All Posts tagged Calcium

Why is it common for active women to have vitamin deficiencies?

Being active does not mean one is eating well. Being active does not preclude other negative lifestyle factors such as adequate rest or stress reduction. Vitamin insufficiency is common. Much is patient specific. Calcium intake data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that the mean dietary calcium intake among adults in the U.S. is 800 mg/day, well below the recommended intake for adults of 1,000 to 1,200 mg/day.

“…All postmenopausal women can benefit from non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce the risk of fracture, including a balanced diet with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, measures to prevent falls or to minimize their impact, smoking cessation, and moderation of alcohol intake…” Delaney MF. Strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis during early postmenopause. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;194(2 Suppl):S12-23.

“…Maintaining adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. Optimal calcium intake is especially relevant during adolescence, when most bone mineral accretion occurs. Because of the influence of the family’s diet on the diet of children and adolescents, adequate calcium intake by all members of the family is important…” Greer FR, et al. Optimizing bone health and calcium intakes of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics 2006;117(2):578-85.


Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, and other osteoporosis drugs

The more we find out about this drug, the worse it gets.  If you are on these meds I hope you’ll do your research and consider natural alternatives like Ostera from Metagenics. Using a bisphosphonate drug–especially when taken for several years increases your risk of esophageal cancer. 

Have you ever wondered about those specific instructions that tell bisphosphonate users to drink a full glass of water and not lie down for 30 minutes after taking the drug?  If the drug isn’t swallowed properly, it can irritate the esophagus. If that happens too often, it can cause esophagitis–inflammation of the esophagus. 

A few years ago, Danish researchers reviewed more than 11,000 medical records and found that patients with esophagitis were significantly more likely to develop esophageal cancer.

Recognizing the importance of this potential link, a team of UK researchers examined medical records for more than 78,000 patients. As reported this past September in the British Medical Journal, the UK team found that extended bisphosphonate use (about five years) nearly DOUBLED the risk of esophageal cancer.

This is pretty horrifying when you consider that more than 20 million people have used Fosamax since it was introduced in the 90s. And that’s just one brand of this very popular class of drugs.

I recommend Ostera and Cal-Apatite. These can be ordered @


Bone nutrition (osteoporosis)

I get asked alot about osteoporosis prevention. Clients love to show me there bone density test results. Most people seem to think taking calium by itself is enough to prevent osteoporosis.   Heres what you need to know for bone support – strong bones require more than calcium. Calcium without magnesium doesn’t occur in a natural human diet, so calcium shouldn’t be introduced to the body by itself. For most people to have complete bone nutrition, I recommend calcium, magesium, phosphorus, and vitamin D3.  Some people may need manganese, boron, silica, strontium, digestive enzymes, and often additional betaine hydrochloride, and ALWAYS vitamin D (and high doses of that last one if a lot of calcium is swallowed). 

Calcium alone has been found in several experiments to be improperly laid down in the body, even affecting arterial walls causing the arteries to get smaller (yikes!). 

DON’T take  antacids and think you are getting your calcium. The form of calcium in antacids is an inferior form and actually lowers the acid level (pH) in the stomach, which is necessary for digestion of many nutrients and proteins. 

In my opinion the best supplement for bone nutrition is Cal Apatite with Magnesium by Metagenics. If you already have osteopenia (bone loss) or osteoporosis then you need  Ostera by Metagenics. to order


Vitamin D vs Calcium Intake

This patient was telling me that she drinks a glass of milk every day and that the calcium in her milk was enough to help her prevent osteoporosis. I explained that I believe vitamin D is more important in preventing osteoporosis than calcium. A vitamin D deficiency trumps a calcium deficiency. The truth is that very few clients demonstrate a calcium deficiency.  American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world, and they still have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world. And eating even more dairy products and calcium supplements is not going to change that fact.

Vitamin D levels need to be at least 50-60. This is more effective than taking calcium for preventing osteoporotic fractures.

Eating dairy does not defend against osteoporosis, weak bones, or fractures. Eat lots of green vegetables and you’ll get calcium from that. I suggest fatty fish – such as wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel are good source of vitamin D. I recommend Iso D3 from Metagenics. They make gel capsules that contain either 2000 IU or 5000 IU.


Osteoporosis Supplements – Ostera

Metagenics has a product called Ostera, a fully absorbable supplement, for treatment of postmenopausal women who have a high risk for osteoporotic fractures, including those with a history of fracture or multiple risk factors for fracture, or those who have failed or are intolerant to other osteoporosis therapy.

Ostera supports bone health. I highly recommend this natural product over injections or medications with uncertain side effects.

Proper nutrition and exercise reduces the incidence of vertebral, nonvertebral, and hip fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Common side effects of prescribed drugs for Osteoporosis include back pain, pain in the extremities, musculoskeletal pain, high cholesterol levels, and urinary bladder infections. ostera does not have these side effects.

Ostera is manufactured by Metagenics. Please click on the link to Metagenics.