Calcium and ME-CFS

Calcium and ME-CFS

Update May 15th 2009

If you read the full research document towards the end of this article it shows that calcium supplements generally from rocks do not break down well in the body, and that it goes on to suggest that the effect of this lack of breakdown the paper says may cause bone spurs.

There are several sources of calcium – from rocks or from leafy vegetables or from animals – their bones and their muscle or from fish when we eat the bones or from milk and cheese or from water that has filtered through the rocks and soil that contain calcium.

Elemental calcium is pure calcium with none of the elements it is grown with.

A more recent product from algae claims to be a better source: Lithothamnium is a calcareous alga consisting of mineral substance by 95%. Therefore, it looks like a rock and is very often mistaken for coral. Its skeleton is mainly composed of carbonated calcium and carbonated magnesium. These two elements represent 35% of the plant (dry weight). Lithothamnium particularly concentrates the oligo elements from sea water.

At the end of the day all calcium supplements are made from rock or substances like bones.

The article suggests that supplementing calcium may cause further health issues. That we should obtain calcium from our food.

I would like to counterbalance that view because supplementing calcium has been the most important essential supplement I have ever taken.

The soil since studies in 1933 has not had the calcium it should have to enhance our vegetables or the foods that animals eat.

Calcium is required for every single cell in the body and therefore is essential for every organ, which means that every disease state of the body will probably show that calcium is deficient. Calcium can help blood pressure, heart, diabetes, muscle pain, spasms and cramps, peristalsis action, nerve transmission and of-course our bones and teeth require calcium.

Calcium is leached from the bones and teeth when it is missing from the diet.

However calcium does not work alone and requires certain amounts of magnesium.

If you take a lot of calcium you need to balance that with magnesium. One should take a 300mg tablet with food, 3 times a day. The body cannot absorb anymore than 300 mgs at any one time. (ref: Nourish Magazine )

To absorb calcium the body needs Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is made in a FAT layer in our skin by a photosynthesis action with the sun. It is the only truly beneficial way to obtain Vitamin D.

But you need the fat in the skin for this. Many heart medications and heart advice doesn’t allow the individual to sit in the sun, causes the calcium to be blocked and advises a diet lacking in fat. All this advice appears to serve to keep the patient ill when one reads how beneficial the role of calcium, fat, vitamin D and magnesium play with our health.

Calcium with magnesium with fish oils or flaxseed appear to be important supplements for most of us.

Compare Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D deficiency with ME-CFS

Calcium table

Intriguing isn’t it?

It is calcium that has helped me so much and I do think that because of it and the fish oils that toxins are being flushed more successfully.

Health Vitamins Guide
Simple understanding of the role of calcium in the body including symptoms and deficiencies.

However if you read the paper below, you will understand that calcium is quite difficult to absorb which is why you need a good quality supplement from a reputable company.

For a more indepth view of the role of calcium see:US Wellness Meats
or read below:

Calcium is the most abundant and the most important mineral in the body, yet it
is the most difficult to get absorbed, assimilated and utilized by the cells.
Calcium is a metal, a bright shiny metal like all other metals. Calcium is not the
white powdery substance most people believe. The white powdery substance
often associated with calcium is actually calcium carbonate, calcium lactate or
another compound of calcium with calcium making up much less than half of the
total molecular weight of the substance.
Organic calcium is used more than any other mineral in the body. There are 179
different known uses for calcium in the human body:
1) Formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth
2) Prevents bone loss associated with osteoporosis
3) Control muscle contraction and with magnesium muscle relaxation
4) Required for muscle growth
5) Important in the maintenance of regular heart beat
6) Transmission of nerve impulses
7) Transfer of information between brain cells
8) Controls osmosis and diffusion through the cell membranes
9) Passing of information within the cell.
Calcium controls the formation of enzymes and hormones. It is involved in the
activation of several enzymes including lipase. The amino acid lysine is needed
for calcium absorption.
MAINTAIN THE PROPER Ph throughout the body.
Nearly 99% of the body’s calcium is deposited in the bones and teeth. The
remaining 1% is present in body fluids, equally divided between diffusible calcium
and non-diffusible calcium. The diffusible calcium is bound to blood proteins,
chiefly to albumin, although a small amount is bound by the globulins in the
Scientists have discovered that the body fluids of healthy people are mildly
alkaline (high pH), whereas the body fluids of the sick are acidic (low pH).
Calcium is responsible of maintaining the proper body fluid pH.
Hypocalcemia, chronic calcium deficiency, is responsible for approximately 150
different degenerative diseases and conditions, and other problems that can be
harmful or dangerous to the body.
All degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, gallstones,
kidney stones, arthritis, osteoporosis, and many more have been scientifically
linked to deficiencies in calcium.
Calcium protects the bones and teeth from lead by inhibiting absorption of the
toxic metal.
The following is a partial list of calcium deficiencies. Some of them may be
Arthritis Heart Palpitation Muscle cramps
Hypertension Eczema Loss of mental functions
Increased cholesterol levels Indigestion
Insomnia Rickets Headaches
Kidney stones Gall Stones Bone spurs
Fibromyalgia Hiatal hernia Recessed gums
Low back pain Asthma Allergies
Colitis Arrhythmia Heart disease
Cancer Acid reflux
And about 125 others.
It is interesting to note that kidney stones are included. Kidney stones are a
buildup of calcium in the kidney. Kidney stones are caused by a lack of calcium
in the diet. Due to poor mineral ingestion the body becomes acidic. The body
then leaches calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acid and to keep the pH
from dropping below the level that supports life. Calcium from the bones is not
very bioavailable and only a small percentage is actually used to correct the acid
situation; the rest starts to accumulate in the kidney, or other places.
Scientific evidence has proven that the stones are not formed from organic
calcium in the diet by using radioactive markers on the dietary calcium. When the
stones were examined there was not one bit of radioactive calcium contained in
them. Fully 100% of the kidney stones and bone spurs came from the
calcium leached out of the bones in order to neutralize the acids in the
body fluids.
Female athletes and women experiencing menopause need greater amounts of
organic calcium due to lower estrogen levels.
The average American diet of meats, refined grains (cereal), and soft drinks (high
in phosphorus) has been documented to contribute to increased bone loss in
adults. Proper calcium absorption absolutely requires an adequate level of
vitamin D, through diet or supplementation. Vitamin D controls the absorption of
calcium ions. The biochemical absorption and assimilation is not an easy matter.
The excretion of calcium is largely through the mucosa of the small intestines,
and a comparatively small amount (25-35%) is excreted in the urine as calcium
phosphate. Since the excretion is a normal continuous process, a negative
calcium balance can result if dietary intake is too low.
Acidity, sugars, and artificial flavors and sweeteners can shorten life. It would
take 32 glasses of alkaline water at an alkaline pH of 9 to neutralize the acid from
one 12 oz. cola or soda. Drinking a cola or soda, the body will use up reserves of
its own stored alkaline buffers, mainly calcium from the bones and DNA, to raise
the body’s alkalinity levels, especially to maintain proper blood alkaline pH levels.
Acidic levels cause death, and there are enough acids in one soda to kill if there
is no mechanism to neutralize them.
Sodas, like water and other liquids, pass through the stomach into the small
intestine where it is quickly assimilated into the bloodstream through the
openings in the villi in the walls of the intestines. They are also absorbed right
through the stomach’s lining directly into the blood. Liquids do not stay in the
digestive tract like solid foods. All liquids go into the bloodstream, is filtered
through the liver and kidneys, and what is not needed is sent to the bladder
and urinated out. These liquids come in contact with virtually every cell in the
When a substance is an acid, there are a large number of positively charged
hydrogen ions. These ions are lacking electrons and steal electrons from other
atoms in the body which themselves become electrically unstable and seek other
from other atoms. Acids are free radicals that create a chain reaction of electron
stealing. Whenever an electron is torn from an atom a little spark is produced that
can damage cell membranes. It’s called free radical damage and can be seen
under a microscope in live blood cell analysis.
If there are not enough ionic minerals in the body, the process can not stop.
Then the supply of available minerals to neutralize the acids will result into a very
serious degenerative disease. Every soda one drinks will contribute to this
acidity. Even without soda our bodies naturally produce aids. Minerals are
needed in our diets in food and supplements to stop the deterioration process.
Unfortunately, most of the food we consume no longer contains the minerals that
we need.
The vast majority of vitamins and minerals available today are supplied by a few
extremely large and powerful chemical companies. The “nutrients” produced by
these companies fall under the labeling of USP, United States Pharmacopoeia.
These nutrients are not a food that the body recognizes. The companies
either break the food down and extract each vitamin separately or grind up rock
to extract the minerals. These are known as Isolated Chemical nutrients, as they
have been isolated from the food source leaving you with a single nutrient such
as iron.
The vitamin coming from a natural source does not mean it is natural. Once they
are isolated from the natural substances they were bound to, such as amino
acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and bioflavinoids, they no longer contain
what they did in food to make them stable. Once this happens, they are no longer
natural and not usable by the body.
Are you taking ground up rocks?
Confusion surrounds dietary practices, fueled partly by the food industries
advertising campaigns. Health professionals acknowledge that humans are not
supposed to consume soil as a food source for minerals, but most will overlook
this fact when mineral supplementation is involved.
Most people are aware of the need for calcium in our diets. When health
practitioners recommend that we go to the store and get Tums, Rolaids or Oyster
Shell Tablets and take two daily, they are really not aware of how very little of the
calcium is bioavailable to the cells in our bodies.
Minerals are either organic or inorganic. Would you rather get your calcium from
concrete or green salad? The body can not get proper nutrition from inorganic
minerals. It is designed to get nutrition form living plants. For human
consumption, minerals from food are superior to minerals from soil.
Calcium is a prime example of how dangerous these minerals can be. Calcium
supplements are taken by millions of women. American women take more
calcium supplements than anywhere else in the world, yet we have one of the
highest rates of osteoporosis. This deadly condition causes holes in the bone
that can lead to a crippling fractures and often death.
Read the labels of your calcium supplement. Most calcium is sold in the form of
calcium carbonate. This is an inorganic form of calcium, typically ground up
oyster shells, chalk or extracted from rocks. If the label says Calcium Citrate –
you think it comes from Oranges – NO, its calcium carbonate mixed with Citric
Acid! If the label says Calcium Lactate – you think it comes from Milk – NO, its
calcium carbonate mixed with Lactic acid!
Studies prove that about 2% of calcium carbonate is absorbed (not assimilated)
by the body! Where does the other 98% go? Significant amount of unabsorbed
calcium left in the body will interact with other inorganic compounds to form
Calcium cannot be properly absorbed and assimilated unless other trace
minerals are present along with it. Calcium requires boron, chromium, copper,
iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, silicon, strontium, and zinc to be
absorbed to it s full potential.
A critical aspect of the transport of minerals into the human body is the necessity
of protein “chaperones” found in all foods. Without a protein “chaperone” these
supplements wander aimlessly within the body settling in places such as the
heart, arteries (plaque) and in all other organs. The absorption factor of these
chemical isolates is in the area of 5%. Taking USP forms of isolated nutrients is
the equivalent to sending your mail without addressing the envelope. The
nutrients never get to where they needed to go.
Most Mineral Supplements are Industrial Chemicals
The following list will describe what many mineral salts/chelates used in
supplements actually are and what they are used for when not in supplements:
1. Boric acid is the rock known a sassolite. Used in weatherproofing wood,
fireproofing fabrics, and as an insecticide [14[.
2. Calcium ascorbate: is calcium carbonate processed with ascorbic acid and
acetone. It is a manufactured product used as a non-food supplement [14].
3. Calcium Carbonate: is the rock known as limestone or chalk. Used in the
manufacture of paint, rubber, plastics, ceramics, putty, polishes, insecticides, and
inks. Used as filler for adhesives, matches, pencils, crayons, linoleum, insulating
compounds and welding rods. [14].
4. Calcium Chloride: is calcium carbonate and chlorine and is the product of
the Solvay ammonia-soda process. It is used for antifreeze, refrigeration, and
fire extinguisher fluids. It is also used to preserve wood and stone. Other uses
include cement, coagulant in rubber manufacturing, and dust control of unpaved
roads, freeze proofing coal and increasing traction in tires. [14].
5. Calcium citrate: is calcium carbonate processed with lactic and citric acids. It
is used to alter the baking properties of flour [14].
6. Calcium gluconate: is calcium carbonate processed with gluconic acid
(which is used in cleaning compounds). It is used in sewage purification and to
prevent coffee powders from caking [14].
7. Calcium glycerophosphate: is calcium carbonate processed with di-alphaglycerophosphates.
It is used in dentifrices, baking powder, and as a food
stabilizer [14].
8. Calcium hydroxyapatite: is crushed bone and bone marrow, It is used as a
fertilizer [15].
9. Calcium iodide: is calcium carbonate processed with iodine. It is an
expectorant [14].
10. Calcium lactate: is calcium carbonate processed with lactic acid. It is used
as a dentifrice and as a preservative [14].
11. Calcium oxide: is basically burnt calcium carbonate. It is used in bricks,
plaster, mortar, stucco, and other building materials. It is also used in insecticides
and fungicides.
12. Calcium phosphate, tribasic: is the rock known as oxydapatit or bone ash.
It is used in the manufacture of fertilizers, milk glass, polishing powders,
porcelain, pottery and enamels [14].
13. Calcium chloride: is a preparation of hex hydrates. It is used as a corrosion
inhibitor and waterproofing agent [14].
14. Chromium picolinate: is chromium III processed with picolinic acid.
Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [14].
“Chelated” Minerals
Chelated minerals, as a rule, are generally crushed biological industrial rocks
processed with one or more acids. The biggest difference in minerals now
compared to 45 years ago is that some companies have decided to industrially
produce human made versions of minerals attached to peptides.
It does not appear that any of the minerals marketed as “chelated” are food
concentrates (though there are foods which naturally contain chelated minerals,
but these are normally marketed as food minerals. Industrial manufactured
chelates are not natural food.
It is a well known among nutrition researchers that most essential minerals are
not well absorbed (some are less than 1%) [24]. “Bioavailability” or orally
administered vitamins, minerals, and trace elements is subject to a complex set
of influences. In nutrition science the term “bioavailability” encompasses the sum
of impacts that may reduce or foster the metabolic utilization of a nutrient [25].
University studies show that the bioavailability of organic / ionic minerals found in
food and some supplements is greater than that of isolated inorganic mineral
salts or chelates [e.g. 26-37].
One laboratory describes what happens when isolated inorganic mineral salts
without protein chaperones are consumed, “It is after digestion when other
mineral forms (mineral salts) have their mineral cleaved from their carriers. In this
situation, these minerals become charged ions, and their absorbability becomes
in jeopardy. These charged free minerals are known to block the absorption of
none another, or to combine with other dietary factors to form compounds that
are not absorbable” [38]
Organic ionic minerals compared to mineral salts/chelate
Calcium up to 8.79 times more bioavailable [28].
Chromium up to 25 times more bioavailable [44].
Copper 1.85 times more retained in the liver [34].
Germanium 5.30 times more retained in the liver [26].
Iron 1.77 times more absorbed into the blood [34].
Magnesium up to 2.20 times more bioavailable [35].
Manganese 1.63 times more retained in the liver [34].
Selenium up to 17.60 times the antioxidant effect [37].
Zinc 6.46 times more absorbed into the blood [34].
Is Dairy a good source of Calcium?
Calcium from milk and milk products is absorbed at a higher percentage rate
than calcium from inorganic supplements because of the cofactors found in the
milk. However, the high animal protein content, fat, pesticides, and bovine growth
hormones in the milk make it less than desirable to consume.
Who gets bone disease?
Nations with the highest rates of bone disease also have the highest milk
consumption rates. The highest rates of osteoporosis are to be found in
Denmark, Holland, Norway and Sweden.
Evidence is prevalent worldwide. In Africa, Masai tribesman consume large
amounts of calcium from the milk of their cattle. In rural Africa the agrigarians
maintain good bones on less than 400 milligrams of calcium per day. We are
encouraged to consume 1000 milligrams per day of calcium, yet Inuit Eskimos
consume 3500 milligrams of calcium each day, and by age 40 are bone crippled.
THE KEY TO OSTEOPOROSIS: It’s not how much calcium you eat. It’s how
much calcium you prevent from leaving your bones.
Why does Calcium Leave Bones?
There are 28 amino acids in nature. The human body can manufacture 19 of
them. The other 9 are called essential. We must get them from the foods we eat.
One of the essential aminos is methionine, which is C-5, H-11, NO, S
One needs Methionine for many human metabolic functions including digestion,
detoxification of heavy metals, and muscle metabolism. However, an excess of
methionine can be toxic. Eating foods containing too much methionine will cause
the blood to become acidic. The body then leaches calcium out of the bones to
neutralize the acid.
According to Dr. Sellmeyer, “Sulfur containing-amino acids in protein-containing
foods are metabolized to sulfuric acid. Animal foods provide predominantly acid
precursors. Acidosis stimulates osteoclastic activity and inhibits osteoblast
activity. Dietary protein increases production of acid in the blood which can be
neutralized by calcium mobilized from the skeleton.” American Journal of clinical
Nutrition, 1995; 61 (4)
Animal proteins contain more methionine than plant proteins.
In 1988, N.A. Breslau and his colleagues identified the relationship between
protein rich diets and calcium metabolism, noting that protein caused calcium
loss. His work was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology
“Even when eating 1,400 mg of calcium daily, one can lose up to 4% of his or her
bone mass each year while consuming a high protein diet.” American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition 1979; 32 (4)
“Increasing one’s protein intake by 100% may cause calcium loss to double.”
Journal of Nutrition, 1981; 111 (3)
“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years were associated
with an increased risk of hip fractures…metabolism of dietary protein causes
increased urinary excretion of calcium.” American Journal of Epidemiology
Meat Eaters have more hip fractures
Sellmeyer’s remarkable publication reveals:
“Women with high animal to vegetable protein ratios were heavier and had higher
intake of total protein. These women had a significantly increased rate of bone
loss than those who ate just vegetable protein. Women consuming higher rates
of animal protein had higher rates of bone loss and hip fracture by a factor of four
Milk has been called the “liquid meat”. The average American eats five ounces of
animal protein each day in the form of red meat and chicken. At the same time,
the average American consumes nearly six times that amount (29.2) ounces of
milk and dairy products per day.
Ironically, the Dairy Industry Promotes the Cause of Bone Disease as the
Deborah Sellmeyer’s work is supported by a grant form the National Institutes of
Dr. Sellmeyer may be reached by email :
Her original column:
“Human breast milk is Mother Nature’s perfect formula for baby humans. Even
dairy industry scientists would not be foolish enough to debate this Universally
Accepted Fact. In her wisdom, Mother Nature included 33 milligrams of calcium
in every 100 grams, or 3 ½ ounce portion of human breast milk.
“Adults do not drink human breast milk. At the end of this column is a list of
calcium values in the foods we eat. Each food is compared to human breast milk
as the standard. You might be surprised to learn how many foods naturally
contain an abundance of calcium. One must wonder why Asians traditionally did
not get bone-crippling osteoporosis…that is, until they adopted the “American
Diet, “ a diet of milk and dairy products.
“The dairy industry owns the psychological exclusive rights to calcium in foods
found in super markets. Few food manufacturers would dare to compete with the
dairy message which infers that no other foods contain the calcium contained in
milk, and without the milk and dairy products you’re certain to one day end up
with bone-crippling osteoporosis. Tropicana Orange Juice has been marketing a
Fruit-Cal orange juice which, according to the Tropicana Company, contains a
more absorbable type of calcium than other calcium supplements. Each cup of
Tropicana’s pure premium calcium contains 350 milligrams of calcium as
opposed to 302 mg in one cup of milk and 172 mg in one ounce of American
cheese. Minute Maid also has a Calcium-Orange Juice product and claims that it
contains 15 times the amount of calcium as contained in an equivalent sample of
regular orange juice. Gerber’s Baby cereal sells a box of single grain barley
upon which they write, “An excellent source of iron and a good source of
calcium.” The side panel of their box reveals that their cereal contains barley flour
and tri and di calcium phosphate. Other than orange juice and baby food, no
visible claim to calcium is made by any food manufacturer. The reason, of
course, is that milk holds the monopoly. They hold title to and make claim to
America’s calcium perception. Few would argue that claim.
“The Dairy Industry and milk processors invest hundreds of millions of dollars
each year to guarantee that Americans will continue to drink milk and eat dairy
products, investing their money to continually let Americans know that milk tastes
good and the intake of milk and dairy products must continue to insure good
health. Milk mustaches are stylish. Drink milk and you’re beautiful! Gorgeous
models, actors, actresses, sports heroes, even President Clinton and Bob dole
have posed for milk advertisements. All have asserted by the milky white goo
artificially applied to their upper lip that drinking milk is healthful and wholesome.
Who would argue with such an overwhelming endorsement? Billboards spanning
America ask the question, :Got Milk?” Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles broke
Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive major league baseball games played.
Ripken, holding a baseball bat, smiles from inside the front cover of a “Got Milk”
brochure proclaiming, “With all the skim milk I drink, my name might as well be
Calcium Ripken, Jr.”
Common knowledge of osteoporosis is based upon false assumptions.
American women have been drinking an average of two (2) pounds of milk or
eating the equivalent milk in dairy products per day for their entire lives. Doctors
recommend calcium intake for increasing and maintaining bone strength and
bone density which they call bone mass. According to this regimen
recommended by doctors and milk executives, women’s bone mass should
approach that of prehistoric dinosaurs. This line of reasoning should be equally
extinct. Twenty-five million American women have osteoporosis. Drinking milk
does not prevent osteoporosis. Milk contains calcium. Bones contain calcium,
too. When we are advised to add calcium to our diets we tend to drink milk or eat
dairy foods.
In order to absorb calcium, the body needs comparable amounts of another
mineral element, magnesium. Milk and dairy products contain only small
amounts of magnesium. Without the presence of magnesium, the body only
absorbs 25 percent of the available dairy calcium content. The remainder of the
calcium spells trouble. Without magnesium, excess calcium is utilized by the
body in injurious ways. The body uses the calcium to build the mortar on arterial
walls which becomes atherosclerotic plaques. Excess calcium is diverted by the
kidneys into painful kidney stones, blocking our urinary tracts. Excess calcium
contributes to arthritis; painful calcium buildup often is manifested as gout. The
USDA has formulated a chart of recommended daily intakes of vitamins and
minerals. The term that FDA uses is Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The
RDA for calcium is 1500 mg. The RDA for magnesium is 750 mg.
Society stresses the importance of calcium, but rarely magnesium. Yet,
magnesium is vital to enzymatic activity. In addition to insuring proper absorption
of calcium, magnesium is critical to proper neural and muscular function and to
maintaining proper pH balance in the body. Magnesium, along with vitamin b6
(pyridoxine), helps to dissolve calcium phosphate stones which often accumulate
from excess dairy intake. Good sources of magnesium include beans, green
leafy vegetable like kale and collards, whole grains and orange juice. Non-dairy
sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, asparagus, broccoli,
cabbage, oats, beans, parsley, sesame seeds and tofu.
Osteoporosis is NOT a problem that should be associated with lack of calcium
intake. Osteoporosis results from calcium loss. The massive amounts of protein
in milk result in a 50% loss of calcium in the urine. In other words, by doubling
your protein intake there will be a loss of 1 – 1.5 in skeletal mass per year in
postmenopausal women. If a post menopausal woman loses 1 – 1.5% bone
mass per year, what will be the effect after 20 years? When osteoporosis occurs
levels of calcium (being excreted from the bones) in the blood are high. Milk only
adds to these high levels of calcium which is excreted or used by the body to add
damaging atherosclerosis, gout, kidney stones, etc.
Bone mass does not increase after age 35. This is a biological fact that is not
disputed by scientists. However, this fact is ignored by marketing geniuses in the
milk industry who make certain that women this age and older are targeted
consumers for milk and dairy products. At least one in four women will suffer
from osteoporosis with fractures of the ribs, hip or forearm. In 1994, University of
Texas researchers published results of an experiment indicating that
supplemental calcium is ineffective in preventing bone loss. Within 5 years of the
initial onset of menopause, there is an accelerated rate of loss of bone,
particularly from the spine. During this period of time, estrogen replacement is
most effective in preventing rapid bone density loss.
Milk Consumption Does not Prevent Hip Fractures
A publication in the February, 2003 issue of the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition (Vol. 77, No. 2, 504-511) clearly demonstrates that eighteen years of
milk consumption did not prevent hip fractures for post-menopausal women.
72,737 subjects participated in the study.
As part of Walter Willett’s Harvard Nurses Study, investigator Diane Feskanich
performed statistical tests of significance for 18 years of data including dietary
intake of calcium (dairy and supplements) to determine her findings. The
conclusion reached from this analysis is that dietary calcium plays little or no role
in preventing bone loss. Drinking milk does not prevent osteoporosis. A total of
603 hip fractures were analyzed.
The Harvard Nurses Study previously determined that there is no positive
association between teenaged milk consumption and the risk of adult fractures.
As a matter of fact, just the opposite was found to be true. Women consuming
greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods suffered significantly increased risks
of hip fractures. (American Journal of Public Health 1997;87).
In light of these findings, the dairy industry milk mustache campaign has proven
to be one enormous deception. Bones break because women eating the wrong
foods create an acid condition in their own bloodstreams, which must be
neutralized by available calcium. The body achieves balance by taking calcium
out of its own bones. People eating the greatest amount of animal protein,
especially dairy products, are the ones experiencing accelerated rates of bone
loss. The same Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (1995; 61,4) confirmed the truth:
“Dietary protein increases the production of acid in the blood which can be
neutralized by calcium mobilized from the skeleton.”
The American Journal of clinical Nutrition (1979;32,4) reported: “Even when
eating 1,400 mg of calcium daily, one cam lose up to 4% of his or her bone mass
each year while consuming a high-protein diet.”
In 1992, B. J. Abelow and colleagues published their study of cross cultural
associations between hip fractures and nutrition. Focusing upon dietary calcium
and protein intake, their paper (Calcified Tissue International 50:14-18, 192) the
research shows: Nations in which calcium intake averaged 1000 milligrams per
day “enjoyed” the highest rates of hip fractures. Nations in which very little
calcium was consumed exhibited low rates of bone fractures, contrary to what
doctors and dairy industry marketing representatives wish us to believe.
Cow’s milk is both a “great source” of calcium and animal protein. Nations eating
such a “great source” of calcium and animal protein experience the highest rates
of crippling bone disease.
Calcium Absorption
Calcium can not be absorbed and utilized in our bodies without certain trace
minerals, including magnesium and boron and also many others, also being
present. The full complement of these trace minerals is not found in most calcium
supplementation tablets and are lacking to a great degree in the typical American
diet. These trace minerals are important not only to facilitate the absorption of
calcium (as in magnesium) but they are also needed by the body as well for the
millions of biochemical reactions that are taking place in every body every day.
Calcium absorption needs an acid environment in the stomach for proper
digestion and people over 60 years of age produce only approximately 25% of
the stomach acid they produced when they were 20 years old. In addition, it is a
known fact that as many as 40 percent of post menopausal women lack sufficient
stomach acid for proper calcium absorption and that’s without the intake of large
volumes of alkaline calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate.
Maintenance of a positive calcium balance by the body depends on dietary intake
and the efficiency of absorption of the calcium ion from the intestinal tract.
Calcium is one of the more difficult elements for the body to digest and absorb
and even more difficult to assimilate. Because calcium forms insoluble
compounds with many of the anions present in food, efficient absorption of
calcium is loaded with problems. In most instances phosphate is the principal
interfering anion.
Of the calcium phosphate complexes, only calcium dihydrogen phosphate is
sufficiently soluble to maintain the necessary levels for absorption of ionic
calcium. Unfortunately this salt is stable only in highly acid media, such as
stomach acid. And in the alkaline area of the small intestine, the much less
soluble mono-hydrogen phosphate of the highly insoluble tertiary phosphate is
the stable form, and both of these forms cannot be fully absorbed by the body. In
addition to this, once calcium has dissolved, its absorption into the body is totally
dependent on the presence of vitamin D in the intestine. Vitamin D, unfortunately,
is not present in most of our food, so our body is dependent on the action of
sunlight on our skin to synthesize vitamin D. Without intestinal vitamin D being
present, ,most of the ionized calcium will pass through the body unused.
Conditions in the stomach normally provide sufficient acid for the stable intake of
the free calcium ion even in the presence of phosphate ions; but absorption
cannot take place there. As the contents of the stomach (chyme) are discharges
from the stomach and moves through the small intestine, it is neutralized by the
alkaline bile. Calcium absorption takes place in the duodenum, but it is apparent
that solubility considerations counteract to prevent this uptake, except during the
relatively short period of time before the chyme is completely neutralized.
Absorption in the remainder of the intestine is pretty much nonexistent, because
the calcium by then has been precipitated from solution due the alkalinity
produced by the bile.
The Paradox of Coral Calcium
Many coral calcium vendors have tried to connect coral calcium to the longevity
of Okinawans. The truth is most coral calcium supplements are made directly
(“uncut”) from coral reefs. The only calcium source found in coral reefs is calcium
carbonate, the same calcium compound that is easily found in other rocks and
limestone, and has been available for commercial use for decades.
Not all coral calcium is the same. While any coral calcium from Okinawa can give
you some benefits because the chemical analysis is nearly identical to human
bone…it is still inorganic and not a food. There are some coral calcium, even
from Okinawa, that contain harmful materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic and
The secret of benefits attributed to coral calcium lies in the waters of Okinawa,
not the inorganic coral reefs that most coral calcium products are made from. It is
the algae that grows in the porous coral that produces the highly soluble organic
calcium compounds.
If you are in search of “coral calcium from algae” it might be best to drink the
water from Okinawa. Other option would be to clean the calcium from impurities
and dissolve it into water. When placed into water, digestion is not required. The
body will absorb minerals immediately upon entering the mouth and a majority of
the minerals will be absorbed before it ever enters the lower stomach, therefore
optimizing the alkaline effects. If a solid form like a pill is used, the body uses
stomach acids with a pH of 2. and the acidity in the stomach will cancel out the
alkalinity. If it is in the capsule or caplet form it will always damage the digestive
process. Ionic calcium, on the other hand, needs no stomach acid to be
absorbed and assimilated. Ionic calcium in water is the best form to use.
Ionic calcium (Ca++) is the only physiologically active form of this element. Bone,
though considered primarily as the structural support for the soft tissues of the
body, also serves as a storage deposit for ionic calcium. The bone’s calcium is
available to the body and is drawn upon to maintain normal blood calcium levels
during periods of low calcium intake. The protein bound calcium of the blood
probably serves as a secondary reservoir, becoming available locally only during
excessive loss or use of ionic calcium. It is important to note that because ionic
calcium is the only physiologically active form of this element, all sources of this
mineral, whether through the diet or from bones, must be broken down to its ionic
form before it can be used by the body for any of the functions listed above.
Calcium is present in different forms. To evaluate the absorbable calcium of each
product we need to know (a) what the amount of available calcium is, and (b)
what is the biochemical absorption percentage for the compound in ideal
conditions. Following is a brief summary which addresses how much calcium is
actually available to the human body from commonly available calcium products.
A.) Calcium carbonate {CACO3} is known as Caltrate, Oyster Shell calcium,
Tums, or generic. Total molecular weight of this compound is 100.9 mg. So
Calcium carbonate is 40% inorganic calcium. Scientists tell us that only 10% of
the calcium is absorbed from the carbonate. So, for every 1,000 mg of calcium
carbonate 40% of 400 mg 10% is absorbed, or only 40 mg of usable calcium.
B.) Tribasic Calcium Phosphate {Ca3(PO4)2} is known as Posture. Total
molecular weight of this compound is 310.18 mg therefore calcium phosphate is
39% inorganic calcium. Scientists tell us that only 10% of the calcium is absorbed
from this phosphate. So for every 1,000 mg of calcium phosphate 39% or 390 mg
is inorganic calcium. Of this 390 mg, 10% is absorbed, or only 105 mg of usable
C.) Calcium Lactate {(CH3CH[OH]COO)2Ca} is commonly found in dairy
products. Total molecular weight of this compound is 218.22 mg, therefore
calcium lactate is 37% inorganic calcium. Scientists tell us that only 33% of the
calcium is absorbed for the lactate. So, for every 1,000 mg of calcium lactate
37% or 370 mg is inorganic calcium. Of this 370 mg 33% is absorbed, or only
105 mg of usable calcium.
D.) Calcium Citrate {Ca3(C6H307)2} IS KNOWN AS Citrical. Total molecular
weight of this compound is 572.72 mg, therefore calcium citrate is 21% inorganic
calcium. Scientists tell us that 50% of the calcium is absorbed form the citrate.
So, for every 1,000 mg of calcium citrate 21% or 210 mg is calcium. Of this 210
mg 50% is absorbed, or only 105 mg of usable calcium.
E.) Ionic Calcium {Ca++}. Total weight of ionic calcium is 40.09 mg. So ionic
calcium is 100% organic calcium. Scientists tell us that 98% of the ionic calcium
is absorbed and assimilated
It becomes obvious that consuming large amounts of calcium tablets to achieve
the desired absorption can have serious negative results.
When non-biologically active forms of minerals are used people, especially older
people, are put at risk as the minerals will neutralize the stomach acids and
damage the digestive process. This makes the ionic form the only logical choice
for anyone who wants to be healthy.
It is important for calcium to be consumed in “healthy amounts”. Just because it
is consumed it does not always end up being fully absorbed then assimilated by
the body. All dietary calcium must be made soluble (ionized) in the stomach and
then pass to the small intestine where (if it makes it that far) it combines with a
calcium binding molecule so it can be absorbed. Because calcium competes with
zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, and iron for absorption in the intestine, a
high intake of one mineral can reduce the absorption of others. The end result is
that calcium is the most important mineral to the body, it is often the hardest of all
the minerals to absorb and even harder to assimilate.
Calcium an Important Food Element
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5 thoughts on “Calcium and ME-CFS

  1. Hi Adrienne thank you for your comment. I take a calcium supplement by Solgar. Solgar do two supplements that I think are good: Calcium, magnesium and zinc or Calcium, magnesium and boron. Both boron and zinc help the utilisation of calcium. I preferred the one with zinc because zinc is generally in poor supply in the diet and zinc is good for healthy guts. I take the recommended dose of 3 tablets a day but I take extra if I have been doing extra calcium-needing things like: eating foods I am allergic to, stress, exercise, eating more protein, drinking coffee. For example I have been feeling particularly ME-ill today and have taken extra calcium and am feeling the benefits this evening. My sleep greatly improved with the calcium supplements along with muscle improvements, palpitations improvements, nerve improvements and energy improvements. Fish oils also help the brain and nerves and I take those too. Interestingly – good sources of Vitamin D are egg yolk (love eggs), oily fish (love oily fish) and animal livers(not so keen!!!) and kidneys (no thank you!). This website is interesting: Westonaprice
    While I feel a bit better after being in very strong sunshine for a while (I went to Spain to help out a relative for several weeks a few years ago) I didn’t feel nearly so well as I did when the calcium kicked in. I hope all this helps. I do monitor my symptoms and have not noticed any adverse effects while taking calcium only wonderful ones. From what I understand from the papers and articles I have read, calcium supplementation will not cause kidney stones or any other adverse effects. Too much zinc can effect the iron status in the blood but so far my iron status is fine and I am much less anaemic than I ever used to be, so I am guessing that there is no problem with the extra zinc when I take more of the Solgar supplement from time to time. I hope all this helps. Please comment or email again with any further queries. God bless. Marianne

  2. I found this article interesting and am aware of the correlation betweeen m.e. type symptoms and vit. D. deficiency. Is there any Calcium supplement which is suitable to takemas opposed to getting calcium from dietwry inytake?

  3. Hello – thanks for the article. My ME specialist in Australia recommended taking calcium along with the things it needs eg boron, Vitamin D, and I’ve been taking Lamberts Osteoguard for these. Osteoporosis is a risk for those with ME as every hour you are immobile calcium leaches from your bones! (Dr Sarah Myhill’s site has information about this – I think it’s but have lost bookmark.) My supplement’s calcium is calcium carbonate. It sounded from the article like this was a bad thing. What form are we supposed to take calcium in? My supplier, who is a herbalist and is pretty good on these things, recommended the Lamberts.

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