In my treatment room where I work using remedial massage I talk endlessly about calcium because it effects the functioning of the muscles.
However despite my passion on the subject sometimes I cannot get across the vital, essential importance of this nutrient that must have other nutrients alongside it.
In my book A Happier Healthier Lifestyle, which I wrote after I got myself well from CFS/ME, many references are made to calcium and it was this nutrient that I believe saved my life.
Calcium must not be taken on its own but with magnesium and zinc. Vitamin D is also required and this is best found by being formed in the fat layer in the skin by the sun or by consuming the fat of animals that have been in the sun.
While the book is written to help the reader understand how debilitated I was and the differences when I became well I have also added references to the science and peer reviewed articles of why what helped, helped.
A Happier Healthier Lifestyle Page 11
“To suggest that the combined effect of the calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement along with the omega fish oils saved my life is a dramatic statement, but that is what I think – these supplements saved my life. Within days the terrifying heart palpitations that made me feel like my heart would leap out of my chest and into my throat, that felt like my breath was being sucked out of my body were reduced. The nightly agony of leg cramps when I honestly thought my bone would break, stopped. My energy got better, my stomach, guts and digestion improved. My sleep improved. My whole body went ‘phew‘ like the relief of breathing in fresh air and said: “Thank God this girl has found some sense at last!” “
Not only did physical symptoms improve but so did mental clarity. Calcium is part of a group of minerals commonly called electrolytes. Electrolytes do what they suggest, supply an electrical charge causing interactions in and out of the cells and along the nerves. I believe that mankind is chronically short of some if not all of the electrolytes, these life-giving elements, which, along with the consumption of food additives, cause an imbalance which then lead to disease. The diseases range from depression, mental fogginess, muscle cramps, spasms, aches and pains, anxieties, poor sleep to diabetes and many others. This is my view from my own recovery and from helping others with their conditions by advising changes to their diet and adding the nutrients that are missing.
Apart from not eating the calcium containing food and water plus the other nutrients that support its function, what else causes a lack of calcium in the body? Stress. Stress depletes and if there is not enough calcium in the blood from food and water, the brain will instruct the body to leach it from the bones, muscles, gut, teeth, nails and hair because the brain seeks to keep the vital organs – brain, heart, lungs, and liver healthy first.
Water should be the first supply of calcium and minerals but today it is not. Water often has far too much calcium and not enough magnesium or very little calcium. I found during my worse phase that I could not quench my thirst with tap water alone and that I craved salt. My thirst was satisfied when I ate packets and packets of crisps as well as drinking the tap water. The mechanisms that cause us to absorb water require the electrolytes that should be found in water, hence the salty crisps helping me absorb tap water. Sodium attracts water into the cell.
Protein is also required because it provides the ‘hole’ or pore through the cell wall designed especially for water molecules alone to travel through and it is generally assumed we get enough protein from our food. Mankind needs something that used to be called first class proteins. These are protein foods that contain all of the essential amino acids that then can make other amino acids. Amino acids make up protein, the building blocks.
First class proteins are found in animal products: milk, cheese, eggs, meat including the fat and gristle. I was unable to eat milk and cheese and didn’t realise that I should have increased the amount of eggs and meat to provide the amino acids I may have been missing.
Reading the work of Roderick MacKinnon and Peter Agre Nobel Prize 2003 – Molecular channels through the cell wall makes a very interesting study. They discovered the route of water through a cell wall and how a protein assists this. However while water can go in and out via this route, the electrolytes vastly affect this and a lack of one and too much of another eventually can produce the problems already discussed.