Calcium and Osteoporosis

Earlier this year we got the news that Julie’s cancer had spread to her back, two golf ball size tumours had sprung up and one appeared in her liver. We are dealing with that as a separate issue, and all is going well so far.

Anyway, the knee jerk reaction to this was to book a cruise around the Mediterranean..!! Unfortunately, this is not available on the National Health, but we went private.

In order to increase my stress levels we also decided to take along my mother “I’m 82 you know” and her mate Sheila who is NOT 82 but much younger (mid 70’s I think!)

I have known Sheila for several years but never really had a proper conversation with her due to the fact that there was always something going on and the opportunity never really presented itself.

Midway through the cruise one lunch time my mother decided to have a “refreshing” Tequila Sunrise. She liked it so much that she had three more in quick succession. Needless to say she decided to have an afternoon nap and Julie took mother to retire to the cabin.

This gave Sheila and I a couple of hours to chit chat about nothing in particular. During the course of our quiet time she told me that a few years ago she had had a triple heart by pass. Of which I had no idea. Furthermore, she was currently being treated for osteoporosis. A condition which is not uncommon amongst women of a certain age.

She then told me that her Doctor was prescribing Calcium Supplements to strengthen her bones and to counteract the osteoporosis.

She volunteered this information because she knew that I was interested in bone health because of the history of cancer in Julie’s spine and that we were always looking into ways of improving her situation.

As it turned out this could be a conversation that would inadvertently help Sheila’s health more than Julie’s.

Over the last five years I have read up on the work, ideas and practical application of Pioneering Medics who have proposed radical solutions to cancer and disease in general in order to help Julie. Just a few, for example, below :

  • Dr Joanna Budwig – Diet Protocol for Cancer
  • Gerson Therapy – Diet Protocol for Cancer
  • Robert Young – The pH Diet
  • Dr Otto Warberg – Oxygen and Cancer
  • Dr Nicholas Gonzalez – Pancreatic Enzymes Treatment
  • Dr John Beard – The Enzyme treatment of Cancer
  • Linus Pauling – The effects of Vitamin C

But the one that sprung to mind when talking to Sheila was the recent work of Thomas Levy who had previously focused on Vitamin C, as had Linus Pauling, but more recently had concentrated on the effects of Calcium on the body and our bones, culminating in his recent publication in 2013 “Death by Calcium”.

Obviously, I have an interest in this work because of the relationship between cancer, calcium and bone strength. Sheila, equally, has an interest in the same relationship between Calcium and bone strength because of her osteoporosis.

In my opinion, all of the research published by Thomas Levy is quite remarkable. In his latest book he shows that while calcium is essential for health, you only need a certain amount. If you take more than that amount it is deposited in places where it can be harmful. Calcium deposits in the arteries, for example, are not a good thing and can result in arteriosclerosis. So, in Sheila’s case where she has already had a triple by pass this was alarming news.

Furthermore, ironically, excess calcium is one of the culprits in osteoporosis asserts Dr Levy. He effectively blows the whistle on the effects of excess calcium from dairy foods and calcium supplements.

As a cardiologist and one of the world’s leading experts on Vitamin C, he states that calcium is essential to our health, but outside of our bones, we only need a small amount. If we get beyond the small amount needed, excess calcium starts to deposit in our tissues and in our cells and this is how cells become malignant.

Calcium has long been regarded as something that is good for you, without question, and in the last five years his work and new studies have demonstrated that it is not as good for you as we have been led to believe.

We have been taught all our lives to drink milk and associate it with good health. His view is that we have been duped by the milk marketeers, in the same way that big pharmaceutical companies dupe the general public as to the benefit of their products and research methodology.

Always for the same reason MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

His advice is to enjoy a little cheese, sour cream, yoghurt, milk etc, but sparingly.

However, do NOT supplement with calcium.

A summary of his hard-line reasoning for this is that:

  • Regular excess dairy consumption and calcium supplements promote chronic degenerative disease
  • Excess calcium promotes heart disease
  • You are 30% more likely to have a heart attack and 20% more likely to have a stroke if you take an extra 500mg of calcium supplements per day.
  • 1/3 of the US population over 45 have arterial calcification.
  • Osteoporosis is a lack of calcium in the bones, it does not mean that there is a lack of calcium in the body or diet. Osteoporosis is a local scurvy of the bone, Vitamin C deficient, and not a general lack of calcium.
  • Virtually all osteoporosis patients have a magnesium deficiency.
  • Excess calcium increases oxidative stress on the body and can promote the development and spread of cancer.

Conversely he recommends:

  • Vitamin C – lowers mortality from all causes and is a classic antioxidant.
  • Magnesium – Nature’s calcium blocker dissolves calcium deposits.
  • Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin K2 – inhibits and reverses abnormal calcification and works with Vitamin D3

Sheila and I talked about all this in the time it took my mother “I’m 82 you know” to absorb four lunchtime tequila sunrises.

We both appreciated that her Doctor’s diagnosis of Calcium Supplements was misguided at best because:

  • She was probably getting enough calcium from her diet anyway.
  • The excess calcium, from the supplements, would float around and potentially calcify her arteries. Bearing in mind her triple bypass, this was not good news.
  • Any additional calcium is potentially dangerous without the balancing effects of magnesium.
  • Her Doctor had not mentioned the benefits of Vitamin D which helps to regulate calcium absorption and metabolism together with Vitamin K2 which works synergistically with Vitamin D.

Sheila wrote her notes about what she had to do when she got back home on the back of our crossword.

We then sat back enjoyed the sunshine awaiting mothers return.

Maybe the odd cruise should be on the NHS as you never know. They could be life savers.

End of Message.