Despite the consumption of dairy foods, which are famous for their rich sources of calcium, there has been a widespread calcium deficiency in the U.S. for more than two hundred years. We are a nation of calcium deficient diseases, yet we continue to tell people to drink their milk. If milk is the solution to the calcium issue, why do we have a calcium deficiency epidemic? The truth is that we are not deficient in calcium; we are simply unable to absorb the calcium we consume.
Milk is not a good source of absorbable calcium; its calcium is bound by phosphorus, as well as in a poor balance with magnesium and potassium, which are necessary for calcium absorption, so only twenty to thirty percent of the calcium in milk is usable by the body. Milk protein also accelerates calcium excretion from the blood through the kidneys. The issue is not only how much calcium is consumed but rather how many other things in the diet interfere with the calcium absorption, or put a higher demand on calcium needs.
Many, many factors increase the need for calcium: soft drinks, sugar, high protein foods, alcohol, caffeine, some drugs, and foods high in oxalic acid (like potatoes, tomatoes, and cooked spinach). Elimination of these problem foods and the addition of magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins D and K have been proven over and over to help with the problem of calcium deficiency. You will see much more about vitamin D in the news soon. Do you know we did not even have a test to check blood levels of vitamin D until 1997? There has been much revealing new information about vitamin D. The system our bodies use to make vitamin D is one that we go out into the sun and make thousands of units of cholecalciferol, which the liver then turns into 25(OH). Our organs then make a steroid hormone called 1, 25-D, which helps regulate genes in every organ of the body. One of those important functions is calcium absorption.
We need to think about this for a minute, since science now tells us it takes twenty minutes of full body exposure to make the amount of 1, 25-D our bodies need each day.
We can get Vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus from our foods, but what about the vitamin D? On top of the fact that we do not have the time in the middle of the day in our culture to get that sun exposure, we have actually been told to cover up and hide from the sun. For the sake of staying on the calcium topic, does it make any sense to keep upping calcium without getting vitamin D? It may seem impossible to get enough calcium rich foods into the diet, but that is because we are used to processed fast foods, and we are not getting results by just adding calcium supplements. Instead of using homogenized, processed products as our calcium source, we could think of these foods as the poisons they are and avoid them as if our lives depend on it, because they do. I have not consumed homogenized, pasteurized cow’s milk products for over thirty years; the milk I did consume for a time was raw milk, and I found as research shows, even though it has enzymes to assist in digestion, it is a stress at the least on our digestive systems. If you have any digestive or skin issues, even though there may be slight benefit to some to consume these cow milk foods, you should eliminate even raw cow’s milk products from your diet. Research points out to us the addictive nature of cow’s milk sugar and fat. The only way you will know is to eliminate this food for at least three months. If it is the only thing you eliminate, you may not see the results I am expecting. This can be a stubborn addiction for many of us.