The Top 4 Most Common Bone Calcium Killers (#1 Is In Water Pipes But It's Not Fluoride) - Save Our Bones

Getting plenty of bioavailable calcium is crucial for reversing and preventing osteoporosis and osteopenia.

But even if you’re taking supplements and eating calcium-rich foods, there are certain substances that can deplete your bones of calcium.

Today we’re going to look at these four common calcium antagonists and how to avoid them.

1. Cadmium

Cadmium is a naturally-occurring metal that is molecularly similar to zinc and mercury. You’ll find it used industrially to coat metal pipes and in the manufacture of PVC pipes in the US (Europe has banned cadmium from the manufacture of PVC). Painters will recognize its presence in “cadmium red.”

Cadmium is found in the soil, and plants will readily absorb it. This metal is also present in car exhaust, drinking water, and tobacco products. In addition, batteries contain cadmium electrodes.

Ingestion and inhalation both can cause cadmium toxicity, but inhalation (particularly via smoking tobacco) produces the most rapid accumulation of cadmium in the body.

How Cadmium Depletes Calcium

In addition to the many health risks posed by cadmium exposure (such as birth defects, cardiovascular issues, neurotoxicity, and kidney damage), cadmium also acts as a calcium channel blocker. This means that it blocks the absorption of calcium into bones and tissue, and cadmium then finds its way into the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and into your bones.

It’s also noteworthy that cadmium’s similarity to zinc means it displaces this important mineral, a Foundation Supplement, further contributing to mineral bone density loss.

What You Can Do To Avoid Cadmium

In Europe, cadmium was banned for use in the manufacture of PVC. Savers already know that voiding tap water is important, but with the prevalence of PVC-containing cadmium in PVC pipe and coatings in the U.S., it makes even more sense to avoid drinking water from the tap.

In addition, here are some other tips for avoiding cadmium:

  1. Don’t smoke – tobacco takes in a large amount of cadmium from the soil. Also, avoid second hand smoke as much as possible. (There are plenty of other reasons not to smoke as well!)
  2. Make sure you get plenty of zinc and calcium (if you’re on the Program, you already are!).
  3. If you have well water, have the water tested for cadmium.

2. Phosphorus

Unlike cadmium, phosphorus is not a metal. It’s a mineral that’s almost never found in nature in isolation. Phosphorus compounds are in rocks, industrial fertilizers, and in various foods and beverages.

Foods high in animal protein contain phosphorus, and have been shown to increase fecal excretion of calcium1, a major concern for bone health.

In addition, phosphorus consumption is at an all-time high thanks to the prevalence of phosphate-rich soft drinks and food additives. The skewed ratio that occurs from drinking colas invariably decreases bone density.2

Of particular concern are diets low in calcium and high in phosphorus. This increases the production of parathyroid hormone (PTH), which signals the body to pull calcium from the bones and into the bloodstream to keep crucial calcium levels stable.

Avoiding Phosphorus

A good first step is to replace soft drinks with bone-healthy options like stevia-sweetened lemonade, distilled water with sliced fruit, unflavored sparkling water, or just plain purified water. In addition, here are some other things you can do to avoid phosphorus.

  1. Get plenty of absorbable calcium – the more phosphorus you ingest, the more your need for calcium increases.
  2. Follow a diet that is not centered around animal protein, but instead is pH-balanced and rich in Foundation Foods.
  3. Make sure your kidneys are in top shape by cleansing periodically and drinking plenty of distilled water with lemon juice. Poorly functioning kidneys can cause high phosphorus levels.

3. Fluoride

This ubiquitous compound is found in fertilizers (and thus makes its way into plant foods), toothpaste, mouthwash, tap water, and in non-stick coating on cookware. Like many of the substances we’re discussing today, fluoride is found in nature, but not in the concentrations found in our modern environment.

Fluoride has also been clearly linked to hypothyroidism. In The Missing Link, the report on water that’s included as a bonus with your order of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you’ll find detailed information on how fluoride interferes with iodine metabolism, destroying the thyroid.

Fluoride Depletes Calcium

Fluoride binds to calcium, preventing it from getting absorbed into your bones. In fact, fluoride ingestion has been directly linked to an increase in hip fractures.3 Many studies have made this connection, and a 2000 study found a clear relationship between water fluoridation and hip fracture in women aged 75 to 84, and also above the age of 85.3

The Journal of Biological Chemistry found that vital enzymatic metabolism is inhibited by fluoride, and it also destabilizes calcium binding in the body. In short, calcium is greatly depleted by fluoride ingestion.

How To Minimize Fluoride Exposure

Avoiding fluoride is nothing new to Savers. Here are some tips:

  1. Do not drink green or black tea, as the leaves are high in fluoride. Choose herbal teas instead.
  2. Use fluoride-free toothpaste (ever look at the warning on fluoride toothpaste? It says not to ingest!).
  3. Drink distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice, not fluoridated tap water.
  4. Try to eat organic produce whenever possible, which is grown in healthy soils not saturated with synthetic, fluoride-containing fertilizers.
  5. Do not use non-stick cookware.

4. Sugar

Refined, white sugar is found in an enormous number of food products, including foods that are not sweet, such as frozen dinners. It’s essentially pure sucrose, isolated from the sugar cane plant, beets, and, in the form of corn syrup.

It’s no secret that sugar is harmful to your health and particularly to your bones. It suppresses your immune system by competing with Vitamin C, and sugar can even affect your brain by bonding with proteins to form AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products).

How Sugar Harms Your Bones

Sugar actually takes crucial minerals like calcium, magnesium, and copper from your bones. You see, sugar creates such a highly acidic environment that your body must take minerals like calcium and magnesium from your bones to balance the pH. And it prevents copper absorption, especially when combined with fat (as so many sugary foods are).

Tips For Decreasing Your Sugar Ingestion

  1. Substitute your favorite stevia extract or raw honey in baking and in beverages like lemonade.
  2. Choose alkalizing, bone-healthy fruits like grapes, cherries, or pineapple to get your “sweet snack fix.”
  3. Stick with whole Foundation Foods as much as possible. Sugar is used as a preservative in prepared, packaged food products.
  4. Don’t buy it! Having sweets around the house just adds temptation you don’t need. Keep fresh fruits available at home and at work as well as other bone-healthy snacks.

Given all these challenges for keeping calcium levels optimal so your bones can thrive, it makes sense to…

Focus On Taking A Good High-Quality Calcium Supplement

I know what you’re thinking – what about cardiovascular health? While large quantities of inorganic calcium supplements have been linked to cardiovascular problems (including heart attack), it’s the type and quantity of calcium that are the culprits.

You see, when you ingest a plant-based, organic, bioavailable calcium supplement, it’s absorbed into your bones and other tissues where it belongs. It doesn’t end up lodged in tissues where it causes problems because it can’t be absorbed.

The Save Our Bones community often asks about what calcium supplement I recommend, and I can tell you that I prefer TrueOsteo™. It contains calcium derived from algae, and it contains other bone-healthy ingredients such as:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin C (in the form of Amla fruit)
  • Ashwagandha herb (reduces bone-destroying stress)
  • Cilantro (a powerful detoxifier)

TrueOsteo™ is the calcium supplement I take, and I hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about it by clicking here.

I was so impressed by the unique combination of ingredients, that I contacted the manufacturer of TrueOsteo™ and was able to arrange a special 20% off coupon available only to Savers.

Use the coupon code SAVEOURBONES at checkout to get 20% off your first order.

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 →

A note to the worldwide Save Our Bones community: TrueOsteo™ only ships to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Our apologies!

Click here to learn more about TrueOsteo™

Till next time,


1 Weaver CM, Heaney RP. Calcium. In: Shils M, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 9th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999:141-155.
2 Tucker, KL. “Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct; 84(4):936-42.
3 Hegmann KT, et al. (2000). “The Effects of Fluoridation on Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) and Hip Fractures.” Abstract #71, of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society For Epidemiological research, June 15-17, 2000. Published in a Supplement of Am. J. Epid. P. S18.

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  5. John

    U have a great site it works well even on my slow connection well organized layed out good colours/text type size good information. I feel u have the best bone site on the internet bringing out he truth. I feel tennis elbow is to do with environment /diet especially calcium/bone minerals etc…high acidic diet…also dairy also bread mould in bread also soy..even nickle in stainless streel with gives/helps bacteria its power to live in the body.. read Hulda Clarks book..Cure of all deseases.. acidic diet from grains or dairy or meats..sugar genetically modified wheat, coffee soy bad oils like canolla etc.not help.. I broke my femur dogging a car when I fell on my side. I have always had a small frame, but many thing do add to bone breakage/weakness and pain.. too may to say here, but acidic foods processed foods, low raw foods/greens ..chemicals metals solvents, even mound in uncooked grains also bread cerials..bacteria in dairy..for sure even the soil fertilizers used, smoking occupation etc Raw alcoline food is good..greens fruits root vegies coconut/punkin seed ..oil..nothing like growing ones own on quality soil without fertilizers.keep up the good work..i cure my self from deseases with raw/cooked foods, also control pain. I test all foods..have many cheap easy systems.. I use also do all my own cooking. Blessings…I teach many areas health slimming longertivity…low cost living have my own sytems ,teach over 100 areas. This is a top site…congratulations Vivien..Take care..John.. PS. English is my 3d lanvage. Sorry no time to fix spellings.Have learned much from this site.

  6. Marion

    Is it OK to use lemon juice in both distilled and purified water for drinking, or is one better than the other and if so, why?
    Thank You

  7. suman

    I wanted to know if calcium made of egg shells is good for us and does it get absorbed well in the body

  8. Marie Bohanan

    What is the difference in AlgaeCal and TrueOsteo?

  9. Marie Bohanan

    I thought I was ordering true osteo, but my bottles say, AlgaeCal and every time I try to take it I feel so bad, What are some possible reasons? I have been taking Dr. Newtons CalMax for several years, but really need to increase my bone density.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Marie,

      TrueOsteo contains AlgaeCal. 🙂 And there’s no need to switch to TrueOsteo if you’re happy with your current supplement. 🙂

  10. Jeanne Brilhante

    Hi Vivian,
    We purchased a “whole house” water filtration system, and are being told it is safe to drink, even better than bottled water. Do I still have to worry about fluoride, chlorine, and other minerals in small amounts, or is any “small amount ,” if present, safe to drink? This is a question many people with filtration systems are asking.


  11. Evelyn Sahaja

    Cadmium is also found is coffee – so drink organic. Its also found in paint. Its important to note that the EU has also banned PVC under the ROHS initiative (Restriction on Hazardous Substances).

  12. Cheri

    Is there fluoride in the leaves of organic white tea?

  13. Pamela Thompson

    I recently acquired a walk-in shower because of my disability. However, my pains seemed to get worse until it suddenly occurred to me that although it’s very nice to have a shower, having water pummelling on to your back doesn’t do any favours for your osteoporosis and vertebrae. Therefore, I would suggest people with any back or shoulder problems be extra cautious when using the shower.

  14. Daphna Maor

    Hi Vivian,

    I know that algae are not good for those who suffer from over active thyroid.

    Is there anything else you recommend instead?


  15. Hilaire

    I recently had my teeth cleaned;and the dentist offered a cup of fluoride to rinse out and protect my teeth. Of course I refused and told him WHY. Is this standard practice? Thank you for all you do..

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It takes fortitude to make your own health decisions, Hilaire! But you were armed with knowledge – good for you! And yes, it is standard in many dental practices to do a fluoride rinse or “paint” the teeth with fluoride.

  16. Alison

    I tried to leave this message a couple of days ago, but it didn’t show. I am wondering if True Osteo is the new name for AlgaeCal, because when I first started following this website, you recommended AlgaeCal. I bought it but then it got too expensive to import into Australia, so I found a plant sourced Calcium available in Australia. It is Green Nutritionals Green Calcium. Cheapest in Oz I have found is @
    However I have now learned that is does not have K2, so I have now ordered K2Mk7 to take with it. I am due to have a dexa scan next month, so will be interesting to see the results after following your plan. I love receiving the weekend exercises.

  17. bonita gteenbaum

    I have kidney stones and was told to get my calcium from food and not take supplements What should I be eating and how much of each daily? Thanks

  18. bonita gteenbaum

    I have kidney stones and was told to get my calcium from food and not take supplements What should I be eating and how much of each daily? Thankd

  19. Linda

    I know this is off topic but I didnt know where to write this. I was just looking on the National Osteoporosis Society site where everyone was discussing all their breaks and pain and disability. I have a -3 in the spine and I am so afraid of starting this life style. Can anyone encourage me please. i am following the diet and doing some exercise and taking supplements but the Endo says it wont help. So Scared

    • EsterH

      Hi, Linda. I believe you can have good results if you remain committed over the long term to a lifestyle dedicated to improving your overall health. Read as much as you can on this site and others similar to it regarding a bone-friendly diet and avoiding harmful prescription drugs.

      If you’re looking for answers to your questions, remember that you can use the search or query feature at the top of this page or any website you’re visiting to find answers. I believe you’re on track to taking charge of your health! Don’t give up, keep searching, and stay informed!

  20. Ken Brix

    This supplement, TRUEOSTEO, has a very bad calcium/magnesium ratio — with 360 mg. of calcium, to 32 mg. of magnesium. The ideal ratio would be about 1 to 1.

  21. Marlene Villar

    Good evening Vivian,
    Thank you very much for sharing an excellent info. on
    different topics. I slowly follow your New Expanded Edition of your book: SAVEOURBONESPROGRAM.
    I purchased from Canada my certified organic AlgaeCal
    plant calcium. I find it easy to swallow and non-constipating.
    Have a wonderful evening and take care always.

  22. Patricia

    Hi there! I want to know how you choose to answer questions, since I am new to this. When will you answer those you didn’t on this page, today July 24th. When will you answer them and mine?? I believe I do want to join your program to improve my overall bone health as I do have mild to med Osteopenia as of last yr’s scans done on my legs. I want to know why you recommend distilled water so much?? Doesn’t this draw/steal any minerals and/or vitamins from the foods we eat or drink when drinking distilled water at about the same time and, hence, flush it out of our body. This water is so deprived(in the negative) of any energy that it can do more harm than good, I believe. Also, plz tell me why you are OK with the added not good ingredients like, especially, Mg Stereate? As well as silicon and the other “fillers” in the OsteoTrue you recommend? These do Not add to its bioavailability, they lessen it, no? Looking forward to your answers!

    • EsterH

      Hi, Patricia. Please remember this is a comment section made available to visitors of this site who want to post a comment(s). You can search the articles for a particular topic you are interested in or have questions about by clicking on the small magnifying glass icon at the top of this page and typing in a key word such as, “distilled water,” “TrueOsteo,” etc. Best regards in your search for great health!

  23. She

    I ordered TrueOsteo and shortly after taking the first dose i felt sick and within a few hours I was violently sick not realising it was TrueOsteo I took the seconded dose the next day with exactly the same results so left it for a few days before trying them again and yes you guessed it…..Sick!!
    Needless to say they went down the sink – complete waste of money

    • Lisa

      Were you not able to get your money back?? It supposedly has a money-back guarantee. I tried calling the 800 number to ask questions and no one answers after many rings. Hmm….

      • Customer Support

        Lisa, simply send us an e-mail at Customer Support with “refund” in the subject line, and we’ll take care of you right away! You can reach us by clicking on the smiley face icon at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

    • Suzy

      I also had a reaction to TrueOsteo — it gave me *severe* constipation. Another SaveOurBones member said it gave her severe diarrhea. I guess it affects different people differently. Mine also got thrown away. Very disappointing.

  24. len

    I have read recently that calcium supplements can cause prostate cancer.
    What is your opinion?

  25. James Casey

    My wife and I are using sugar in our coffee instead of artificial sweetner. Today’s message pretty well pans sugar and recommends stevia. I recently read that stevia is very detrimental to those with dimensia – please comment.

    Thank you!

  26. Em Dickens

    from today’s (7 24 14) Save Our Bones entry.
    Some source (didn’t keep the source handy, but it’s one that I consider to be reliable) suggested that the fluoride intake from green tea (the best brands – I use Madura Teas from Australia) is essentially nullified by a bit of milk in each cupful. (The Madura rep told me that they don’t test for fluoride, which occurs in the soil.)

    Re cadmium. I cannot find the source. BUT this source (which I hope you or one of your researchers can locate for me and others!) indicates that using a homeopathic for about two years – a “test” with around 200 miners in the UK – substantially reduced their very high Cd (in the cells, as I recall). My Cd level is quite high, and (other sources) state that chelation isn’t effective for Cd lowering, so I’m especially interested in this homeopathic study. (As I recall, it wasn’t any controlled study. BUT it worked!!)

  27. Lisa

    I have had chronic tennis elbow for over six months. I am trying to avoid a cortisone shot, but that is what my doc recommends. Do you know how long it stays in your system? I’m assuming it affects pH balance, right?

    • Em

      Check out “prolozone”. I think there’s a very good chance it’ll help your situation. (Unfortunately, most plans do not pay for this injection therapy, but they do pay for the office visits. Medical politics. My guess is that there’s over 1,000 MDs, and DOs in the US that are well-trained in the procedure.)

      • Lisa

        Thanks for this suggestion. I researched it and found a doctor in my area. My insurance won’t even cover the office visit, but the doctor gives a discount when this occurs. I have an appointment for tomorrow and I look forward to some relief! Thanks again!

  28. Jorge M Vascones

    Is true that brocoli an d other cruciferus interfir with iodine damaging tyroid and bones

  29. claudio

    Hi Vivian
    What is your opinion on peppermint tea brewed with mineral water?

  30. Deborah

    I’ve been reading about the effectiveness of food grade diatomaceous earth as an excellent way to build calcium and prevent/treat osteoporosis. What’s your opinion about this?


    The Vitamin K2, Ashawagandha and Cilantro in True Osteo, are not recommended when taking Coumadin.
    Is thee other alternative?
    Thank you

  32. Carla riffel

    I drink reverse osmosis water. Is RO water free of fluoride and cadmium?
    Thanks for all your great info and help.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Carla,
      Yes, reverse osmosis water is free of fluoride and cadmium. 🙂

      • Ken Brix

        “Yes, reverse osmosis water is free of fluoride and cadmium. 🙂
        Cancel reply ”

        But it’s also devoid of many minerals you need.

  33. Ella

    Unable to submit my order after my bank details were given. !

    • Customer Support

      I am sorry to hear you had trouble, Ella! You might want to contact Nature City about your order, since TrueOsteo is not sold or shipped by Save Our Bones. 🙂 Here is the link for queries:

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