We have all heard that we need calcium in our diets for osteoporosis prevention, but there are other minerals at least as important as calcium. And without these other minerals, taking calcium won't prevent osteoporosis.
In fact, a recent study linked calcium supplements taken by themselves, to heart attacks. While the study found that people taking calcium supplements were more likely to have heart attacks, the study looked at people taking only calcium and not the other minerals along with calcium, including vitamin K2, that are needed to work with the calcium in our bodies.
In other words, taking calcium by itself is ineffective in fighting osteoporosis! It may even harm us. We need other minerals that work with the calcium or the calcium will build up in the wrong parts of our bodies.
Where do we get these important minerals? If our diet is rich in vegetables, we will likely be getting many of the minerals that we need.
In addition to calcium, we need vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, silica and omega 3 fatty acids to ensure healthy bones.
Magnesium contributes to increased bone density. Magnesium works hand in hand with calcium. It promotes the efficient use of calcium and supports the quality of the bone that is formed. Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone,
calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues and back into the
Magnesium suppresses another hormone called parathyroid, preventing it from breaking down bone.
Magnesium also helps to convert vitamin D into a form that helps with calcium absorption. It activates an enzyme that helps to form new bone.
Because our bones are made of two parts calcium and one part magnesium, researchers recommend a 2:1 calcium to magnesium ratio.
Magnesium can be found in:
Magnesium is also available in supplement form. Be aware that taking too much of magnesium orally can cause a laxative effect!
Magnesium can be taken as an oil that is rubbed into your skin. By allowing the magnesium to be absorbed through your skin, you avoid the potential laxative effect of the oral magnesium.
It's important to maintain the proper pH levels and to maintain the right sodium to potassium ratio within our bodies. This helps support healthy bones. If our pH level is too acidic, our bodies will pull calcium out of our bones to help alkalize our body. Potassium helps support the correct pH balance in our bodies.
Learn more about the importance of alkaline vs. acidic pH values.
Potassium found in fresh vegetables will contribute to the right ratio. If you are eating a lot of processed foods, you will likely be out of balance and too acidic.
Potassium is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables including bananas, oranges, tomatoes and potatoes.
D3 isn't really a vitamin - it's a hormone that is important because it influences thousands of our genes. It has been found to turn on and off genes that can prevent or cause disease. Due to people now avoiding the sun, the majority of Americans may have a vitamin D3 deficiency.
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium.
We can get our needed vitamin D3 just by getting sunlight each day on our skin or by taking a vitamin D3 supplement.
While new recommended daily allowances are set at 600 IU's, many doctors are recommending at least 2000 IU's per day.
The French scientist, Louis Kevran, spent many years studying silica and calcium. He found that silica in our body is transformed into calcium that our bodies can use.
We can get silica from tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and herbs such as horsetail and nettles.
Dr. Cees Vermeer, one of the top researchers on vitamin K believes that most people are deficient in it.
There are 2 kinds of vitamin K:
1. Vitamin K1 helps our blood to clot. It is found in green vegetables
2. Vitamin K2 works with vitamin D to ensure that calcium is moved to the right places such as our bones and our teeth.
And vitamin K2 also removes calcium from places that it shouldn't
be such as our arteries.
Vitamin K2 is made from the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract.
Vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 work together to strengthen our bones. When we take vitamin D3 Without getting enough vitamin K2, the calcium in our body will not be distributed properly which can result in hardening of the arteries or
weaker bones. Without vitamin K2, calcium may build up in the wrong areas of our bodies, instead of in our bones.
In addition, research on animals shows that vitamin K2 prevents hardening of the arteries and can reverse calcification of the arteries.
In a study in 2004 researchers in the Rotterdam study found that people who had the highest intake of vitamin K2 had 50% lower risk of death from coronary heart disease.
Scientist believe that was due to K2 preventing calcium build up in the subjects' arteries.
Researchers believe that 180 to 200 micrograms of vitamin K may be enough to keep us in good health.
There is no test for vitamin K2. According to the famed integrative medicine doctor, Dr. Joseph Mercola, if you have osteoporosis, heart disease or diabetes you are likely to be deficient in vitamin K2. If you don't have these
health issues, but don't eat the following foods, you may still be deficient:
1. Grass fed meat and dairy, free range chicken
2. Fermented vegetables or natto (a Japanese fermented soy product)
3. Some cheeses such as Gouda or Brie
You can also take a vitamin K2 supplement or natto, a fermented Japanese soy product.
Our bones are made up of minerals and collagen. The minerals give us bone density and the collagen gives our bones flexibility so that they don't break easily. Drugs can build up bone density, but without flexibility our bones become brittle.
Eating a variety of fresh vegetables (especially raw), grass-fed dairy and butter, eggs from pasteured chickens, and fermented foods such as kefir and vegetables, as well as eliminating processed foods will go a long way to maintaining our bone health.
These foods are mineral rich and will provide the additional nutrients we need to support both bone density and flexibility.
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