pH, Calcifications, Magnesium and Vitamin K
Forum: Magnesium Forum
I find the following text very interesting but it does not mean that I endorse the book.
Calcification the Aging Factor
By Mark Mayer
So what is calcification? The word itself is used to describe “calcium deposits.” When applied in a negative context, this refers to calcium deposits in the soft tissues. Calcification can also be used in a positive context to describe a healthy buildup of calcium in our bones. The word can also be used in a geological context to describe calcium deposits in the environment. But in the context of this book, the word calcification will usually be used in the negative context to describe calcium deposits in the soft tissues. This means that the calcium that is supposed to be deposited in your bones is being lodged in your soft tissues where is does not belong. This can result in a variety of negative health problems. We have all heard of kidney stones — this is nothing more than calcification of the kidneys. While this results in excruciating pain, most calcifications are “silent.” In fact, calcification of your organs can start in early childhood and symptoms won’t appear until many years later in life.
The condition can manifest itself in many ways: Heart disease, cancer, wrinkled skin, arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis, dental problems, Alzheimer’s disease, bone spurs, senility, cataracts and many other health problems. In fact, over a hundred different conditions can be related to calcification. For example, insomnia can be caused by calcification of the pineal gland. This gland produces the hormone melatonin. This hormone is released at night to produce the drowsiness that puts us to sleep. Melatonin may also have important anti-aging properties, if you suffer from insomnia, your doctor will probably prescribe sleeping pills or send you to a psychiatrist. Most doctors will never diagnose a condition as obscure as pineal gland calcification.
Although it is not widely publicized, much of the plaque in our arteries is composed of calcium deposits, Unfortunately. there are no expensive drugs available to combat the problem, and therefore, there is no reason for anyone to publicize the condition. In fact, with all the cholesterol lowering drugs on the market, heart disease still remains the number one cause of death in the United States and most other countries. In case you haven’t heard, the cholesterol theory of heart disease has been debunked along time ago. The statistics speak for themselves. With all the new cholesterol lowering drugs, there has been little or no corresponding drop in the rate of heart attacks and strokes. The only thing these drugs do is to lower your cholesterol — but this has never been shown to actually lower your risk of vascular disease.
If you read a lot of health books, then you have probably seen the word “atherosclerosis. You may have also seen a similar word arteriosclerosis.” In health books, these words are often used interchangeably; however, these words actually have two distinctly different meanings. Atherosclerosis actually refers to fatty deposits” in the arteries. This is usually used to describe cholesterol deposits. The word arteriosclerosis actually means a hardening of the artenes and is usually used to describe the buildup of calcijrn in the artery walls. That is: calcification.
There are very few health books that address the problem of calcification. The only book that I know of on the subject is The Calcium bomb, by Douglas MuIhall and Katja Hansen. The main focus of their book is nanobacteria. The theory is that nanobacteria form the core of these calcium deposits. This theory has been disputed by scientists at NIH who produced calcications in a sterile media.’ This means that there are other factors involved in calcification, and these other factors are the focus of this book.
What causes calcification?
There are many different factors involved in calcification. The most widely accepted theory has to do with excess acid, a condition called acidosis. If you are an avid health reader, then you have probably heard of the acid/alkaline theory of disease. This theory suggests that most people are prone to the acidic side of the pH scale and that this is the
underlying cause of many diseases. It is believed that eating foods that are acid forming can cause your body’s pH to drop to the acidic side. When this happens. your body draws calcium out of the bones to counteract any excess acidity in your body. Because of its high alkalinity, calcium is one of our body's main buffering agents. Many antacids contain calcium because it is so effective at combating acid indigestion. Unfortunately, all this calcium flowing through your bloodstream may contribute to soft-tissue calcifications. Contrary to what the calcium enthusiasts say, taking extra calcium is not the answer to combating acidosis. In fact, one of the main dangers of acidosis is that it causes soft-tissue calcification. It does this by drawing calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acid. Taking extra calcium will only add more fuel to the fire, It is the equivalent of using water to put Out an electrical fire. Therefore, it is suggested that keeping your body’s pH in a neutral state can prevent calcifications. The big question is; what is causing this condition that is often called acidosis? Several theories exist. For instance, an excess of acidic minerals, such as phosphorus, chlorine and sulfur can lower the body’s pH. Your body will then draw calcium out of the bones to bind with acidic minerals, thus lowering the excess acidity. This is especially dangerous when phosphorus is present, as most calcifications are composed of calcium phosphate. Most meats and processed foods are loaded with phosphorus, and cola drinks are notorious for their phosphorus content And ironically, dairy products have a high phosphorus content. Cutting back on high phosphorus containing foods may be an important factor in preventing calcifications.
Magnesium intake is also another factor. Like calcium, magnesium is highly alkaline and has the ability to bind to phosphorus to counter its acidity. The only difference is that magnesium does not calcify into hard plaques like calcium does. For this reason, magnesium can play a major role in preventing soft- tissue calcifications, In fact. I often refer to magnesium as the anti-calcification mineral. It is estimated that approximately 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. The mineral magnesium is very difficult to get from the diet alone. Even foods that are supposed to contain magnesium are often deficient in this mineral, This is due to mineral depletion of our farm soils, Modern agricultural methods often do not add magnesium and other minerals to the soil. Over time these minerals are depleted from the soil. As a result, many foods that are supposed to contain magnesium are devoid of this Important mineral Magnesium is also a “macro-mineral.” This means that it is required in large quantities. Most multi-vitamin supplements contain little or no magnesium. And furthermore. your need for magnesium may be increased by a high intake of calcium and phosphorus. In fact, magnesium is often referred to as “natures calcium channel blocker.” It helps to counteract some of the negative effects of excess calcium. This may explain some of the conflicting studies involving calcium intake, For example, calcium promoters often claim that many long-lived cultures live in areas that have highly mineralized water, And therefore, the high level of calcium is responsible for their longevity. The fact is that their water probably contains high levels of magnesium, which tends to counteract the negative effects of calcium. This water also has many other important minerals, which the calcium promoters fail to mention. A while back, I had read a book entitled: ‘The Calcium factor, by Robert Barefoot. This book is riddled with half-truths and outright lies. You will have to pardon my negativity, I normally have a positive attitude towards others; however, it just sickens me to see people who put profit above the health and well being of others The author was merely trying to sell his coral calcium supplements. This book is riddled with so much technical mumbo jumbo that no lay person would even be able to grasp what it all means But when all is said and done, the fact remains that America has the highest intake of calcium and yet has the highest incidence of osteoporosis. This fact is consistent with almost every population study ever done. That is, the cultures with the highest intake of calcium, also have the highest incidence of osteoporosis and sort-tissue calcifications. Conversely, most cultures that subsist on a low calcium diet also have a low incidence of osteoporosis In fact, in a 12- year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who drank milk three times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.2 Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption.3 The average daily calcium intake for South African blacks is about 200 mg’s daily whereas the daily calcium intake for African-Americans is more than 1.000 mg. Yet the hip fracture rate for African-Americans compared to South African blacks is nine times greater! . For more information, visit these sites: www.strongbones.org. and www.notmilk.com
Despite all this news, most people still believe that dairy products can prevent osteoporosis, when in fact all the evidence is to the contrary. Some say that the high level of protein contained in milk is what is causing the osteoporosis. Protein is acid forming, and all this acid must be neutralized by alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Another theory has to do with excess calcium causing the bone cells to wear out. Most of our cells including our bone cells have a limited number of times that they can replicate. When calcium is consumed, specialized cells called osteoblasts are called upon to build new bone tissue. An estimated 50 to 70% of the composing osteoblasts die in the composition of new bone. The more their activity is stimulated, the more they die If too much calcium is consumed on a regular basis, the replacement of osteoblasts maybe increased all this time, thus resulting in osteoporosis later in life, This theory is consistent with many population studies showing that a higher intake of calcium results in a higher incidence of osteoporosis later in life. The question is: What is the source of this calcium? Is it from a dairy or non-diary source? This makes a big difference, as dairy sources are high in protein and phosphorus. Therefore, the big question is whether it is the excessive calcium or the excess protein and phosphorus that is causing the increase in osteoporosis This question remains to be answered But one thing that we do know for sure, and that is that a high level of protein makes dairy products an inferior source of calcium. In fact, most animal proteins contain higher levels of acid-forming, sulfur-containing amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine. That is why I think vegetable protein is better for you than animal protein Many health books call vegetable protein incomplete. But you can simply combine vegetable sources to form a complete protein. Most basic nutrition books will provide information on this.
Much of this information may be contrary to what we have all been told; after all, doesn’t protein build strong muscles? And what about all of those bodybuilding magazines? Didn’t those muscle men on the cover all get big by eating lots of protein? Actually they all got big by lifting weights. The people selling protein supplements all want to convince us that we need lots of protein. When in reality, most of us are getting too much protein. And this all breaks down into acidic waste, thus drawing calcium out of the bones and causing calcification The reality is that big muscles do not necessarily mean a healthy body. Statistically speaking, most bodybuilders don’t live much longer than their sedentary counterparts. And those that do live longer may attribute their health to diet and lifestyle choices such as not smoking and shunning junk food. In fact, I have seen many instances of athletes dying at a very young age. The muscle magazines will rarely if ever put negative reports in their publications. That would be bad for business.
Another factor that may be contributing to excess acid production is sugar. You’ve probably heard it a hundred times: Sugar is bad for you. Statistically speaking, populations wt’o consume a diet low in sugar have a low incidence of common diseases. In fact, this statistic is consistent in virtually every study. The fact is that there are safe alternatives to sugar, and I am not talking about aspartame (nutrasweet). I was referring to stevia, which is currently the only sweetener that I am recommending. Stevia has a long history of safe use in South America, For more information on alternative sweeteners, see appendix 3.
And for more information on the acid/alkaline theory of calcification, see my chapter entitled: The pH factor.”
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