What You Need To Know About Calcium Supplements

For years we have heard that to maintain healthy bones we all need calcium supplements.  But is this true?

And if it is true, what supplements should we use, and how much?

The fact is that more and more information is surfacing that ties improper calcium supplementation with increased risk and occurrence of strokes and heart attacks.   There is even solid evidence that taking calcium supplements that are not truly bio-available increases cancer risks!

Furthermore, if you are taking the wrong calcium supplements they won’t even help you maintain healthy bones, nor will they provide any of the other benefits promised by those promoting calcium supplementation.

Yet, for many of us, proper calcium supplementation can provide very significant health benefits.  These include:

  • Healthier bones
  • Healthier joints
  • A lower level of overall stress in the body
  • Healthier teeth, with less risk of cavities and deterioration
  • Better and more restful sleep
  • Lower incidence of muscle cramps
  • Lower risk of age-related neurological degeneration
  • And more

So what do I mean by the “wrong calcium supplements”?  This is simple, like so many “mistakes” in both conventional and holistic health, it is all about the money.

Most of the calcium supplements on the market are made from ground up rocks.  Yes, I’m not kidding.  That is the sad truth.  If you look on the label and see that the source of the calcium is calcium carbonate then what you are getting is essentially ground up rocks!  But we all know that human beings were not intended to eat rocks!  So what gives, here?  Calcium carbonate is cheap.  And it does allow the manufacturer to claim so many milligrams of calcium on their supplement label.

However, not only is calcium as calcium carbonate not particularly bio-available, that is your body does not readily absorb it and cannot use it effectively, but it actually is dangerous.

What is the danger of taking calcium supplements in forms that are not bio-available?  The newest studies in this area clearly show that calcium that is not in a bio-available form still gets through the digestive system and into the blood stream.  And once there, it tends to get deposited on the walls of our blood vessels, particularly arteries.  It also can deposit on heart valves, decreasing their flexibility and leading to severe valve damage.  It also can deposit in parts of the brain, leading to mental impairment.  And it has been shown to deposit in some other organs, such as the kidneys, leading to still more problems.

So how do we supplement calcium in a way that is both safe and effective?  The key is to use only calcium supplements that are highly bio-available, and then to use them in amounts that correspond to what the body needs and can use.

One of the most highly bio-available forms of calcium are naturally occurring mineral salts.  For most people a mineral salt form of calcium called calcium orotate seems to absorb well and be highly bio-available.  Further, when used in appropriate amounts, it does not tend to form calcium deposits where they are not wanted.

To increase bio-availability the calcium orotate can be combined with magnesium, also in a mineral salt orotate form.  For optimum results the ratio between the calcium orotate and the magnesium orotate must be just right.  A ratio of 2 parts calcium orotate to 1 part magnesium orotate seems to work well.

It also is important to avoid the fillers, anti-caking agents and other extraneous materials that are often added to lower quality supplements when they are encapsulated.  Many of these agents seem to block mineral uptake by the body.

For several years now I have used a calcium supplement called IntraCal.  It is made by Global Healing Center, and it meets all of the criteria I have listed.  Not only has it worked very well for me, but it has also produced great results for my clients who use it.

To learn more, here is a link to IntraCal from Global Healing Center.

I have several comments on this supplement that I think are important:

The label recommends taking 2 of the IntraCal capsules 3 times a day.  I personally think that is too much for most of us.  Although the risk of unwanted calcium deposits when using IntraCal is low, why take more than your body needs and can use?  At the very least you will be wasting your money.  Instead, I recommend taking just 1 capsule, 3 times a day.  I think that is a good starting point.  If you are working with a practitioner who can accurately use a method such as muscle-testing, you may be able to determine your optimum daily amount that way.

Secondly, there is a lot of buzz in the “supplement community” about calcium blocking the uptake of iron.  That is true, but for many of us will not be an issue, as many of us actually have an over-abundance of iron in our bodies.  Exceptions include anyone who has a confirmed actual iron deficiency, and women who are still menstruating.  Both should avoid taking the calcium with meals, as it will decrease iron absorption.  For all others, taking the IntraCal with meals should work fine.

Note that diagnosing true iron deficiency can be tricky.  For example, anemia expressed as an insufficiency of red blood cells may not indicate a true iron deficiency.  In fact, many people who are on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of red blood cell counts actually have dangerously high levels of iron sequestered in various parts of the body.  This is a complex subject, which I will address in a future article.

Lastly, in the interest of full disclosure, I want to share with you that when people use the link above to purchase IntraCal, a small referral fee is given to MyHealthOptimizer.  This goes towards helping to support the extensive research that we engage in on an ongoing basis.

Please post your comments, questions and results in the comments section below.  I have had great results with IntraCal and would love to hear how it is working for you.

To your great health!

Jeff Bell

Late Breaking News About IntraCal: (as of 11/2013)  California has recently passed more laws, regulating the supplement industry.  This appears to be part of the overall agenda of Big Pharma to shut off access to natural health measures that Big Pharma perceives as competing with their profit stream, (read Greed Stream).  As a result, Global Healing Center has stopped shipping IntraCal to customers in California.  This does NOT mean there is anything wrong with the product.  I still use it and have for years.  I have no intention to stop using it, nor does my wife.  

What it does mean is that it will take a little extra effort to get this product if you live in California.  Instead of ordering it directly from Global Healing Center you now have to order it from Amazon.  This is only for those in California.  If you goto: www.amazon.com and then search for IntraCal you will find several ways to order, that so far, are still available even for those in California.

I will post again here once this compliance issue has been resolved or the law has been repealed so you can resume ordering directly from Global Healing Center. By the way, if you want to help to stop our misguided or corrupt legislators from further trampling our health freedom and health choices by doing the bidding of Big Pharma, look for posts about Health Freedom on this site. Over the next few weeks, I will be adding details and links to help you take action. The Health Freedom and Lives that you save may be your own!)

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  1. sammi
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I heard eggshells ground up are the best source and of course bio-available. They are made of the same that our bones are. Your thoughts on this?

    • Jeff Bell
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I am actually not sure if ground up eggshells really are bioavailable or not. That would take some careful testing and research to determine. It seems like it should be better than ground up rocks, which is essentially what many calcium supplements are made from, (calcium carbonate and related compounds). However, just because a substanced is similar to bones does not necessarily mean that it will get through the digestive system and into the blood stream in a form that the cells and particularly the bones can take up and use. I looked to see if I could find any definitive research on this, but I could not. I found a few articles that were really just people writing on their suppositions and opinioins, but no substantive research. It may be there, but I did not see it.

      I do know that there is really good research to support that calcium in the form of certain mineral salts, most notably calcium orotate, balanced with magnesium orotate, does provide good uptake and good utilization.

      Of course, when it comes to calcium, the PH of the body is crucial. If the PH is too low, you can take all the bioavailable calium you want, and you will still loose bone density and probably dentition density as your body tries to leach out calcium to try and neutralize the excess acidity.

      You also must have the trace elements that are needed for proper calcification of the bones, such as strontium, boron, phosphorous, and a few others. Vitamin K2-MK7 is also crucial.

      If you do decide to use ground up eggshells, I recommend that you make sure that they are 100% organic and free-range. I doubt that any others are healthy.

  2. Jeff Bell
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Hi, Unfortunately, my RSS feed is not working. I am trying to get it fixed. Please be patient.

    Also, we intend to resume newsletter publishing in the near future. It was suspended some months ago due to a family emergency and some related disruptions. Things are settling down again, now and I expect to begin publishing at least monthly again very soon.

    To your great health!
    Jeff Bell

  3. Ana
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Mr. Bell what is your opinion about calcium citrate?

    • Jeff Bell
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ana,

      My opinion about using calcium citrate is that it is not a good idea. As a supplement it is very cheap to make, and the raw materials are readily available. So it is heavily promoted as a calcium supplement. But it has proven to have very low bioavailabiliy, and I even think using it increases the chances that calcium will deposit where it is not beneficial, and where it is actualy dangerous, such as in the walls of arteries, in joints where it can lead to arthritis and increase inflammation, as well as causing other problems. In short, I would steer clear of it. I also think that most people who take calcium supplements tend to think they need far more than they actually need. And they generally do not look at the real causes of calcieum deficiency, which usually are the result of digestive problems, or over acidity in the body. If these core issues are addressed and corrected, then most people need little in the way of calcium supplementation. And for those who do, I really like the IntraCal better than antyhing else I have tried. But I take and recommend about 1/4 of the amount that is reommended on the label.

      Also the best recent research confirms for any calcium to be effective, whether from diet or from supplementation, some minerals that go with it are needed. These include adequite magnesium levels, (best done via “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy” as you can’t get enough via any oral means), trace phosphorous, trace strontium and a few others. Also, for most, I highly recommend taking a good quality viatmin K2-MK7 with the calcium. That acts as a sort of “biological traffic director”, which helps to ensure that the calcium gets to where it is needed and not where it is not. Here is a link to a very good K2 supplement that fulfills this need: http://www.purecapspro.com/myhealth/pe/products/product_details.asp?ProductsID=977

      And if you want to know more about “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy” here is a good place to start: http://myhealthoptimizer.com/a-true-miracle-mineral-magnesium/

      I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have further questions.

      To your great health!

      Jeff Bell

  4. Mare'ka
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I have read that if you are taking a higher dosage of calcium to magnesium that it can cause cancer. There are SO many articles out now about how magnesium intake has to be higher or equal to calcium intake. Here is one article, the relevant info regarding calcium is towards the bottom…


    • Jeff Bell
      Posted June 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for this very good comment. You are absolutely correct about magnesium. Furthermore, many people do not even need calcium. For those who do I always use magnesium with it. But you can’t take enough magnesium orally to do the job. You would reach bowel tolerance far earlier than you would ever reach any therapeutic dose of the magnesium. That is why I use transdermal magnesium, which is what Dr. Sircus recommends, as well.

      You may not know this, but my focus is primarily helping people to overcome cancer, relying on alternative means. And everyone, without exception that I work with to overcome cancer is using transdermal magnesium. It is not enough by itself, but it is a significant part of what we do.

      And by the way, a good part of the time when people think they need calcium the issue is actually that they have all the calcium that they need, but their bodies are too acidic and so the body is scavenging the calcium from wherever it can find it. To someone who does not know to look for that, it can appear to be a calcium deficiency. In realty, for those people, get the PH up where it belongs and the supposed calcium deficiency disappears.

      Here is my favorite source for transdermal magnesium: http://myhealthoptimizer.com/a-true-miracle-mineral-magnesium/

      To your great health!
      Jeff Bell

  5. Lisa Robinson
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I have osteoporosis and so does my mother. I have been taking a calcium supplement with magnesium in it, as well as D3 and k2. I am interested in how I can find out if my PH and my mother’s is acidic and how to correct it. And why do you say take K2MK7? What’s the difference? What are your credentials?

    • Jeff Bell
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      Hi Lisa,

      Osteoporosis is not usually caused by a lack of calcium. Sometimes, taking a good calcium supplement, as long as it is in bioavailable form and combined with bioavailable magnesium will help. But it is not often the primary cause. Usually the really cause it to be found in the PH balance of the body. The blood has to be somewhat alkaline, around 7.365, in a rather narrow range in order to even sustain life. So when the body is too acidic, it leaches the calcium out of the bones to use it to buffer the excess acid. Look up my method for checking the PH of the body. That is important because the way most recommend doing it does not yield reliable results. If you do find that your PH is too low or that your mother’s is, then we need to find out why. This is not a one-size-fits all situation. There are too many variables for that. So you would want to get in touch with me so we can look at the factors. You can e-mail me once you have used my method to measure the PH levels.

      If you do take a calcium/mnagnesium supplement, (which you should only do if you first verify that you really need it), then I would make sure both are in the form of a mineral salt: calcium orotate with magnesium orotate.

      As to my credentials, I used to go after licenses. I gave that up more than 25 years ago because it was expensive and a waste of time. Also, working under any license means that I am confined to “standard of care”, which often is not in the best interests of my clients. I have been a researcher for more than 35 years, and my methods and protocols are used in a number of countries throughout the world. If you have further questions about my qualifications, please feel free to e-mail me.

      To your great health,

      K2-MK7 is the body’s “calcium director. It helps the body to deposit calcium where it belongs and is needed and not where it does not belong. So that is important.

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