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Calcium
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Calcium

Integrated Medicine

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You never get calcium into the body elementally, it is always attached to something else. It is the something else, which can cause a shift in the underlying pH of urine and saliva and if shifted the wrong way can lead to imbalance. The calcium's that are neutral would be calcium gluconate and orotate (a good bone builder). These are calcium's for use by anybody at any time.

Calcium lactate on the other hand can push a person too acid. But it is ok to use if a person has a high average alkaline urine and saliva pH (7.0 or above) and you want to push it down.

Calcium citrate, hydroxide, and carbonate (coral calcium) can push a person too alkaline. But it is ok to use if a person has low average acid urine and saliva pH (5.8 or below) and you are working to push it up. In all cases you should return to a neutral calcium when the proper pH zone is reached. Continued use of the wrong calcium in the wrong pH can lead to unbalanced conditions and potential problems.

Calcium is found in several forms including calcium citrate and calcium gluconate. It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. While an average man contains about 1-1/2 kg of calcium, an average woman has about 1 kg, where 99 percent of that is in bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent is located in the blood, lymph and other body fluids, cell membranes and structures inside cells.

Calcium participates in the metabolic functions necessary for normal activity of nervous, muscular, skeletal systems and plays an important role in normal heart function, kidney function, blood clotting, and blood-vessel integrity. Additionally, it helps to utilize vitamin B-12. It is available in both natural and synthetic sources, and some forms are only available by prescription.

How This Mineral Works in Your Body:

  • Helps fight osteoporosis
  • Treats calcium depletion in people with hypoparathyroidism, osteomalacia, rickets
  • Used medically to treat tetany (severe muscle spasms) caused by sensitivity reactions, cardiac arrest, lead poisoning
  • Used medically as an cure to magnesium poisoning
  • Prevents muscle or leg cramps in some people
  • Promotes normal growth and development
  • Builds bones and teeth
  • Maintains bone density and strength
  • Buffers acid in stomach and acts as antacid
  • Helps regulate heartbeat, blood clotting, muscle contraction
  • Treats neonatal hypoglycemia
  • Promotes storage and release of some body hormones
  • Lowers phosphate concentrations in people with chronic kidney disease
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in certain people
  • aid reduce possibility of kidney stones
  • ease leg cramps
  • Potential treatment for toxemia in pregnant women
  • reduce the threat of colon cancer
  • Anyone with inadequate caloric or dietary intake or increased nutritional requirements or those who do not like or consume milk products
  • People allergic to milk and dairy products
  • People with untreated lactase deficiency who avoid milk and dairy products
  • People over 55 years old, especially women
  • Women throughout adult life, especially during pregnancy and lactation, but not limited to these times
  • Those who abuse alcohol or other substances
  • People with a chronic wasting illness
  • Those under additional stress for extended periods of time
  • Anyone who has recently undergone surgery
  • People with bone fractures
  • Adolescents with low dietary calcium consumption

Where This Mineral is Found:

  • Almond
  • Kelp
  • Kale
  • Brazil nuts
  • Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Pudding
  • Calcium-fortified Salmon, canned
  • Canned fish with bones
  • Cereal, rice, juice
  • Sardines, canned
  • Caviar
  • Tofu
  • Cheese
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Figs, dried
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cauliflower
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Baked beans, canned
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Soybeans
  • Crab meat, canned

How to Use:

  • Take tables whole with a full glass of water or other liquid. Do not chew or crush the tablet. Take with meals or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise advised by your physician.
  • Chew chewable tablets well before swallowing.
  • Calcium is also available as carbonate, citrate, gluconate, and it has varying levels of bioavailability.

Daily recommended intakes:

  • Men 1000 mg
  • (14-18) 1300 mg
  • (over 55) 1200 mg
  • Women 1000 mg
  • (14-18) 1300 mg
  • (over 55) 1200 mg
  • Pregnancy 1000 mg
  • (14-18) 1300 mg
  • Lactation 1000 mg
  • (14-18) 1300 mg

Cautions:

Do not take if you have:

  • Allergies to calcium or antacids
  • High blood-calcium levels
  • Sarcoidosis

Consult your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic constipation, colitis, diarrhea
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart problems or high blood pressure for which you are taking a calcium channel blocker

Over 55:
The likelihood of adverse reactions and side effects is greater
Diarrhea or constipation are especially likely

Pregnancy:
You need extra calcium while pregnant. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. Do not take super doses.

Breastfeeding:
The drug does pass into milk. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. DO not take super doses.

Storage:
Keep in a cool and dry location and away from direct light, but do not freeze.
Keep safely away from children
Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness alter the action of the mineral.

Safe dosage:
It is advised that you consult with your physician for the proper dose for your condition

Others:
Do not take calcium within 1 or 2 hours of meals or ingestion of other medications, if possible.
It is not recommended that you take calcium carbonate derived from oyster shells.
Dolomite and bone meal are probably not safe sources of calcium because they contain lead.

Symptoms of Deficiency:
Osteoporosis (late symptoms):
 

  • Frequent fractures in spine and other bones
  • Deformed spinal column with humps
  • Loss of height
  • Leads to nerve and bone disorders
  • lead to High blood pressure
  • cause pre-eclampsia of pregnancy
  • contribute to Colon cancer

Osteomalacia:

  • Frequent fractures
  • Muscle contractions
  • Convulsive seizures
  • Muscle cramps

Overdose:

  • Signs and symptoms: Confusion, slow or irregular heartbeat, bone or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting : Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately
  • Heart damage : Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately (signs and symptoms of toxicity have not been viewed, even at doses of 2 to 3 grams/day).

Accidental Overdose:
Call emergency

Lab tests for deficiency detection:
24-hour urine collection to measure calcium levels (Sulkowitch)
Imaging procedures to scan for bone density (more reliable than above test)

Effect on lab tests:
Serum-amylase and serum-1 hydroxycorticosteroid concentrations can be increased.
Excessive, prolonged use decreases serum-phosphate concentration.

Side Effects:
Signs and symptoms : What to do
Early signs of too much calcium in blood:
Constipation : Increase fluid consumption. Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when
convenient.
Headache : Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when convenient.

Late signs of too much calcium in blood:
Confusion : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.
Muscle or bone pain : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.
Nausea or vomiting : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.
Slow or irregular heartbeat : Seek emergency treatment.

Interactions:

Interacts with:

  • Cellulose sodium phosphate : Decreases effect of cellulose sodium phosphate
  • Digitalis preparations : Causes heartbeat irregularities.
  • Etidronate : Decreases effects of etidronate. Do not take within 2 hours of calcium supplements.
  • Gallium nitrate : Inhibits function of gallium nitrate.
  • Iron supplements : Decreases absorption of iron unless vitamin C is taken simultaneously.
  • Magnesium-containing medications or supplements : Increases absorption of magnesium and calcium.
  • Oral contraceptives and estrogens : increase calcium absorption.
  • Phenytoin : Decreases effect of both calcium and phenytoin. Do not take calcium within 1 to 3 hours of phenytoin.
  • Tetracyclines (oral) : Decreases absorption of tetracycline.
  • Vitamin D : Increases absorption of calcium supplements.
  • Diuretics, corticosteroids and antidepressants : Can lead to calcium deficiency
  • Alcohol : Decreases your body’s ability to absorb calcium
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) : Can possibly decrease absorption
  • Aluminum in some antacids : Can interfere with the absorption of calcium.
Acidophilus (Lactobacillus)
Blue-Green Algae (Spirulina, Spirulina Maxima) Spirulina Platensis
Calcium (Calcium citrate) Calcium Gluconate)
Choline
Chondroitin Sulfate
Coenzyme Q (CoQ, Ubiquinoe, Coenzyme Q10)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Creatine
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Desiccated Liver (Dessicated Liver)
Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) Evening Primrose Oil)
Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgoaceae)
 
Ginseng (Asian, American, Korean, Chinese, Panax, Quinquefolius)
Inositol (Myoinositol)
Iron (Ferrous Sulfate)

Jojoba (Goatnut, Simmondsia Chinensis)
L-Carnitine
Lecithin (Phosphatidylcholine)
Magnesium
Melatonin
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)
Potassium (Potassium Chloride, Trikates)
Pregnenolone
Royal Jelly
 
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine, pyridoxal phosphate)
Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid) Folate, Pteroyiglutamic Acid) Folacin)
Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol, sunshine vitamin)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Vitamin H (Biotin)
Vitamin K (Phytonadione)
Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids, Phytochemicals)

 

Calcium Supplements Not Equally Effective

The amount of calcium absorbed from calcium citrate supplements is consistently higher than the amount absorbed from calcium carbonate supplements. This difference is important because women who take calcium supplements that are poorly absorbed are not as well protected against calcium-related bone loss and possible osteoporosis. The researchers pooled data from 15 previously published studies in which men and women took either calcium citrate or calcium carbonate supplements. Calcium citrate is better absorbed than calcium carbonate by about 25%, whether it is taken on an empty stomach or given with meals.

American Journal of Therapeutics November 1999;6:303-311,313-321.

Journal of Clinical Pharmacology December 1999;39:1-4.

Calcium May Help Those Trying To Lose Weight

High-calcium, low-calorie diets help obese mice lose weight at rates double those of mice given low levels of calcium. Researchers believe high levels of dietary calcium may suppress hormones that help us 'hold on' to stored fat. For any given level of energy balance -- of calorie intake and physical activity -- dietary calcium helps determine whether calories go to storage in the form of fat, or get burned.

The investigators were first tipped off to a potential link between calcium and fat metabolism in studies conducted years ago in obese men. When the men were placed on high-calcium diets they lost significant amounts of body fat, -- even though their calorie intake remained the same. Studies in mice suggested that low-calcium diets help stimulate hormones that push dietary calcium into fat cells. These hormones also appear to 'switch on' fat-storing and fat-preserving mechanisms within fat cells. High-calcium diets seem to have the opposite effect -- suppressing these weight-gain hormones so that the mice stay thin.

But would high-calcium diets help already obese mice lose weight? In their latest round of research, researchers provided overweight mice with one of five diets. One group of mice stayed on the same high-calorie, low-calcium regimens that made them fat to begin with. The other four groups were placed on 30% reduced-calorie diets with varying levels of calcium intake, either from supplements (calcium carbonate) or dairy (dry skim milk powder).

Animals placed on low-cal, low-calcium diets did lose a little weight -- about 11% of total body weight and 8% of total body fat. But obese mice placed on the high-calcium, low-cal diets lost roughly a fifth of their body weight and 42% of their body fat over the next 6 weeks. And mice who got their calcium from dairy lost even more -- a quarter of their body weight and 60% of their body fat.

Clinical trials are now underway, and results in humans should become available within a year. It's not clear why calcium from dairy might stimulate fat loss any more efficiently than supplemental calcium carbonate. Calcium is also found in produce such as collards, turnip greens, rhubarb, broccoli and kale.

Experimental Biology 2000 Conference San Diego April 17, 2000

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