Calcium is only one of 12 minerals that compose our bones. A balance between all of these minerals is necessary for bone health, and an excess of calcium increases the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Contrary to popular belief, calcium supplementation and calcium-fortified foods are not needed to produce strong, healthy bones. A proper balance of a variety of minerals makes for better bone health.
How did we get into calcium excess?
A huge push towards calcium supplements has led many people to believe that if they don't take calcium, their bones will shatter. After decades of supplementation, our rates of osteoporosis have only gone up.
Many of our foods have also been fortified with calcium, such as conventional dairy and dairy alternatives, juice, pasta, bread, and even water.
Due to the low-sodium diet push, many of us have eliminated mineral-rich salt from our diet which further throws our minerals out of balance. Our soil over the years has also been depleted, which means we no longer get the necessary amount of minerals from the food we eat.
What are the dangers of excess calcium?
When the body has an excess of calcium, the magnesium burn rate increases, where our body goes through magnesium at a rapid speed, depleting the body of this vital mineral that most of us are already deficient in.
When our body recognizes that we are losing magnesium, it attempts to hold on to whatever it can by suppressing the adrenal glands. This often leads to thyroid dysfunctions, diabetes, and even cardiovascular issues.
The sodium-potassium pump:
The sodium-potassium pump moves sodium and potassium across the cell membranes. It moves sodium out of the cell, and potassium into the cell. This is what brings amino acids, glucose, and many other nutrients into our cells to give us energy.
Once the adrenal glands are suppressed, our body goes into something called sodium-pump failure. This is where sodium and potassium are drastically lost through urine, which means that the body is no longer getting nutrients pumped into the cells (except for fat cells).
Sodium and potassium are crucial to many health functions, such as creating stomach acid and maintaining thyroid function, nerve signals, and blood pressure. The loss of these creates a domino effect of health consequences.
As excess calcium gets stored in the body, also called calcification, it makes its way to the arteries and tissues.
This forms calcific plaque in the arteries and leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. In western medicine, this is often treated with statin drugs, which are known to cause liver damage and are not very effective at preventing heart attacks.
Due to amino acids not making it into the cells, the body will no longer be able to make collagen, while at the same time excess calcium forms up in the tissues, which leads to issues like osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of sodium-pump failure due to excess calcium
- Low stomach acid + digestive issues, which are often "remedied" by antacids like Tums, which are made from calcium
- Food allergies, due to impaired protein digestion from low stomach acid
- Hypothyroidism 2, thyroid hormone resistance develops due to calcium/potassium imbalance in the cells
- Hypertension, which leads to the prescription of calcium-channel blockers which are associated with heart attacks
- Obesity, since the fat cells are still getting glucose while the rest of the cells do not. The body also becomes starved for nutrients and minerals, which induces hunger very often.
- Migraines, due to severe magnesium loss
- Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, caused by a lack of minerals in the body and calcium deposits in the tissues
- Heart disease, due to calcification
- Type 2 diabetes, due to insulin resistance
- Increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects
How to minimize effects of calcium excess:
- Add high-quality salt (such as sea salt) back to your diet to get iodine and trace minerals (balanced with selenium from food sources like Brazil nuts)
- Replenish magnesium levels by drinking magnesium bicarbonate
- Increase stomach acid production by eating bitter foods and herbs
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet with healthy animal fats and organs
- Add minerals to your daily water
- Vitamin E and Vitamin K2 help to regulate calcium and reduce calcification
- Reduce consumption of conventional dairy that is fortified with calcium
- Avoid processed foods that are fortified with calcium and iron