Answers For YOUR Health

      Using Mother Nature's Gifts
Common Sense and Modern Medicine

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Calcium Best from Supplement or Whole Food?

There are probably a lot of facts about Calcium that you do not know. Those facts are what I want to talk about here.

Calcium may be considered by most people to be the most important mineral you ingest. Everyone knows that you need calcium for strong bones and teeth. More people are becoming aware that calcium is important to a regular heartbeat and that it lowers cholesterol levels and contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. 

Did you know that calcium is necessary for muscle growth and helps prevent muscle cramps?

Calcium helps activate the enzyme lipase which breaks down fats.

Calcium helps to keep skin healthy.

A calcium deficiency can allow lead to be stored in teeth and bones. Calcium helps to stop the absorption of toxic lead.

Calcium supplements are most effective when taken in small doses through out the day and at bedtime. That bed time calcium will help you get a good night's sleep.


Sources of Calcium

  • Milk and dairy foods
  • salmon,
  • sardines,
  • seafood, and
  • green leafy vegetables
  • almonds,
  • asparagus,
  • brewer's yeast,
  • broccoli,
  • buttermilk,
  • cabbage,
  • carob,
  • cheese,
  • collards,
  • dandelion greens,
  • dulse,
  • figs,
  • filberts,
  • goat's milk,
  • kale,
  • kelp,
  • mustard greens,
  • oats,
  • prunes,
  • sesame seeds,
  • soybeans,
  • tofu,
  • turnip greens,
  • watercress,
  • whey, and
  • yogurt.

Herbal Sources of Calcium

  • alfalfa,
  • burdock root,
  • cayenne,
  • chamomile,
  • chickweed,
  • chicory,
  • dandelion,
  • eyebright,
  • fennel seed,
  • fenugreek,
  • flaxseed,
  • hops,
  • horsetail,
  • kelp,
  • lemongrass,
  • mullein,
  • nettle,
  • oat straw,
  • paprika,
  • parsley,
  • peppermint,
  • plantain,
  • raspberry leaves,
  • red clover,
  • rose hips,
  • shepherd's purse,
  • violet leaves,
  • yarrow and
  • yellow dock.

Calcium cannot stand alone.

If you are deficient in Boron, you will most likely be deficient in Calcium. The Boron is necessary for the metabolism of the Calcium.

If you do not get enough of the amino acid lysine, you will have insufficient absorption of Calcium.

Another biggy that affects the calcium absorption is vitamin D or good old sunshine.

On the other hand too much zinc can interfere with calcium absorption. And phosphorus just flushes the calcium out of the body in your urine.

The biggest source of phosphorus and the flushing effect is sodas. High on the list of foods that flush calcium are excessive protein, fats, sugar and refined grains.

Some Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

  • aching joints
  • brittle nails
  • eczema
  • elevated cholesterol
  • heart palpitations
  • high blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • muscle cramps
  • nervousness
  • numbness in arms and or legs
  • pasty complexion
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • rickets
  • tooth decay

 Precautions on Calcium Supplements

Calcium can interfere with the effects of verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan) a calcium channel blocker sometimes prescribed for heart problems and high blood pressure.

Calcium supplements should not be taken by anyone with a history of kidney stones or kidney disease.

Always check with your health care provider before adding any supplements to your diet. If you are taking any prescriptions this is an absolute must as any herb or supplement can interfere with your prescription.

I find it interesting that excessive consumption of spinach can interfere with the calcium absorption by binding with calcium in the intestines and producing insoluble salts that cannot be absorbed.

As with all supplements, taking a fiber supplement inhibits the absorption because of the speed at which food is moved through the intestines. Always take your fiber supplements alone and at least an hour before your other supplements.

Had a doctor at one time tell my husband to take Shark Cartilage. He felt it was the best calcium supplement around and in deed took it himself. Shark Cartilage is generally expensive compared to other calcium supplement.

Calcium Best as Supplement or Whole Food? You guessed it. Always best when taken as a whole food that adds multiple benefits to your health. But if you just won't or can't eat right then a supplement is the answer.

© Answers For Your Health

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