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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Assault on the Nervous Systems by Anti-Cognitive Chemicals

What do chloramines, fluoridation, lead corrosion, vitamin D deficiency, bromine, mineral sulfate removal, and iodine deficiency have in common?  They should all be classified as anti-cognitive biological chemical processes. We can be our own worst enemy.  We have been highly successful in our use of chemicals for technological advancement.  We try to protect ourselves from toxic substances and pathogens, while creating health problems through unintended consequences.  This has been the case for increases in Alzheimer’s, ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other general cognitive impairment.  Halogen (iodine, bromine, fluorine, etc.) physiology along with mineral deficiencies needs to be significantly reviewed in the US and the use of halogens in our food supplies and water sources need to be adjusted accordingly.

Consider in the late 1990’s that the EPA decided it would be a really great thing to reduce the amount of chloromethane created from the chlorination of water.  They did this by forcing the use of ammonia added to water at the treatment plants creating chemicals in the water called chloramines.  Chloramines formed in water are so toxic that fish cannot live in it.  However, it is a longer lasting water disinfectant and it does not seem to generate as much chloromethane, a carcinogen.  However, the other toxic disinfectant byproducts (DBP’s) that are created and unregulated are of concern.  One of these may be halogen acetic acids.  HAA’s have a stated standard with standards for chloro-acetic acid and iodo-acetic acid, but no standard for fluoro-acetic acid.

Chloraminated water is much more corrosive, most likely from the created HAA’s.  This causes the leaching of lead from water pipes in supply and distribution systems (my city has thousands of miles of iron pipe held together at the joints with lead like must municipalities) and home potable water systems that are joined with solder lead joints.  There have been several studies showing an increase in lead content in water after the start of chloramination or the use of chloramines.

Fluoride has been shown to aid the build-up of the concentration of lead in the human body.  So by fluoridation of water to supposedly improve our dental health along with the use of chloramines, we have inadvertently created higher amounts of lead.  This is of major concern for the developing brains of our children and the aging brains of elderly.

The US is the only country in the world that allows the use of bromine in baking and in cloudy citrus drinks.  This iodine mimic causes significantly physiological malfunction in the thyroid as well as other functional biological iodine processes.  Consider that children have a ten to fifteen times higher uptake of iodine versus adults and consider the damage.  Bromine is not used in other countries because it is a carcinogen.

Add to this vitamin and mineral deficiency.  Vitamin D is responsible for mineral balance in the body, in particular the sodium-sulfate co-transporter.  Adequate sulfate is necessary for the formation of cerebroside sulfate that is necessary for proper neuron development.  Also consider that iodine deficiency is considered by the World Health Organization as the number one cause of mental illness in the world.  Sulfate also is the body’s best defense against toxins as it removes them through water soluble sulfate esters. Cities remove the sulfate minerals from the water because it is stinky and plugs the pipes.  Iodine, D3, and sulfate deficiencies combine as a disaster for mental function.

Take away iodine, vitamin D3, sulfate and add neuro-toxins and iodine mimics and you have the perfect conditions necessary for cognitive impairment.  Well the cause is idiopathic the experts claim.  Is Dr. M. Scott Peck accurate in his description of group evil through specialization?  One thing is certain, idiots and unintended consequences always seem to find each other.  In the case of water disinfection and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, you might say that this meeting of idiots and unintended consequences has created epicentric waves of causation for cognitive impairment.  For now, your cognizant commenter – Pandemic Survivor

Further Reading:

WHO on Nutrition for the CNS
Medscape Cognitive Deficits
“Limit Fluoride to Prevent Lead Poisoning” PRNews
Dr. Mercola on Chloramines
Wiki Autism Causes
VCE collection of Chloramine Science
Science Daily – Ames’ Study: Vitamin D causal link Autism

 

Migraine Solutions– Further Considerations

Last post we said that deficiency in vitamin and minerals could be the cause of migraines.  I suggested the following to consider: vitamin D, magnesium as a chelate, sulfate, and a multiple vitamin. I would like to suggest another mineral, iodine.  The combination of vitamin D and iodine are very significant in the balance of your hormones.

The stories of people taking iodine supplements and eliminating migraines are endless on the internet.  I thought that with that many people saying iodine was a significant factor that I could find a paper about it.  However, I found nothing on PubMed which really surprised me.

The problem with iodine deficiency is that we are being overcome with mimics like fluorine and bromine.  When you start to take iodine supplements, if you get enough, these other halides will detox from your body.  Dr. Brownstein is an excellent source for material on iodine.  Here are a couple of more.  From a pharmacist: –  From a retired doctor:  From Dr. Mercola  Here is a rebuttal to Dr. Mercola’s article by Gabriel Cousins MD and you will find a reference about using iodine to treat migraines.

I also found many comments for quick relief about using one tablespoon full of apple cider vinegar, try organic with the mother, in a tall glass of water.  Some suggested using a tablespoon of honey to make it go down easier.  My mother used to do this every morning because she said it made her feel better.

I really don’t know how this works unless somehow it overcomes the triggers that initiated the headache.  I suspect this would be true if the headache were triggered by a sinus condition or by a smell.

My best suggestions for long term reduction of the migraine events are: vitamin D, magnesium as a chelate, iodine, sulfate, and a multiple vitamin.  Also eat a lot of greens to be sure you are getting enough potassium and folate.  Some suggest a tablespoon full of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water for quick relief.  – Pandemic Survivor

Medicine versus Nutrition – The Fight for Life

Enter the FDA which has responsibility for both food and medical products including drugs.  The FDA was originally formed in 1906 to prohibit mislabeled and adulterated drugs in interstate commerce to stop the snake oil salesmen.  Please note that the Sixteenth Amendment to allow income tax was ratified in 1913.  Fast forward to 1994; the Dietary and Supplement Health and Education Act provided anything that healed, cured, treated, or diagnosed a disease be processed to market as a drug.  Food them became something that was only required for wellness but could not be used to treat illness as medicine.  Why have I bothered you with this bit of disturbing information that you most likely knew already?

On the evening of the fourth, I was skipping through TV channels waiting for the fireworks to begin.  I stumbled onto the Nightly Business Report on public TV.  They were showcasing a restaurant that did not follow the normal rules of business for a restaurant and yet survived.  Then as an aside, they gave the total grocery sales in the US and then total restaurant sales.  In round numbers there is 600 billion in grocery sales and 800 billion in restaurant sales.  It hit me like a rock.  The total cost of food in the US is about half of what it cost to provide health care.  Health care per capita comes in at about $8,000 and using the above numbers food per capita comes in at about $4,500.  Interesting!  That’s 2.4 trillion for medicine and 1.4 trillion for food.  Certainly brings up lots of questions like – do we value medicine more than food?  Sure looks like giving up freedom for security has odd ways of confounding our lives.

In 1960, I suspect as percentage of GDP, these numbers were reversed.  I know that health care was approximately five percent of GDP.  I suspect that food was close to fifteen percent instead of the ten percent that it is now.  Lots of cheap food and the need to get the largest segment of our economy healthy (play on words intended) has lead to a mass of feeble-freeloading-fat people.  You know if we made food as expensive as health care then maybe we could solve the obesity problem.  To do that we would just need to follow the business plan of the medical industrial complex (again play on words intended).  The only thing we would need to do is to allow insurance companies a monopoly by state to insure food.  Then we could guarantee that food would be delivered everyday to everyone as this is a right given by the government.  We would then force people into buying the food insurance by taxing them severely if they did not.

Given John Roberts recent ruling this is very doable.  You can bet the “BIG BOY INSURANCE” food and medical industrial complex are discussing it.  After all, Health and Human Resources has the principles that ‘markets are before mandates’ and ‘to value life’ is last on their agenda.  The economy is more important than your health for the survival of the financial, insurance, medial, food industrial complex.  President Dwight Eisenhower left us with these words as he was leaving office in January 1961: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  We have not heeded his message with the military industrial complex and now the “Robber Barons Snake Oil Salesmen” have, since 1960, confounded our food and medicine to meet their desires.  It is time for a food and medicine evolution.  We cannot make it a revolution which the “Barons” depend on because of fear of our lives.  The sudden shift in financial centers for food versus medicine would cause chaos.

Have the ‘big boys’ already started – NY Times, Opinion by Michael Pollen, 2009  Michael has it almost right, but is just enough wrong to get you to participate in the greater scheme of deciding what you should eat for profit.  As long as the government can force you to participate in both industries, food and medicine, you are fodder for the mill.  The more sick people there are the larger the insurancemedicalfoodindustrial complex will become along with more misplaced power.  Michael says the insurance companies would be trying to help fix the food system because it would reduce the number of sick people and medical cost.  It is just the opposite.   More sales grow the economy and insurance profits.  Everybody is happy except for the citizens to whom no empathy is being shown.

How do you evolve and kick the ‘big boy’ bullies in the knee?  Get well!  Michael Pollen restates the fact that seventy five percent of health care is from chronic disease.  The chronic disease state comes from being overfeed while starving to death from poor nutrition along with being scared out of the sun for the last fifty years.  The medical system is being manipulated to maintain snake oil for health as drugs.  Real health, healing, preventing, curing, and treating disease come from good nutrition.  Be sure to get enough of the things that are making you hungry and are missing from your diet.  In what are we deficient:  Vitamin D3, vitamin C, vitamin A (it’s a lie that carotene turns into all the A complexes we need), saturated fat, potassium, magnesium, raw vegetables that have not had the enzymes processed out, iodine, and sulfur.  Eliminate from your diet the things that have been added to make you sick: genetically modified food (in particular wheat, corn, and soy beans), fluorine in the water and toothpaste (vitamin D will give you teeth that are strong enough to crunch ice without breaking), bromine (the US is the only country in the world to allow bromine in food because it is a carcinogen), artificial sweeteners, and sugar.  Maintain an optimistic attitude and forgive the people in our systems for what has happened to us as our main goal is love not violence.  America is a great nation and let’s keep it that way.  Your efforts will first be noted in the reduction of flu and colds, and then, in the reduction in the number of cancer deaths.  If everyone participated, we could see a fifty percent reduction in chronic disease or about a thirty five percent reduction in the requirement for health care cost.  You can bet the ‘big boys’ will not stand still and let this happen.  Do not allow yourself to be treated as herd animals.

Do you value medicine more than food as a means of security?  Your dollars say that this is a fact and the managers of the economy depend on you to remain in fear.  I suspect if you had the freedom to choose, you would give up medicine before nutrition.  Too much time on my hands? I am sure there are other explanations, but where is the truth?  Your life, wellness, and joy depend on you knowing the truth.  – Pandemic Survivor

Surviving Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a very serious disease but may be preventable and treatable with vitamin D.  This of course is true of all cancers.

We have a friend that discovered my knowledge of vitamin D and we were asked how he should consider its use for his problem of stage four prostate cancer (moved to the bladder and other distant organs).  It seems that he had pretty much given up hope because the treatment he was receiving was not working.  I suggested to him that he should find a clinic that would be willing to monitor his serum 25(OH)D and keep it at the level of a sunny country or between 60 to 90 ng/ml by using D3 while continuing his conventional treatments.  He accomplished this with the oncology clinic at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  Within six months the cancer was completely contained within his prostate and more importantly after four years he is still alive.

Would this have happened if he had not tried the vitamin D?  I suspect there would have been a funeral by now.

It seems there is a law that says you cannot offer any cancer treatment that is not chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.  I think that treating cancer with nutrition could be considered chemotherapy because the effect of getting whole foods with enzymes that have not been destroyed and proper minerals and vitamins is more effective than something pumped into your body through a drip.

If you have cancer eat as much whole foods as possible that are raw (vegetables and fruits that have had no processing) so as not to destroy the enzymes and be sure that you are getting enough of the proper minerals like calcium, magnesium, iodine, and potassium.  Do not die of cancer while you are vitamin D and iodine deficient!

Here is a review of prostate cancer and the impact of vitamin D by Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council.

Iodine is extremely important as it is the trigger for apoptosis or cellular death (causing tumors to shrink).  The body rids itself of excess iodine through the urine.  What if the supply to the renal system of iodine was cut off because of iodine deficiency and this in combination with vitamin D deficiency was the cause of prostate cancer?  If I had prostate cancer, I believe that I would ask my treating physician for an iodine challenge test to assure that I had enough iodine in my body.  I would not take no for an answer.  Resource articles for iodine

Living easy in the sun while eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables seems like the life that we should have.  –  Pandemic Survivor

Seizures and Electrolytes

From the Epilepsy Foundation we find that a seizure is: “A seizure is a massive disruption of electrical communication between neurons in the brain—.“  You can find this at their web site and this page defines a seizure and a seizure threshold.

As someone that is not trained in biology or medicine it seems that a seizure occurs when the ‘break-over voltage’ exceeds the resistance of the circuit.  This is how a semiconductor works as well which starts conduction when the ‘saturation voltage’ is reached.  So let’s think about how signals travel down neural pathways.  It would seem that they travel through a series of gates that control the ‘saturation’ levels of sodium and potassium along the pathway.  The ‘action potential’ varies along the axon causing the sodium gates to open and allow sodium into the axon and then the potassium gate opens and allows potassium to rush out so that through this mechanism the ‘signal’ travels along the axon.  When the signal reaches the synapse then neural transmitters are released to carry the signal to the next neuron through its dendrites.

The cell and axon returns to a stable voltage ‘without’ transmitting when the sodium potassium pumps through its action causes the sodium to be forced outside the axon and potassium to be brought into the axon thus reversing the signal or action potential.  The cell body is somewhat more complicated but know that calcium gates are somewhat controlled by the concentration of magnesium.

It is interesting that the article immediately goes to neural transmitters like GABA and ACH and how too much of these will cause the cells to be over stimulated and continue to fire.  This is somewhat different in how engineers would look at a semiconductor and what causes it to fire.  Yes we look at the voltage of the base to control whether the semiconductor is on or off.  However, we control what voltage causes the semiconductor to turn on/off by the amount of ‘doping’ or mineral/metal that is placed in the semiconductor during manufacture.  The equivalent of this in the body of the cell and the axon is how the gates of the cell are working to allow conductive ions in and out and if there is adequate amounts of these electrolytes available.

Ions that are associated with this conduction are calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.  So it would just seem that a proper diet is extremely critical for a stable environment of electrical conduction in the cell.  That is you need to eat and absorb enough of these minerals so that proper electrical potentials are maintain.

Before you consider changing your diet and taking supplements be sure that you consult with your physician to get him to approve your changes.  If he is resistant please suggest that he read the articles that I am suggesting for you.

Also as vitamin D is extremely important to maintain a healthy endocrine system, proper levels of this vital nutrient should be maintained.  The newer understanding is each cell makes its own steroid form of vitamin D from the storage form of vitamin D.  The cell does not have to get it through the serum level of the steroid as converted in the kidneys.  So does vitamin D affect the threshold levels for seizures?  Here is a study that was done in 1974 that says that there is an association:  “Anticonvulsant Action” of Vitamin D in Epileptic Patients? A Controlled Pilot Study  – 1974 Claus Christiansen, Paul Rødbro, and Ole Sjö

Also Dr. John Cannell talks extensively about seizures that are associated with autism and how that autism may be a result of vitamin D deficiency: “Vitamin D Deficiency’s Role in Autism”

Also Dr. Cannell has located many research articles that can be linked from PubMed through his research page on epilepsy.

ADP/ATP or your energy cycle in the mitochondrial bodies is important as this is where the energy for the sodium/potassium pump comes from.  Magnesium/calcium balance in the mitochondria is extremely critical in proper operation of this ‘energy engine’.  Some researchers claim that as much as 30 percent of the energy that is processed through these engines is used to maintain this balance.  It should also be noted that ADP and ATP are ions and the cation that this reaction works best with is magnesium.

We typically get enough calcium from our diets but whether we properly absorb the calcium is dependent on whether we are replete in vitamin D.  Magnesium however is another story.  I particularly like Krispin’s page on magnesium on how much is enough.  She is a life long nutritionist puts together a very clear way to get to proper magnesium levels.  Krispin’s webpage on magnesium.

Vitamin D levels that are replete tend to cause magnesium to be reduced in your body.  It typically takes about three months or longer for magnesium levels in the cells to reach a healthy value.  There are many research papers that you may access at www.mgwater.com.

Potassium is also not properly understood as you can see that we need a minimum of 4.7 grams per day from this report from the Institute of Medicine from February, 2004.  This article also tells you the proper  balance of sodium and chloride.  “Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate”

Krispin does a great job on how to determine how much potassium we should get in a day based on weight and what foods to get if from.  Krispin’s webpage on magnesium.

If you get a chance you may want to read her page on forgiveness:  this is great piece of work in how we our bodies relate to our environment and memory.

Iodine properly works for energy balance as well and I would suggest these two articles on iodine:

Donald W. Miller, Jr. MD  “Iodine for Health”

This recent article by Dr William Davis of the Heart Scan Blog written for life extension magazine:  “Halt on Salt Sparks Iodine Deficiency”

I know this is a lot but taking only neurotransmitter stabilizers without being sure that you have proper minerals for electrical balance is just a road toward bad health.  Remember the health of the brain activity is related to neural transmitter balance and electrolyte balance.  This is true of the heart as well as a majority of the cells in the heart are neural cells.

Remember that electrolytes are really inexpensive and cannot be prescribed so that is not much of a profit motive to actively treat using proper diet to achieve mineral balance.  Yet minerals may be more critical than neurotransmitters.  I have always suspected this was the case in depression.  Not enough potassium and magnesium to drive the signaling pathways.

EAT YOUR BUCKET OF DIRT!  Just kidding   – Pandemic Survivor