Calcium is a mineral considered to be detrimental to human life. Its functions in the body are imperative and it’s concentration is very important to our health. Found in the earth crust Calcium is an earth alkali, usually in the form of a salt. In the human body 98% or 3 lbs of Calcium are found in our bones, 1% is in our teeth and the rest is circulating in our blood and found in our tissues. Calcium is detrimental to many life functions including the health of our bones as well as regulating muscle and heart contractions. Maintaining adequate levels of Calcium in our bodies, unfortunately is not as simple as just taking in enough Calcium rich foods: it’s absorption is sensitive and as our bodies age become less easily absorbed. So how can we increase absorption? Like all vitamins and minerals, Calcium does not act alone but in synergy with others to assist in its absorption into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is considered to be the most essential in this absorption process, but not far behind are Vitamins A and C.
As if this isn’t all confusing enough…some new studies have revealed that “excessive” amounts of animal proteins, including those from dairy sources are creating such an acidic environment within our bodies that Calcium is actually being taken from our bones to aid as a buffer, bringing our bodies pH back to normal: leading to the decalcification of our bones and in extreme cases leading to osteoporosis. While so much science is conflicting and one study may disprove another, it is truly confusing to decipher where the truth is in all of this. While we embark upon a true renaissance period in human health, I urge you to do your own research and decide what is best for you. In my opinion, I feel that obtaining the majority of your Calcium from plant rich sources such as: Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans (pinto, adzuki and soybeans especially) and nuts (brazilian, hazelnuts and almonds in particular) would be the most optimal. The one thing we know for certain is that animal proteins cause a more acidic internal environment, while plants do not.
For more information on these studies see:
http://www.forksoverknives.com/about/ (great movie about the negative affects of animal foods on our health)