Hypocalcemia is a condition where the patient is deficient in Calcium. While this condition is more prevalent in the elderly it can be seen in all ages. At least 200k persons per year are diagnosed with Hypocalcemia but millions more go undiagnosed as the symptoms may not be connected without a blood test. There is perhaps no element more misunderstood and misused as Calcium. Calcium is the building block of the body structure, not only the bones and ligaments but the veins, arteries, heart, teeth, and connective tissues. It is a necessary element throughout the body and serves a purpose in the blood, lymph and gut. However, “excess Calcium” (Hypercalcemia) is linked to Arteriosclerosis(hardening of the arteries), Sceleroma, kidney stones, and many other health issues. Either insufficient or excess Calcium causes premature aging. So how do we keep a healthy balance? In this article, we will discuss the risks, the causes, the solution and everything in between.
Calcium can be rapidly used up by an individual who has been fighting an illness, flu or recently been through a fever. Also, organic Calcium can be burned out by inorganic Calcium. I will elaborate on Inorganic Calcium found in supplements below.
Muscle cramping in back and legs, tingling in the lips, fingers, and toes. Muscles may feel achy or restless. Patients may feel confused, depressed, anxious and forgetful. May notice dry or scaly skin, brittle nails, and hair.
Diseases such as Rickets(Osteomalacia) and Congenital Hypothyroidism often have a link to Calcium deficiency, the latter being in the mother.
Calcium deficiency is a big problem. Not only does it increase bone fracture, arthritis, osteoporosis and all risk from fall but it actually increases your risk for cancer and decreases your body’s ability to fight cancer effectively.1)Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial – In fact, one paper describes in great depth the dependency of the body on Calcium to actually kill cancer cells. Researchers found “Several steps during the killing of cancer cells by CTL and NK cells are Ca2 + dependent”2)Calcium, cancer and killing: The role of calcium in killing cancer cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells
It has been wrongly assumed by some that because between 5-30% of patients with cancer have Hypercalcemia(high levels of calcium in the blood), that high levels of Calcium cause cancer. But as we study the mechanism of Calcium in the body we understand more clearly that the high level of Calcium in Cancer patients is a response to the Cancer, not the cause of it. Dietary Calcium actually will bind to toxins in the gut and neutralize their power. Study after study finds a deficiency in Calcium significantly increases cancer risk and mortality.
Calcium has wrongly and quite unfairly attributed with Kidney stones but Calcium does not cause Kidney stones, it actually prevents them… that is dietary Calcium. Please scroll down to the Treatment section for the research on Calcium supplements vs. dietary Calcium. In a study of 45,619 men, ages 40-75 who had no history of kidney stones Dietary Calcium was analyzed as to its effect. The results, as stated by the researchers, “dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with the risk of kidney stones”3)A Prospective Study of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutrients and the Risk of Symptomatic Kidney Stones
Their conclusion was “a high dietary calcium intake decreases the risk of symptomatic kidney stones” – Calcium from food does NOT cause Kidney stones. But what about Calcium Supplements? The same study referenced above found “Calcium supplements did not have the apparent protective effect of dietary calcium” – So Calcium in whole foods has a protective effect against Kidney stones but so far Calcium supplements apparently do not. And in fact, they can increase the risk of kidney stones. 91,731 women between the ages of 34-59 and who also had no history of Kidney stones were analyzed with a 12-year follow-up. This accumulates to almost 1 million person-years. During this 12-year period, 864 cases of kidney stones were documented. And again, researches found that “intake of dietary calcium was inversely associated with risk for kidney stones”, but the next discovery is even more important: “intake of supplemental calcium was positively associated with risk.”4)Comparison of Dietary Calcium with Supplemental Calcium and Other Nutrients as Factors Affecting the Risk for Kidney Stones in Women
In the treatment section of this page, we discuss the other health dangers of Calcium supplements. Study after study finds that Calcium supplements pose a significant risk for many health problems, some of which are the exact reasons for being used. We have become indoctrinated into believing that vitamin supplements are the same as vitamins/minerals in food and they are not. The difference between how the body responds to supplemental Calcium vs organic whole food Calcium is huge.
But what about Spinach…
Doctors will often tell patients prone to Kidney stones to avoid Spinach either because it is high in Calcium or because it is high in Oxalic acid. Both of these points are true. However again, Doctors act as if Oxalic acid in a supplement or inorganic form outside of the whole food acts the same in the body as Oxalic acid organically as it is found in that whole food. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association looked at the effect of Dietary Oxalate/Calcium and the risk of forming Kidney stones. And this is what they discovered:
“a low-calcium diet (150 mg/day) increased urinary oxalate excretion… This was confirmed by Marshall who reported that a decrease in daily calcium intake from 1,000 to 250 mg caused an increase of 114 [pmol oxalate per day in stone-forming patients. Nakada et al found that increasing dietary calcium from 500 to 900 mg/day to 900 to 1,100 mg decreased urinary oxalate excretion in stone-forming individuals with fasting and absorptive types of hypercalciuria, but not in those with normocalciuria.
Higher dietary calcium intakes may be protective against the development of kidney stones. In a prospective study of 51,529 male health professionals, dietary calcium intakes of greater than 605 mg/day were associated with significantly reduced risk of developing a symptomatic kidney stone. Only high calcium foods, not supplements, were protective.”5)Effect of dietary oxalate and calcium on urinary oxalate and risk of formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones
Spinach is high in Oxalate but it is also high in Calcium. Dietary whole food and plant sources of Calcium and Oxalate do not create Kidney stones, Calcium supplements, meat and drugs create Kidney stones. In every study we analyzed Dietary calcium (even sources high in Oxalate such as Spinach) decreased the risk of Kidney stones and had a protective effect. We need to apply logic here. Oxalate consumption is linked to increased risk of Kidney stones as it is believed to bind to and neutralize Calcium… however plant foods high in Oxalate do not have any connection to a higher risk of Kidney stones and in fact appear to prevent them. So we must conclude the present understanding of Oxalate is either flawed or in plant foods does not apply.
The condition is usually diagnosed through a blood test.
Hypocalcemia can be caused by a number of factors. A low level of magnesium (Hypomagnesemia) which reduces the activity of the parathyroid hormone and a low level of Vitamin D both of which have a negative impact on the bones and Calcium in the body. For a person to have healthy bones and tissue proper levels of Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D must be maintained. It must be noted that if a person is deficient in Magnesium their body will not readily absorb oral supplementation. We highly recommend the use of topical Magnesium oil for Magnesium deficiencies and supplementation as it is easily absorbed, easily used by the body and almost impossible to overdose on. Calcium also needs Vitamin C so consuming Citrus is highly recommended if you are prone to Calcium deficiency. Do NOT take Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) supplements.
Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency leads to Kidney disorder and pancreatitis. It is a spiral, if you are deficient in Calcium then your body does not easily assimilate and use Vitamin D. If you are deficient in Vitamin D your body doesn’t properly deal with Calcium and if you are deficient in Magnesium your body will often dump Calcium and Vitamin D because they all work in synergy.
Drugs that cause Hypocalcemia
Anticonvulsants (used in the treatment of epileptic seizures), such as Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Lamotrigine,
Antibiotics such as Rifampin, Plicamycin (used in the treatment of testicular cancer)
Bisphosphonates (drugs prescribed to “prevent bone loss”. These are EXTREMELY DAMAGING TO THE BONES.) such as Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate,
HyperCalcemia Drugs Zoledronic acid (often prescribed to treat high blood calcium levels. This is why drugs are so dangerous, they cause huge swings and more health issues). Calcitonin (is a natural hormone that occurs in the thyroid gland and NATURALLY regulates Calcium levels. Big pharma made a synthetic version marketed as Calcitonin which causes severe side effects. What a pile of junk!
Malarial meds Chloroquine – (Calcium and Vitamin C are necessary elements in the fight against Malaria.)
Steroids Corticosteroids (Cortisone) – causes brittle bones because it destroys Calcium and Vitamin D. In fact in previous editions of the Merck manual this is recognized and the Doctor is given no instruction to do anything until the patient complains of back pain or fracture. They know Cortisone causes these conditions but they do not tell the patients. Instead of taking Cortisone, try Turmeric with black pepper. It strengthens bones and reduces inflammation as effectively as drugs without the side effects.
To treat Calcium deficiency we first must start by eliminating all Calcium supplements (besides capsules of whole herbs). Then we must add whole foods, herbs, and plants that contain Calcium. But how do I know how much to take? What if I take too much? Unlike drugs which are poison and very sensitive to dosage, the body can easily use what it needs from an herb and discard the rest effortlessly. The following are herbs used in an excellent formula to treat Calcium deficiency and build bones. (remember exercise is necessary to activate bone repair)
- Oak Bark (Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.)
- Marshmallow Root: (Calcium, phosphorus, potassium and very heavy in protein.)
- Mullein Herb: (Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.)
- Wormwood: (Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, chlorine and magnesium.)
- Lobelia: (Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, lobetic acids and many alkaloids.)
- Scullcap: (Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chlorine, magnesium and iron.)
- Comfrey Root: (Protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and allantoin.)
- Black Walnut Bark: (Sulphur, iodine, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, iron, manganese and magnesium.)
- Gravel root: (Zinc, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, chlorine, sodium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.)
These herbs can be bought individually and mixed to make a tea or placed in capsules. This formula is beneficial in all cases of bones, tissue, arthritis, polio, fractures, torn cartilage, and even post workout. It provides natural organic vitamins and minerals. If you want to start small you can add parsley tea or capsule as it is high in Calcium. If however, you suffer from any of the previously mentioned you should use the whole formula.
NOTE: This formula can no longer be bought as listed because it contains Comfrey which the corrupt FDA claims is a liver toxin. It only becomes a liver toxin when taken with drugs such as antipyretics and has fewer cases of toxicity than watermelon. Or if you feed 100 times the weight of a rat in Comfrey for 2 years miraculously it causes problems. The real reason it is banned is that it is such a potent cell proliferate it can heal and rebuild almost any part of the human anatomy if used correctly. Tylenol and Aspirin are well-known Liver toxins and hundreds of papers link them clearly but they are still on the market. So don’t tell me the FDA cares so much it found the 3 isolated cases of presumed Comfrey toxicity and decided to ban it because they care. I’ll call BS!
The modern medical treatment is generally to recommend Calcium and at times Vitamin D supplementation. There is a problem though. Research is conflicting on supplementation so we have to dig a little deeper. Some studies show benefit from Calcium for Cancer, bones, overall health and strength and then there are reports that analyze large groups and find no correlation between Calcium supplementation and bone health6)Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials
So who is right and who is wrong? Well, it is important that we read the actual details instead of the headline. After pouring over the studies that showed no benefit from Calcium supplementation (and some which even indicated increased risk) there was a common theme. ALL of the studies that showed no benefit used an unnatural source of Calcium. Every single study that concluded there was no benefit to Calcium supplementation used either Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Citrate, Calcium Gluconate, Calcium Phosphate or milk/dairy products. NOT ONE source of dietary Calcium was shown to cause ANY problems. In fact, the direct opposite was found… we will discuss that momentarily.
Calcium Supplements Increase Risk of Heart Attacks
First of all Calcium Carbonate primarily comes from rocks/limestone. It does contain one of the highest levels of elemental Calcium at about 35-40% but is EXTREMELY low bioavailability to the body, and requires your stomach to produce extra acid to absorb it. In a randomized controlled trial in Australia over 600 elderly “frail” individuals were assigned (randomly) either to a control and sunshine or sunshine + Calcium Carbonate group. Follow-up until almost 3 years later provided insight that short-term studies do not. Total mortality was 47% higher and cardiovascular mortality was 76% higher in the Calcium Carbonate supplementation group versus the sunlight only class.7)Calcium supplements: bad for the heart?
This study presents a serious concern and one we should not take lightly. In response to this serious safety concern another series of studies came out. One of which was the Kuopio Osteoporosis Study. 10,555 postmenopausal women were followed for 7 years. At the conclusion of this study the researchers stated “This 7 years population-based follow-up study suggests that the calcium supplements are associated with increased risk of CHD in middle-aged women, especially after menopause. Our findings agree with the results from the trial by Bolland et al.”8)Use of calcium supplements and the risk of coronary heart disease in 52–62-year-old women: The Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention Study – much speculation has been made as to why Calcium supplements have a possible negative effect on vascular events. We do know that Calcium supplements acutely elevate serum calcium levels(may even look fine on blood tests), thereby possibly accelerating calcification on the vascular wall. And Vascular Calcification is predictive of vascular events. But the question we want to ask, “is a dietary source of Calcium also suspect?”
In a 2012 issue of Heart, British Medical Journal, data was analyzed from the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort and identified “no adverse effects associated with dietary calcium intake, but a near doubling of risk of myocardial infarction in calcium supplement users”9)Calcium supplements: bad for the heart?10)Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study(EPIC-Heidelberg) – the results are statistically significant and the suggestion by researchers is that whether or not dietary Calcium infers cardiac benefit they are preferable to supplements which damage the heart.
One comment I would like to highlight from the Heart Journal is this statement “An interesting feature to emerge from the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort is that the adverse effects of calcium supplements on cardiovascular risk are not mirrored in an adverse effect of dietary calcium intake… The evidence is also becoming steadily stronger that it is not safe, nor is it particularly effective(to use Calcium supplements).” – What we are discovering is that Calcium in its natural whole food form is beneficial and causes NO HARM but Calcium supplements that do not come from whole food increase Cardio risk and MORTALITY!
Other Calcium Sources
Calcium Gluconate is used as an intravenous treatment of Calcium deficiencies, often in children. It is not generally used in supplementation because it has extremely low levels of actual Calcium. To our knowledge and based on scouring hundreds of papers the bio-availability of this source has never actually been proven.
Calcium Citrate is acidic so it requires less production of natural stomach acid to digest which does increase its absorption over Calcium Carbonate. It contains only about 20% elemental calcium and is still EXTREMELY low bio-available which requires high dosages, which often cause serious health risks, specifically to the heart and kidneys.
Calcium Phosphate as cited in most supplements is inorganic. We should never use inorganic minerals in supplementation as it forces our body to work harder, pose serious health risks and are connected to kidney stones and calcification. We aren’t designed to lick rocks for nutrition. Calcium Hydrogen Phosphate is found in Milk. We will discuss Dairy sources of Calcium in a moment.
Oyster Shell Calcium is mistakenly cited as a “natural” source however when was the last time you had a bowl of Oyster SHELL soup? Regardless of whether it is a more easily absorbed source, safety concerns arise at the health risk posed by significant lead contamination.11)Lead Content of Calcium Supplements
Bonemeal, clamshell and eggshell sources of Calcium all suffer from varying degrees of lead contamination. Even Algae can, however, the body can more easily and readily remove lead from plant sources.
Calcium From Dairy Pose Serious Health Risks
The dairy industry has spent billions of dollars and years of funding research to purport the idea that Dairy strengthens bones. We now know that Dairy does NOT strengthen bones but actually weakens them. What the Dairy industry will not tell you is that after drinking Milk Calcium is PULLED FROM YOUR BONES!
Let’s start by addressing the Galactose found in Milk. It is a well-known fact that a rare (however increasing) group of people are born without the ability to detoxify Galactose, this condition is known as Galactosemia. But what most people do not realize is that while most of us do have the enzymes needed to detoxify Galactose it still causes premature aging, in fact, Galactose is what researchers use to CAUSE premature aging in lab animals. It significantly shortens the lifespan, causes oxidative stress, inflammation, and brain degeneration. These symptoms occur with only 1-2 glasses of milk per day.
Got milk? Milk has often been advertised to prevent hip fractures, turns out it actually causes them. In a large 20 year study in Sweden, 1,231,818 person-years and over 100,000 persons were studied. Researches found “a positive association between milk intake and total mortality as well as fracture, especially hip fracture”12)Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies – interestingly women seem more at risk than men for all causes of death associated with milk intake. We conjecture that this higher risk may be associated with how Milk affects and interacts with female hormones. In this study Milk consumption was associated with higher heart disease, statistically significantly higher cancer rates as well as bone and hip fractures.
In the same study referenced above from Sweden, the effect of Milk intake on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation was examined. Milk intake had a positive association with 8-iso-PGF2α in both sexes, and with interleukin 6 in men. However, the consumption of fermented milk products such as Yogurt had a negative relationship to both oxidative stress and inflammatory markers.13)Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies This might be due to the known gut health benefits of fermented foods which may neutralize or even out the negative effects of the Dairy. While this study did not notice as high of incidence of fracture in men, the research indicates men have a higher mortality rate from Milk.
Organic vs. Inorganic Calcium
It is important to understand that all inorganic sources of Calcium pose a possible health risk to the human body. The only safe source of Calcium is food and herbs. Greens, leafy vegetables, many berries, and herbs contain Calcium Chloride. In the food, this is an organic Calcium, highly bio-available, easily digested and absorbed and without any of the health risks associated with Calcium supplements. Heart attack risk increases after Pneumonia and Influenza but this risk is completely prevented by organic Calcium chloride from herbs/plant foods.
Another major concern is the overuse of sugar in the diet. Refined sugar is a Calcium killer. By overeating refined sugar we counteract the natural processes of Calcium and handicap it. Dr. Bernard Jensen in his book “You Can Master Diseases” stated “White sugar has been called a leacher of Calcium” – Almost immediately upon entering the body sugar begins to bind to and neutralize Calcium, it robs cells of Calcium from cells, arteries, veins, capillaries, muscles, bones, and tissue. This is not true of natural sugar as it is found in whole food such as fruit, berries, and vegetables.
Mothers – pregnant women
Most expectant mothers are completely ignorant of their body’s increased need for organic Calcium. If the mother does not have enough Calcium for both her and the fetus, the baby gets the first choice and will deplete the mother’s stores. This is the primary reason for Varicose veins in Mothers after pregnancy. The mother will see it here or in her teeth first in most cases. The more refined sugar and processed starches (think potato chips and french fries. Potatoes as a whole food do not rob Calcium) the Mother consumes while pregnant the more quickly she will deplete her stores, the more likely she will suffer complications in birthing, adverse effects after birth and increased risk the child will be born with a susceptibility to bone issues, improperly formed teeth, etc.
Food Sources of Calcium
Nettles – Contain about 4 times as much Calcium as Kale. That is 400-500mg per cup. Is great for Tuberculosis and Asthmatics. It will clear phlegm from the lungs and bronchial tubes. The raw juice taken with honey is extremely potent and does wonders. A formula of equal parts Nettles, Comfrey, Mullein and a pinch of Lobelia has done wonders and cured many of Asthma and bronchial conditions. An ounce of herbs is steeped in a pint of boiled water (remove from heat) and taken 3-4 times a day for 6 days then take only peppermint tea for the 7th. Repeat for 7 weeks or until symptoms disappear.
Parsley – One of the highest greens source of Calcium is Parsley. Dried Parsley can be added to a tea or taken in powder or extract capsule.
Alfalfa – one of the greatest herbs ever. Nature’s multivitamin contains a wealth of nutrients including Iron, Calcium and, Phosphorus.
Oat Straw – This herb is found in many bone, teeth and hair formulas because it also is a great source of organic Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron.
Aloe Vera –
Red Raspberry – Is a particular good source for women due to its significant benefit for all female problems. Is especially good during Flu season. Take 3-6 cups of tea a day and gargle (then swallow) and sore throats and flu cannot stand.
Red Clover – Great source if you have been taking drugs as Clover is a blood cleanser.
Dark leafy greens – Your doctor may tell you to avoid Spinach due to “oxalates” but this isn’t based on research. All studies involving Spinach show a decrease in kidney stones regardless of oxalates present.
A great tea you can make to get a good vitamin and mineral mix with focus on Calcium: Take 2 parts Peppermint, 1 part Oat Straw, 1 Part Alfalfa, 1 Part Nettles, 1/2-1 Parts Parsley. Add honey after taken off heat to taste.
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