Today you’ll discover something really amazing. Because it turns out that there’s a lot more to calcium than stronger bones.
This multi-tasking mineral provides other very important but little-known bone health benefits. Not only does it help make your bones stronger and denser; calcium actually prevents falls by improving cognitive function.
And there’s even more to calcium – it has to do with a well-kept secret the Medical Establishment doesn’t want you to know about osteoporosis drugs. You’ll be shocked to find out the insidious and hidden way these drugs actually prevent your bones from absorbing this crucial mineral.
Let’s begin with a brief review of calcium’s primary benefits.
Bone Health Benefits Of Calcium
Calcium is a powerful alkalizer. Have you taken a look at a package of chewable antacid tablets? There is usually only one ingredient: calcium!
Calcium neutralizes your stomach acid thanks to its powerful alkalizing ability. It also helps alkalize an acidic body environment, thus providing a balanced condition that allows your bones to flourish.
Calcium is, of course, directly involved in the process of bone formation and maintenance. It’s the most prevalent mineral in your skeleton, so it’s crucial for building bone.
Calcium Regulates Blood Flow And Oxygen Levels
Your circulatory system depends on calcium to control the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Calcium actually helps transport oxygen in your body as well. It can dilate blood vessels around tissues that need more oxygen, and constrict the blood flow around tissues that need less oxygen. It’s an amazing balancing act in which calcium is a key player.
This suggests that calcium may prevent high blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health, making it even more important to get enough calcium as you age.
Calcium Plays Many Important Roles in Cognitive Function
One of the most amazing and little-known facts about calcium has to do with its effect on your central nervous system.
On a molecular level, calcium regulates many neurological processes. In fact, calcium homeostasis is so vital to your cognitive function that your body has compensatory mechanisms in place to maintain blood calcium levels. When this mineral is deficient, your body compensates by tapping into the calcium reserves in your skeleton, thus reducing bone density.
Calcium is involved in many delicate and sensitive reactions in the central nervous system, and changes in regulation may contribute to cognitive decline associated with age. According to a 2009 study, “…gene mutations may interact with age and cell specific alterations in Ca2+ regulation to produce the pattern of neuronal death which characterizes neurodegenerative diseases.”1
Clearly, calcium is critical for healthy brain and nervous system function.
What Does This Have To Do With Preventing Fractures?
A team of experts reviewed research regarding the connection between gait, falls, and cognitive therapy among older adults. They discovered that cognitive therapy does indeed have the potential to reduce the risk of falls, and they noted that the evidence suggests “…not only is there an association between cognitive function, gait and falls, but that a cause and effect relationship may also exist.”2
The authors of the review went on to note that “… cognitive deficits exacerbate and may even cause gait impairment and increase fall risk, especially during more challenging situations.”2 They went on to point out that even mild cognitive decline increases the risk of falls.
Balance impairment can occur as a result of age-related decline in brain function. The researchers in the above review noted a connection between calcium levels, memory decline, and the associated function of NMDA N-methyl-d-aspartate, a glutamate receptor.
In sum, they discovered a link between the brain’s compensatory mechanisms for regulating calcium levels and memory decline – as the brain makes neurological adjustments to make up for a lack of calcium, cells in the hippocampus (aka the frontal cortex) are compromised.2 The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for balance, shedding light on calcium’s role in preventing balance disorder and subsequent falls.
Given calcium’s role in the central nervous system, a lack of this mineral can bring on the very “cognitive deficits” that the authors pointed out.
Low Calcium Levels Contribute To A Balance Disorder And Cognitive Decline
The opposite, then, would be that sufficient calcium can prevent and correct cognitive function and prevent balance problems, thereby decreasing the risk of falls and fractures.
Given the importance of calcium for your bones and your brain, you certainly want to obtain enough of this mineral. You’ll also want to guard against anything that would inhibit its absorption in your body. So here’s information that I’m sure you’ll find outrageous:
Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Actually Prevent Calcium Absorption And More!
Here is the twofold secret that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know. You see, bisphosphonates such as Actonel, Boniva, Foxamax and its generic counterpart Alendronate – the most commonly prescribed class of osteoporosis drugs – actually inhibit your body from absorbing calcium in two ways.
First, bisphosphonates inhibit calcium transport in the intestinal tract. Bisphosphonates themselves are very poorly absorbed in the intestine because they bind to calcium and form “unabsorbable complexes.”3
Second, bisphosphonates disrupt the production of Vitamin D, which is essential for calcium to be absorbed and utilized by your cells. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that bisphosphonates are so effective at lowering Vitamin D levels that they can be used to treat toxicity resulting from excessive intake of Vitamin D.4
How ironic that these drugs, which are intended to prevent bone loss, actually undermine the very bone-building process by (among many other things) preventing calcium absorption and the production of Vitamin D!
So knowing that appropriate calcium levels help maintain cognitive function and balance, it can be concluded that bisphosphonates increase your risk of falls and subsequent fractures. If you add the atypical femur fracture risk to this plus all the other dangerous known side effects, I truly doubt anyone could come up with a rational reason to treat osteoporosis with bisphosphonates. But the Medical Establishment ignores this, of course.
All of this information on the vital importance of calcium begs the question,
What Kind Of Calcium Supplement Should I Take?
This is a very good question, because the wrong kind of calcium can do more harm than good. The key is to find organic sources of this mineral, especially algae-based formulas, because these are the most readily absorbed by the body. In addition, a good calcium supplement should include nutrients and other vitamins and trace minerals that aid in the optimal absorption of calcium.
Finding a calcium supplement that fits this description can be tricky.
As Savers already know, TrueOsteo found me. I received a sample in the mail some time ago, and I was (and am) impressed. It contains vital bone-building trace minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that tap into the synergistic nature of calcium absorption, including Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.
TrueOsteo contains food-based extracts such as Amla fruit extract and cilantro leaf. It also contains extract of Ashwagandha herb, which helps reduce cortisol levels.
The calcium in TrueOsteo derived from algae, and it’s designed so you only need to take two capsules in the morning and two at night.
There’s more good news: Save Our Bones community members can take advantage of an exclusive offer for 20% off your first order of TrueOsteo. Simply enter the coupon code SAVEOURBONES at checkout.
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Till next time,
1 Kumar, Ashok, Bodhinathan, Karthik, and Foster, Thomas C. “Susceptibility to Calcium Dysregulation during Brain Aging.” Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2009; 1: 2. Prepublished online 2009 August 28. Published online 2009 November 27. doi: 10.3389/neuro.24.002.2009 Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874411/
2 Segev-Orit, et al. “The interplay between gait, falls and cognition: can cognitive therapy reduce fall risk?” Expert Review of Neurotherapies. July 2011; 11(7): 1057-1075. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163836/
3 Janner, M., Muhlbauer, RC, and Fleisch, H. “Sodium EDTA enhances intestinal absorption of two bisphosphonates.” Calcified Tissue International. 1991 Oct; 49(4):280-3. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1836974
4 Price, PA, Buckley, JR, Williamson, MK. “The amino bisphosphonate Ibandronate prevents citamin D toxicity and inhibits D-induced calcification of arteries, cartilage, lungs and kidneys in rats.” The Journal of Nutrition. 2001 Nov; 131(11):2910-5. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11694617