Calcium—An Extremely Important Mineral

calciumIn the minds of most who are concerned about health, calcium is important for building strong bones. Generally, the physician does not explain all that calcium does in the body. We are told that calcium plaque is very dangerous, but we are not told how calcium plaque forms. We are told that cholesterol is the reason for blocked arteries. Really? Strong bones are used as a storage place for calcium as well as to support our structure. Calcium acts in almost every biological activity in the human body. That is the reason that our calcium is controlled in such narrow limits within our blood.

Calcium is required for every thought you make and every action you take. When neurons fire in your brain, signal muscle contraction, or sensory feedback, calcium is required. The signal travels along the neuron to the neural head through the action of voltage potential, sodium, and potassium. Before the neurotransmitters are released to carry the signal to the next neuron, a voltage gated calcium channel opens to allow calcium to flow into the cell. This fact has allowed the creation of a calcium channel blocker, gabapentin (brand name Neurontin). This drug was originally used to stop seizures. It was later used to blunt the action of pain signals. In blocking the action of the neuron, it slows done all neural response. Because the drug was used as an “off label” to block pain and not approved as such, the manufacturer was fined both in the US and the EU. A second drug, pregabalin or Lyrica, was patented and approved for pain reduction and to prevent seizures.

When I was in significant back pain, tramadol was prescribed. Because the pain was not being sufficiently blunted by tramadol, gabapentin was also prescribed. I was able to function well, with pain, with the tramadol. When gabapentin was added, I felt like tar flowing uphill on a cold day. The first experience with gabapentin was slow speech. My trainer sent me home because I was slurring my words. After two months on gabapentin, I had to drink fourteen plus cups of coffee just to function. It not only blocked pain, it blunted all neural action. I got off the drug. There are many other side effects of this drug.

The narrow range of calcium in the blood also has the important action of maintaining a proper acid/base balance. Without a proper acid/base balance, the proteins in our blood tend to fold. This causes loss of the oxygen carrying ability of red cells. It also causes other proteins to not respond for proper biological action.

Secondary signaling is also a very important action of calcium. Before proteins and enzymes are formed, calcium plays an important role. Calcium floods into the cell initiating the RNA/DNA response for the formation of important proteins and enzymes. The RNA/DNA response also includes cell division. Without this signaling, our biology would fail.

How is calcium controlled in our body? There are multiple mechanisms that must be supported by nutrients for proper control of calcium:

  • Vitamin D acts to allow increased calcium absorption in the gut. In the parathyroid gland, parathyroid hormone (PTH) is produced to increase calcium absorption from the gut or from our bones if we are not consuming enough calcium in our diet. If we are not consuming enough calcium, osteopenia and osteoporosis will occur. This is the start of bone loss and other assorted problems like calcium plaque forming in our arteries. Blocked arties and osteoporosis seem to go together. There has not been a single case of secondary hyperparathyroidism when the blood serum level of 25(OH)D, a marker for vitamin D sufficiency, is above 40 ng/ml. Two studies of research literature have shown this.  Secondary hyperparathyroidism is when your parathyroid becomes over active and causes your serum calcium levels to go into a high danger zone. The typical response of modern medicine is to remove several of your parathyroid glands.
  • Loss of proper gut bacteria causes the loss of the important vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 acts to move calcium to the proper locations in our body. It has been shown to reduce calcium plaque in the arteries. It has also been used in Japan for osteoporosis as a prescription drug. Typically, we need vitamin K2 at a rate of about one thousand micrograms per day. Vitamin K2 must be produced in the gut or supplemented. Fermented foods as well as probiotics are known sources of restoring and maintaining our gut bacteria. Properly maintain gut bacteria allow the formation of many nutrients and helps maintain our immune system.
  • When our calcium level starts to go too high, calcitonin is formed by our thyroid glands (or bodies on the thyroid gland). Calcitonin acts to replace calcium in our bones. It is important to keep a healthy thyroid gland. Health of the thyroid is related to how much iodine is consumed. The US government recommends that we only need 150 micrograms per day. This is significantly lower than the consumption of the Japanese population. Studies have shown that typical consumption in Japan is five to fifteen milligrams per day or approximately one hundred times more than the US recommendation. Dr. David Brownstein in his book, “Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Cannot Live Without it,” suggests that we need a minimum of 12.5 milligrams (combination of iodine/iodide) per day or more if there are serious thyroid issues. I do this either with the supplement Iodoral or Lugol’s solution.
  • Vitamin A is also very important. In my reading of the literature, I am now of the understanding that we do not produce vitamin A from beta-carotene until we are already deficient. This is the body’s mechanism to keep us alive. The importance of vitamin A with bones is the differentiation of bone and cartilage stems cells. It acts in combination with Vitamin D for form a dimer for the differentiation. I supplement vitamin A by taking cod liver oil as a liquid or capsules or eat a piece of beef liver every three weeks.
  • Collagen is also very important in the formation of bone and cartilage. We typically got this protein from bone gravies. It was suggested many years ago that we should stop eating gravies, the drippings of skin and bone when cooking meat, because there was too much fat. The mass hysteria about overconsumption of fat has led to increased consumption of sugar. Sugar stimulates insulin and havoc occurs in our bodies. Reduction or elimination of sugar and flour is also important to bone health.  Are you starting to see how this is all interrelated? To get enough collagen, I put one to two teaspoons of just plain gelatin in my morning coffee. Bone broth is also a good source of important proteins. Vitamin C and magnesium also act to help us form collagen in our body.

Mineralization of our bones not only requires calcium but also magnesium. There are many other minerals that act in the formation of our bones. Primarily, this is through the action of enzymes. To be sure that I am getting enough of these micronutrients, I take a multi-mineral each day. The multi-mineral also supports my calcium requirement. The requirement for magnesium is 3.5 to 4.5 mg per pound of body weight per day. Magnesium supplementation should be done with a chelate of amino acids and not as magnesium oxide. We do not absorb magnesium oxide, and you are just wasting your money if you use magnesium oxide as a supplement. Also, magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker and should be taken in the evenings to support sleep. Magnesium requirements.

This is a long post and somewhat complicated. However, to not allow our biology to move calcium around properly through consumption of the proper nutrients is the first step toward your grave.          –Pandemic Survivor

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Thinking about Cholesterol

Let’s just stop for a while and do some critical thinking about cholesterol.  I am not bound by having a medical degree or much education in the biological sciences.   This frees me from boundaries that are typically imposed when trying to come up with a new theory or hypothesis.  There are just about always these preconceived notions about how a process works that stops researchers from considering other pathways or avenues or even superhighways though they are clearly marked.  Of course this is really good for the keepers of the cash cow.  With that out of the way this makes it possible to allow my imagination to run free without restraint.

Okay so researchers, maybe you should pay attention to what I am about to say because some day it may make you a super star if you pursue my line of thinking.  However, if you work for one of the companies that make statin drugs and start talking about what I am proposing then you better put your things in a box and start looking for a new job.

So what is cholesterol?  It has the word sterol in it so that most likely makes it a fat.  So what do we know about fats?  They are necessary for life because I remember the story about the arctic explorers that had this canned food that was primarily carbohydrates and protein and they started to get sick and bloat.  It was later discovered that you have to have fat to survive.  It has also been discovered that we do not need carbohydrates to survive but this battle still rages on.  We do know that low fat foods that have the fats replaced with sugars or other carbohydrates just make us fatter.   I have proved this over and over by the amount of weight that I gain when I eat low fat foods.  And on top of that, the low fat foods just make me want to eat more.

Now there have been all of these stories about how cholesterol in the blood causes your arteries to clog up with plaque and this stops the blood flow.  When your blood does not flow for more than about five minutes you die and this is not good to a long life.  I have read studies that say that too much cholesterol causes this plaque problem and heart disease.  I have read studies that say there is no correlation between cholesterol and heart disease in more recent literature.  It was suggested that since a high amount of cholesterol would cause heart disease and that since cholesterol is fat that we eat too much fat and this causes us to have heart disease.  This seems so counter intuitive to the understanding about the explorers that did not get enough fat.

We can just put all of that aside and say that cholesterol is a marker and not necessarily a cause and effect for heart disease.  Now what does being a marker mean?  Well it means that a certain thing is an indication that something will happen.  It is like the speed indicator in your car.  If it says that you are going 70 mph that the car is going very fast and all the physical things that you can expect to happen at this speed will happen.  The speed indicator is not the cause of the car moving at this speed.  The indicator only says that the car is going at this speed.

Now, when I had severe back pain and my vertebral disc were failing and I had sleep apnea, I had very high cholesterol readings.  I had one test that indicated that my cholesterol was over 240.  The test also said that my fasting triglycerides were 680 or extremely high.  I also had problems with my heart because I was having pre-ventricular contractions and one time even a sudden fast heart rate.  My heart rate went over 200 bpm and stayed there for over 15 minutes.  I was in so much pain from the pressure on my spinal cord that I just thought that maybe this was it and I would just die and get rid of the pain.  However, my heart slowed down and I was just fine except for the severe continuous ever hurting downright destroying evil pain – pain – pain.

Then I started taking vitamin D3.  My spine healed.  My sleep apnea went away because the nerves for the lungs and throat were free to do what they were supposed to do.  My heart started working just fine.  My energy returned.  My brain healed.  My mind cleared. And guess what else happened.  That’s right on my last blood test, my cholesterol was 175 and my fasting triglycerides were 72.  Now how could this be because since I have been out of pain I eat the worst diet ever.  I am still overweight (BMI 130) even though recently my metabolism seems to be speeding up and I have lost 10 lbs in the last month. I eat now because I can because there is no pain when my gut gets big unlike before when my spine was shot.  So why would eating cheeseburgers and french fries and milk shakes cause my lipid profile to improve?

Thinking about arterial plaque, I have recently read that this plaque is a very small percentage of the gooey stuff that holds it together from cholesterol.  It is mostly calcium dross.  I like the word dross because that is what forms when you get too much oxygen over molten metal and so this is what happens in the arteries and not the veins where the oxygen is low.  Too much oxygen in the arteries causes the calcium in the blood to form dross.  This makes about as much sense as what we have been told about how the fat causes our arteries to plug.  If it was just fat, then the veins would clog as well.

So following the logic of the ‘eat low fat’ people, we should just stop breathing as this would not allow oxygen into the arteries and cause dross to plug them.  Now you guys that majored in the biological sciences still with me or have I sucked all of the air from your systems?  I know this is way out, but what fun!!!!!!!!!

When reading about how our body makes vitamin D, I discovered that the ultraviolent B radiation on cholesterol in the skin causes it to turn into vitamin D.  This vitamin D along with some isomers and other products like metabolites that it forms makes up our vitamin D physiology.  Now not being hampered by a biological religious cult, I would just think that as our bodies get enough vitamin D to where systems get satisfied that we stop making cholesterol.  When we do not go out into the sun and our vitamin D level gets low, our liver and skin spits out lots of cholesterol and our body starts screaming at us, ‘GO INTO THE SUN’.  We go into the sun and if there is enough UVB then our body makes D3.  We are happy as our pineal gland starts spitting out the commands for all of these happiness squads of hormones that can now act because we have enough vitamin D.

Process of vitamin D being made from cholesterol, University of California Riverside.

This also makes sense from understanding that the plaque in our arteries is a calcium plaque and the primary system for controlling calcium absorption is vitamin D.  If we do not have enough vitamin D then calcium serum regulation falls to the parathyroid hormones like a failsafe system.  We survive and do not thrive.

And while I am thinking about it, I do not believe there is a single case of secondary hyperparathyroidism when the serum 25(OH)D level is above 40 ng/ml in the medical literature.  At least that is what a bunch of guys from Spain have said in 2003.  You would think that knowing how PTH and 25(OH)D work together that we would increase the level of 25(OH)D before we started chopping out peoples parathyroids.  This happened to a friend of mined and he simply increased his 25(OH)D, his serum calcium normalized and he did have to get his parathyroids chopped.

So then, cholesterol is just a marker for low vitamin D levels in the body which means that we need to take action to get the level of vitamin D up so that over 2000 genes can turn off when they are supposed to be off and on when they are suppose to be on.

Changing the cholesterol level to try to prevent heart disease then would be like making the speed indicator on the car read 35 mph when we are really going 70.  We are just looking for an accident to happen because we do not know that we are going so fast because of the artificial indication.  I suspect this is what happens when we take statin drugs which I understand are just bad mimics of the vitamin D feedback system that tells us to stop making cholesterol.  This is really bad because when we do go into the sun we do not have adequate amounts of cholesterol to make vitamin D.  Okay, biological geeks, did you get it?  This is the reason for all the confounded data in your studies because your theories just – well- truly suck!

I say to you, the manufacturers of statin drugs, that I do not believe that you are so bad at logic and biological science that you could get this so wrong.  I think that you had dollars signs in your eyes because you could not figure out a way to profit from healthy people replete in vitamin D.  So it is obvious that you love money more than people even though it is the people, your customers, that is providing you this money.

I suspect that there is enough data out there from other studies that an energetic researcher could crunch around to show that when peoples serum 25(OH)D levels are less than 32 ng/ml that they have a problem with high cholesterol.  Get the levels up to above 50 ng/ml for a couple of months and I would suspect that you would see a significant drop in cholesterol.  It happened to me and others that I know.  Are our bodies just freaks of nature?

It seems that doctors that have tried this on patients with heart disease have had great success.  Why don’t you go visit with Dr. William Davis at the Heart Scan Blog and see for yourself.

Even better –GO INTO THE SUN!!!!!!!!!!!   – Pandemic Survivor