Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium – What’s the story?

What are the facts on vitamin D and why are so few people telling it like it is?

Blood levels of vitamin D are next to meaningless and are only a ‘thing’ because testing for it makes Big Pharma big profits.

The real story lies with 2 critical minerals, calcium and magnesium.

We overdose on calcium which is strongly promoted by the dairy industry and so effective have they been with spreading the false news about calcium being essential for healthy teeth and bones and dairy as a rich source of calcium, that even nut milks are dangerously laced with it.

The problem with too much calcium is that high levels result in the excretion of magnesium through the kidneys, putting us into a magnesium deficiency state.

Research tells us that calcium salts which include calcium oxalate, calcium urate, calcium phosphate and calcium cholesterol are commonly deposited in our soft tissues, organs (commonly the kidneys, liver, pancreas and gall bladder and more rarely our brain) and various ducts and blood vessels.

There are the calcium cholesterol plugs that threaten to block our pulmonary and coronary arteries leading to lethal outcomes if discovered too late.

A recent scientific finding suggests that prostate cancer (which is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Australian males after lung cancer) is potentiated by tiny calcium stones. These develop from past microbial infections within the prostate and as they grow, lead to chronic inflammation and ultimately the proliferation of rogue cells within the prostate.

Another scientific paper assessed the tiny fraction of broken bones prevented from prescribed calcium vs the numbers suffering from heart attacks and strokes due to the calcification of heart and brain tissues. Their conclusion in 2010 was that no one should be prescribed calcium supplements as a safeguard against fragile bones. The risks are way out of proportion to the benefits.

The above outcomes are due to our modern diet: These days we rely on fewer and fewer food species; we depend on food fragments as additives and supplements; and every day we consume lots of calcium from dairy products, pharmaceuticals, bakery preservatives, sesame seed products (e.g. tahini), high oxalate leafy greens (spinach, silverbeet), miso soup, French fries, sweet potatoes and even in our drinking water.

So what is wrong with all this calcium and what does it have to do with vitamin D?

When it comes to healthy teeth and bones and also preventing conditions such as osteoarthritis and gout, our massive intakes of calcium matched with a chronic deficiency in magnesium means that high calcium levels in the blood and urine circulate through our soft tissues and organs where calcium is deposited in places such as our coronary and pulmonary arteries, joints, lymph nodes, even our in eyes, kidneys, gallbladder and organ ducts.

The marketing blurbs might say we need more calcium to stop bones from breaking with advancing age but the reality is that more people die from stroke and heart attack than bones are saved from breaking.

The real hero of the calcium and vitamin D debacle is magnesium. This critical mineral is a cofactor in over 325 enzyme reactions and important in more than 600 other biochemical processes.

For example, the energy molecule, ATP, can’t move out from the mitochondria, those tiny intracellular organelles where it is made without being bound to magnesium. Only when bound, can Mg-ATP get through the mitochondrial membrane cross the cellular cytoplasm and reach the inner cell wall where many biochemical reactions happen. In the bound form, ATP can also cross through the wall and get out to where it is needed eg in muscles and lungs during exercise.

Magnesium also activates pre-vitamin D (which is what the UV-B rays in sunlight make in our skin) and only then can this form of the vitamin work on getting calcium into the bone matrix and out of the blood and lymph flows.

But we have a problem. Too much calcium and magnesium excretion is boosted leaving us in a deficiency state. Additionally, we cannot rely on the magnesium tablets that Big Pharma also pushes as most provide less than 30% bioavailable magnesium from their standardized 200mg Mg formulations. This is why most simply do not work in reducing the incidence or severity of nocturnal muscle cramps.

Inorganic magnesium salts, magnesium chelates, topical ‘oils’ or even amino-bound magnesium are not well tolerated and nausea, diarrhoea and other symptoms mean magnesium supplements must have warnings on the packs regulating intake. Magnesium citrate is even prescribed prior to gut endoscopy or gut surgery as the diarrhoea it causes cleans out the gut of its contents.

In comparison, whole food sources of magnesium can be eaten in any amount as we cannot overdose on magnesium from whole foods. Good sources include naked pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and unsweetened cocoa or source de-fatted naked pumpkin and sunflower seed meal products online.

The upshot is that we should forget supplemental calcium and vitamin D and work on reducing our calcium intake while boosting magnesium from whole foods.

Also recommended is a calcium ‘rust-removal’ program with regular dosing of a natural tea which is based on herbs that gelatinize calcium deposits, mobilize calcium-cholesterol plugs in the circulatory system, clear other calcium deposits from our tissues and bring these crucial minerals into balance.

This is a preventative recommendation that you will not hear from the drug industry as it has little interest in avoiding or curing any medical conditions.

After all, a patient cured is a customer lost.

Vic Cherikoff B.App.Sc., Australian Functional Ingredients Pty Ltd

Download 33 Myths of Health, Nutrition and Weight Loss by Vic Cherikoff here.