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

Savers already know that avoiding tap water is important both for bone health and overall health, 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 absorbs 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 naturally-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 Hydration Protocol, the free bonus 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 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. Don't drink more than one or two cups of green or black tea a day, as the leaves contain fluoride. If you want to drink more than that, replace them with herbal teas.
  2. Use fluoride-free toothpaste (ever look at the warning on fluoride toothpaste? It says not to ingest!).
  3. Drink distilled or reverse osmosis 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.Use stainless steel cookware instead.

4. Sugar

Refined, white sugar is found in a large number of processed 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 or monk fruit extract or raw honey (in moderation) 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 organic calcium derived from algae, and it contains other bone-healthy ingredients such as:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Silicon
  • Manganese
  • Boron
  • Ashwagandha herb (reduces bone-destroying stress)

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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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Ulrike

    Hi Vivian,
    What do you think about the positive results of studies that were conducted on postmenopausal women who reversed their osteoporosis within a relatively short time simply by adding a few plums or prunes to their daily diet.? Google it or go to

  2. Diane Martinson

    I bought some True Osteo and found it seemed to affect my sleep. With some research it appears K2 7 can have that affect in some people. I think it was the amount of 180 because I was taking 90 mcg three times a week without any problems so I’ll try to figure out what amount works on a daily basis as I figure you should be taking it daily. I also take a low dose of K2 4 daily without any problem.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Diane, keep tweaking the dosage until you find what works for you 🙂

  3. Barbara Blum

    I have a question. I just found out I have breast cancer and after I have it removed I will have to take hormones for 5 years, which weaken bones. They suggest I take medication by infusion. I’ve stayed away from medication till now. Can you advise me what to do?

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Dear Barbara,

      We’re sorry about your diagnosis, but are happy to help you out and answer your question. Please check your email inbox within the next 24-48 for our response.

      In excellent health,
      Customer Support

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    • Mimi

      Hi Linda. I believe we were all shocked and scared when told the news that we had Osteoporosis. I myself was stunned. I thought I’d have to give up my work as it’s physical and was so afraid of breaks. My spine was -3 also, and hips -2.7. Do your best, walk and do any exercise you enjoy and eat lots of good food(nutrients) and take supplements and you can reverse the numbers. I did. It’s a slow process. My second dxa scan showed no improvement, even a little worse. BUT after 4 years, my 3 dxa showed a 12% improvement in spine! That’s a better return than w the drugs! I actually can’t wait til my next one. My supplements are. Raw Calcium(4 pills daily)
      D3, Magnesium (3 pills daily), vit C(2 a day), zinc, selenium, kelp. ❤️Mimi

    • 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!

  8. 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.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Marlene!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

        • Linda Yazell

          I did the whole Prolo thing for months trying to get relief from frozen shoulder. It was extremely painful for days afterward. I finally found a chiropractor who did a combination of Active Release Technique and Graston Technique. The shoulders were both unlocked and free of pain in a few weeks. I moved away from Santa Cruz where that doc practiced and found a doc in Fremont (CA) who practices Graston, and continue to see her when I reinjure a shoulder, elbow, knee or whatever. The pain is always gone in a week or two. Also, much less expensive than Prolo.

  13. 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.

  14. 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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