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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crooked Hand of Fate

crooked hand of fate
like me, just bone and sinew
it is arthritic

by Rudy Sanchez, Holistic Pharmacist

Surprisingly, for all the fuss about calcium, we only have a relatively small amount of it. The average female has one kilo of calcium. The average male, 1.5 kilos. You can carry this amount of calcium in a lunch bag. However, what we do with this lunch bag of calcium is amazing: it gives us hard teeth to chew with, bones to karate chop with, nails to scratch an itch with, and it fuels nerve and muscle activity.
Bone is living tissue and is constantly changing, giving up calcium when asked and absorbing calcium when it needs to get stronger. It behaves much like a calcium bank. The health of your bones is relative to the health of this bank account. It is a matter of balance. Most of us treat our bones like we treat our bank account. We don't really know how much is in there, we just know the "look" that the waitress gets when the debit card does not work. By then, we have already eaten the food and we're not in a position to be returning it.
The basic bone health strategy is this: deposits should at least equal withdrawals.

The Top Tip: The best strategy for bone health is to maintain an alkaline body pH between 7.4 and 7.8. An acidic environment is disastrous for bone health, as the body will withdraw calcium to use as a buffering agent to neutralize the acid. You don’t want to use your precious bone as “internal antacid”. 
Tip No. 2: Take Strontium Capsules to boost bone strength. Stontium has been shown to work in two ways. It supports osteoblast activity to reduce resorption (loss) of calcium. It also imparts flexibility to the bone, creating a calcium trap. It has been shown to be able to grow new bone.

Tip No. 3: Vitamin K is important in the formation of Gla-protein (osteocalcin) and Matrix Gla-protein which are essential for calcium assimilation. Vitamin K2 is now available as a supplement and has been showing up in some quality calcium supplements. If relying on dietary Vitamin K, It is important to have good gut bacteria so take a good probiotic.

Tip No. 4: Lecithin, when taken together with the calcium imparts a vehicle for increasing calcium absorption. It has a perfect lyophilic and liphophilic duality. It ensures transport of calcium ions across the gut wall. 

Tip No. 5: Maintain a schedule of weight bearing exercise. If possible, shoot for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity weight-bearing exercise daily: strength training and bouncy activities such as stair-climbing, mini-trampoline jumping or just plain walking. Less popular, but equally effective are: uphill pogo-sticking, moon shoe kick-boxing and unicycle-bouncing-on-a-trapeze-wire-over-the-Niagara. These bone-densifying activities signal the activity of osteoblast cells which act as spackle, gluing the calcium to the bone. In effect, if you need your bones to be stronger, the body will take care of it, no problem. However, if you are sitting on your buttocks and using your thumbs to press the remote, then you will get calcium deposits in these two areas. You asked for it; no problem there too.
Tip No. 6: Choose your calcium as you would choose your friends: not all calcium is equal. Confused about absorption rates? 
                    Calcium bis-glycinate (best) 
                    Calcium citrate-malate ( very good)
                    Calcium citrate (good)
                    Calcium carbonate (not bad, better than milk)
                    Milk (well, it's better than water)
      Magnesium, when taken at the same time as calcium, will work to increase calcium absorption. It acts like Tenille to the Captain, or Herb to the Peaches.If you get the reference, you need calcium and magnesium right about now.

Tip No. 7: Get enough Vitamin D. In the summer, sun exposure for 5-10 minutes on bare skin activates Vitamin D stored in fat cells. Supplements are needed in the winter or if you wear a T-shirt that says "spelunkalot". Vitamin D3, the activated form, is non-accumulative, and is safe even in high doses.  When shopping for Vitamin D, make sure it is D3, the activated, non-accumulating form. Look for super concentrated Vitamin D 3 drops in rice bran oil delivering 1,000iu per drop. 
Tip No. 8: Don’t forget fruits and vegetables. Eat a minimum of 5 to 10 servings of a variety of different colored fruits or vegetables daily. Important for alkalinity and Vitamin K. Avoid the three terrors (not the three tenors): alcohol, smoking and coffee.
This computerized image shows the air pockets in the bone magnified. These air pockets start appearing as the bone loses its integrity. Hormone changes, injury, inactivity and acid-loss all contribute to the acceleration of bone loss.
When bone loses calcium, the air pockets increase in proportion to the calcium. The density of the bone starts to drop. As the supporting matrix collapses, the collagen protein which gives bone its resiliency gives way to soft, brittle bone.
Unfortunately, this happens over time with little warning. It is common to discover osteoarthritis only after a fall which has resulted in a fracture.
Tip No. 9: Eat enough protein: Vegetarians and raw fooders in particular should make sure they are consuming adequate dietary protein. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 g/day for adult men and 46 g/day for adult women. Clean protein is hard to find, but consider brown rice protein of hemp protein. 
Tip No. 10: Avoid excess salt: Higher salt intakes increase urinary calcium loss. Keep salt intake below 5.8 g/day (2.3 g/day of sodium). Avoid salty, packaged, processed foods and preserved meat. If you add up all the salt in packaged food, you will soon discover that there is salt in everything. How to know you are not taking too much salt? Eat in a restaurant. Order soup. if you find the soup salty, congratulate yourself, your taste buds have adjusted to low salt.
Free Bonus Tip: Avoid excess Vitamin A (retinol). Look for multivitamin supplements that contain no more than 2,500 iu of vitamin A or choose a supplement with Beta-Carotene instead.