis (before Christmas) who prescribed some homeopathy which made me feel much better very quickly, (she said it was caused by sodium imbalance) and I am now awaiting more blood test results before seeing the specialist and surgeon to discuss a plan of action.
    Thank you!

  33. pat martyn February 17, 2014, 5:55 am

    I took ashwagandha for years then one day I looked it up . and found out that it causes kidney damage, so nest time I went to my natural m.d. I ask him if it could cause kidney damage and he said yes. just don’t take more than the bottle said to . so how much ashwagandha is in ost.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 17, 2014, 3:51 pm

      There is definitely some conflicting information on Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and kidney health, Pat! For example, a 2009 study showed a nephroprotective effect (meaning it protects the kidneys) in rats given Ashwagandha:

      http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08860220903150320

      Good for you for doing your research!

  34. catherine gilmour February 17, 2014, 5:26 am

    How many capsules are in a bottle of TrueOsteo? I can’t seem to find this information.

  35. ellibariki February 17, 2014, 4:57 am

    the suplment mentioned could be so useful to me as I have milk allergy. How to get it in Tanzania is a problem.

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