Why I don’t Take Calcium–#3

In Why I don’t Take Calcium–#1 and Why I don’t Take Calcium–#2, we looked at how excess calcium in the body is a likely indicator of calcium being pulled from the bones, and that it can also contribute to inflammation in the arteries and other parts of the body, raising the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

Next, we learned that optimal levels of vitamin C help to reduce inflammation, keep calcium in the bones, lower the risk of fracture, and reduce excess deposits and calcifications in other places. Calcium-laden kidney stones are one example of a vitamin C deficiency.

Let’s look at some various forms of vitamin C supplements:

Ascorbic acid is a common form of vitamin C, but it can upset some people’s stomach due to its acidity. Synthetic vitamin C is usually made from corn, which may be genetically modified. Look for companies that make certified non-GMO products.

Sodium ascorbate is a form of ascorbic acid that is more alkaline, so it is better tolerated when taking large doses. It does not raise blood pressure or cause fluid retention like sodium chloride.

Calcium ascorbate is a combination of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and calcium. This form is often used to help buffer excess acid, making it easier on the stomach. If you are concerned about excess calcium, this would not be the desirable form of vitamin C.

Magnesium ascorbate is a non-acidic combination of magnesium and ascorbic acid, making it easy on the stomach. Many of us are deficient in magnesium, which is also needed for bone health, making this a desirable form. Unfortunately, magnesium ascorbate can be more expensive.

Potassium ascorbate contains both vitamin C and potassium, so it should be taken only under the advice of your health care provider. Too much potassium can cause health problems, especially if you are taking large amounts of potassium ascorbate and/or taking other supplements or medications that contain potassium. On the other hand, if your lab tests show that you need potassium, this may be a beneficial form of vitamin C for you.

Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C that provides extra anti-oxidant protection to cells that most water-soluble forms of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) cannot offer. Liposomal delivery (helps with deeper penetration of the nutrient) of ascorbyl palmitate has been used to slow skin aging and has been demonstrated to kill cancer cells in vitro and slow tumor growth in mice more effectively than with ascorbic acid.

Read the labels of all your supplements, medications, and even the food you eat. See if they include any of the above forms of vitamin C.

Dr. Levy, in his book Death by Calcium, recommends a Multi-C Protocol,using liposome-encapsulated vitamin C, sodium ascorbate powder, ascorbyl palmitate, and even intravenously administered vitamin C. For more information on his protocol, see his book.

Note: Vitamin C is safe and non-toxic, even in large amounts, but those with chronic kidney problems need to always check with their doctor before taking any supplements.

If you are looking for a whole-food form of vitamin C, you might consider one made from amla berries.

The free Alzheimer’s and Dementia online summit starts Monday, July 23!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

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Why I don’t Take Calcium–#2

In Why I don’t Take Calcium–#1″, we learned that, according to research, taking calcium supplements and/or increasing dietary intake of calcium does not reduce the risk of bone fracture. Also, that an excess build up of calcium in the body can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and other degenerative diseases.

There’s no doubt that bones need calcium to build new bones, but Dr. Levy, in his book Death by Calcium, states that “Calcium migration from the bone is not the cause of osteoporosis, but rather a symptom of it.” So, then, what is the root cause?

It might surprise you to find out (it did me) that a vitamin C deficiency in the bone can lead to a severe loss of bone-building cells and an increase in bone-dissolving cells. Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant to protect bones from cellular damage, which contributes to osteoporosis. Studies have confirmed that oxidative stress plays a role in the cause of osteoporosis.

Collagen is necessary in both the formation and strengthening of new bone. Vitamin C is essential to making collagen.

Clinical observations show that a vitamin C deficiency decreases calcium deposition into bones and increases calcium excretion from bones. The excreted calcium can accumulate in other tissues, like arterial walls.

There is a loss of estrogen during menopause, which results in a loss of calcium from bones. Vitamin C has been shown to strengthen bones in both post-menopausal women and lab rats who had their ovaries removed to induce menopause.

The Framingham Osteoporosis Study found that those with the highest vitamin C intake had significantly fewer hip fractures compared to those with the lowest intake.

Research continues to find that the combination of excess calcium and vitamin C deficiency is found at the tissue sites of chronic degenerativediseases. Excess calcium deposits contribute to oxidative stress, and vitamin C is an anti-oxidant to help prevent damage caused by this stress. When oxidative stress is kept in check, calcium can stay in the bones.

In the case of atherosclerosis, the body uses calcium from the blood to produce plaque in the arteries to support weak vessels (due to chronic oxidative stress). The body then pulls calcium from bones into the bloodstream so it will be available for more arterial repair. Sufficient vitamin C levels would help reduce this stress on the arteries, diminishing the need for more calcium to support the arteries.

Besides the coronary arteries, excess blood calcium can be deposited into cells throughout the body (brain, breasts, prostate, etc.). Excess blood calcium can come from dietary calcium, calcium supplements, and/or calcium pulled out of bones. When there are optimal levels of vitamin C present, dietary calcium is deposited into the bones, and any excess is excreted via the kidneys.

Eliminating a vitamin C deficiency is one important step toward improving bone health, as well as reducing the risk of other chronic diseases.

In the next newsletter, I’ll explore various types and benefits of vitamin C supplements and their therapeutic uses.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

www.learningtobehealthy.com

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Why I don’t Take Calcium–#1

Throughout my nutritional studies, I learned that whole food, in its original God-created form, is the perfect “software” for our bodies. The design is perfect! I also learned that man-made synthetic supplements are not the perfect “software”. At best, they are only partially assimilated, so even if the label says 100% of the recommended daily value for a nutrient, you may only be absorbing about 10%. What’s happening to the other 90%?

The other consideration when taking supplements is that neither too much nor too little is beneficial. Both an excess and a deficiency of nutrients are determined by a fairly narrow range. Random supplementation can upset this balance. Small insufficiencies and excesses can contribute to many health problems.

Often, people ask me about taking calcium and other supplements. As a rule, I don’t recommend isolated supplements. Instead, I recommend eating a better diet and using supplements made from real, whole foods.

With that said, I am going to devote the next several newsletters to why I don’t take calcium and how it can actually be toxic in excess. I will be referencing the book Death by Calcium by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, which is based upon much scientific research and many clinical studies over 25 years.

People in the US take more calcium than anywhere else in the world and have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. We are ranked 33rd in life expectancy and yet are number one in how much we spend on health care.

The current paradigm says that if we have weak bones, we must have a calcium deficiency, so therefore, we need to take calcium. Dr. Levy does not agree with this model.

To clarify, calcium is essential for bodily function but can be toxic in excess. It can promote disease where this excess accumulates. The crazy thing is that these calcium deposits can trigger more calcium to be released from the bones!

Almost without exception, those with osteoporosis have toxic levels of calcium outside of bone tissue. This excess can contribute to heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancer. Excess calcium has also been implicated in fueling and accelerating chronic diseases.

Fifteen independent clinical studies indicate that taking an extra 500 mg. of calcium per day can increase the risk of heart attack by 30% and the likelihood of a stroke by up to 20%. There is also a greater risk of death from coronary heart disease and cancer. To make matters worse, the calcium supplementation failed to improve bone strength.

A study of more than 61,000 people over 19 years reported that those with a calcium intake of over 1400 mg. per day had a 40% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 114% increased risk of death from reduced flow of blood to the heart muscle.

Over one-third of Americans over the age of 45 have some arterial calcification. Much of this plaque is the accumulation of calcium salts.

Advanced MRIs found calcifications in 95% of malignant prostate glands.

Calcifications are frequently found on mammographies of women with breast cancer. Many breast biopsies are done due to these findings. Studies show that breast cancer patients who have calcifications are less likely to survive the disease than those who don’t.

A recently published study found a strong association between increased calcium levels and death from any cause.

Inhibiting calcium uptake seems to make cancer less invasive and less prone to grow new blood cells.

Chronically high levels of calcium in cells seems to play a significant role in degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s (ALS).

Calcium channel blockers are a group of drugs designed to inhibit the uptake of calcium into cells. They have been used effectively to treat high blood pressure and to reduce the events associated with high blood pressure. By limiting the uptake of calcium into cells, calcium channel blockers have an anti-atherosclerosis effect.

Studies that were done involving over 175,000 patients, using three common calcium channel blockers, found that all three significantly reduced death from all causes.

You may be wondering why you’re not hearing about this from your doctor. Between 2010 and 2013, there has been much published in medical literature journals about how calcium can accumulate in the body and become toxic from supplements and excess dairy consumption. Sadly, this information is buried and seldom read. Not to mention, that it is an overwhelming task to change the current business model that includes the medical establishment, dairy industry, and supplement companies, to an individual healthy lifestyle approach.

So, the real problem seems to be not that we have a lack of calcium in our diets, but that calcium is being relocated from our bones to other areas of the body. I’ll continue to explore this further in future newsletters.

If you want to start a conversation about this topic, feel free to post your questions or comments in the Facebook group.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Eating outside the “Box”

After Hurricane Harvey, my household grew by seven–my daughter, son-in-law, three grandkids, and two granddogs.  My husband and I are thankful that we have a dry house where they can stay as they recover from the five feet of water that destroyed their apartment.

School has resumed, and my beautiful grandchildren are up at 6:30 a.m. and out the door shortly after 7:00.  Like so many families, mornings don’t allow much time for breakfast, and convenience foods like toaster pastries and granola bars are easy to grab and eat on the go.  These foods are mostly simple sugars, with insignificant amounts of protein and healthy fat, which are needed to give strength and sustained energy for learning, playing, and growing bodies and minds.

When I quiz them about what they have for school lunches, so far it’s been cheeseburgers, pizza, potatoes, etc.  One of my grandson’s classmates felt sorry for him since he lost his home, so he gave him a Honeybun.  That was a thoughtful act of kindness, but you can see that there’s no shortage of refined carbohydrates available to our children.

My mission as grandma and nutritionist is to find creative ways (outside the “box”) to get nutrients into their bodies so they’ll have the fuel they need to meet academic, physical, and social challenges.  It starts with me being present in the kitchen and dialoguing with them about how food affects their brain and body.  We talk about eating outside the “box”.

I appealed to my 12-year-old grandson by telling him that he needs protein to build muscle.  I offered him a snack bag filled with a handful of raw cashews to put in his back pack.  I cooked some organic frozen corn in a little olive oil and organic butter, and he ate a bowlful for breakfast.  This was eating outside the “box” for him.

My other grandson and granddaughter wanted frozen waffles topped with pure maple syrup and hemp seeds (we call them sprinkles).  The hemp seeds add protein and healthy fats, which the brain needs to function at its best.  My granddaughter took raw cashews (good source of calcium) in her snack bag, and my grandson took raw sunflower seeds (good source of vitamin E).

Two of my three grandkids drank some chlorophyll water (we call it leprechaun juice because it’s green).  Chlorophyll is what makes leaves green.  It helps increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.  We use one from Nature’s Sunshine that’s made from alfalfa and contains spearmint oil, which is a natural remedy for indigestion and bloating.  I mix about one teaspoonful into eight ounces of water.

I remind them to drink water in the mornings to hydrate their brains so they’ll be ready to think.  We do a little math to explain the average amount they need to drink each day.  They divide their weight by two to get the number of ounces of water.  Since they often consume water in bottles, we decide how many they need to drink to meet their daily requirement.

I asked one of my grandsons if he would eat dragons’ tails (green beans) or broccoli for breakfast.  He said yes!  I told him that was eating outside the “box”.  Guess what I’m going to serve in the morning?

My grandchildren are helping me experiment with different “energy bar” recipes.  The first one I tried was the consistency of sticky cookie dough, which they enjoyed as an after-school snack and again this morning.  I mixed almond flour (a handful of ground almonds) with collagen powder (protein), raw honey, unsweetened applesauce, coconut flour, vanilla, unsweetened peanut butter, and dairy-free chocolate chips.  They were a hit!

I also try to use meal time to teach them to read ingredients on packaged foods and drinks.  Little by little, we must teach our children to learn to be healthy.  It’s foundational to their success!

Come on over to the Learning to be Healthy Facebook Group and share some healthy breakfast and snack tips or a favorite energy bar recipe!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

 

Date nut bread–a delicious and healthy Christmas treat!

Date nut bread is one of my favorite recipes that can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, or as a healthy snack.  If you are gluten intolerant or don’t eat wheat, substitute the whole wheat flour with almond flour or coconut flour.  If you don’t care for pecans, try walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, etc.

The recipe:

2 eggs (whole or just the whites)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or expeller-pressed grape seed or avocado oil)

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or almond or coconut flour)

1/4 teaspoon mineral-rich salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 ounces coarsely chopped dates

2 cups raw pecans (or other nuts)

Beat eggs with honey and oil.  Mix flour, salt, and cinnamon, then stir into egg mixture.  Fold in dates and nuts.  Grease a baking pan with oil (coconut, olive, grape seed, or avocado).  Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted into batter comes out clean.  A 9 x 5 x 2-inch loaf pan takes about 45 minutes.  An 8- or 9-inch square pan takes about 25 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares or slices.

The nutritional value:

Dates, nuts, and raw honey contain boron, a trace mineral which helps boost blood levels of estrogen and other compounds that help prevent calcium loss and bone demineralization.

Dates are high in natural aspirin and have a laxative effect.  They are linked to lower rates of certain cancers, especially pancreatic cancer.

Nuts are a key food among Seventh-Day Adventists, who are known for their low rates of heart disease.  Most nuts are high in vitamin E, shown to protect against chest pain and artery damage.

Nuts and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and slow down blood sugar spikes.

Whole-grain wheat contains selenium, a trace mineral important for the immune system and thyroid.

Extra-virgin olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, making it beneficial for heart health.

Egg yolks contain vitamin D and choline, a B-complex vitamin needed for liver and brain health.

Date nut bread makes a yummy Christmas gift.  I often bake it in mini loaf pans for this purpose.

Make your holiday celebrations delicious and nutritious!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

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www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com (Nature’s Sunshine supplements)

www.mealgarden.com/expert/lisahernandez

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Citrus fruit–nature’s seasonal medicine!

Citrus fruits supply a healthy amount of vitamin C, which helps protect our bodies from cell damage, as well as improve skin, gums, mood, and memory.  Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of calcium and iron.

A deficiency of vitamin C has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The National Cancer Institute has called oranges a complete package of every known natural anti-cancer inhibitor.

Citrus fruits contain pectin, a soluble fiber which helps control cholesterol levels and binds with toxins in the digestive tract to remove them from the body.  In animals, pectin was shown to inhibit the metastasis of prostate and melanoma cancers.

Pectin has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar by lowering glucose absorption in those with type 2 diabetes.

Limone is found in the oil of the peel of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, and in smaller amounts in the pulp.  Limone has been shown to cause the regression of tumors.  Studies have shown lower rates of certain cancers in those who regularly consume citrus peel.

Eat some of the pith (white part between the fruit and peel), as it contains high amounts of fiber, pectin, limonene, and other health-protecting compounds.  The peel also has beneficial amounts of these substances, but you need to wash the fruit well and buy organic.

Citrus fruits contain potassium, which helps keep bones strong and protect the cardiovascular system.

Citrus fruits contain flavonoids that help strengthen blood vessel walls and are widely used in Europe to treat diseases of the blood vessels and lymph system, including hemorrhoids, easy bruising, and nosebleeds.

Citrus flavonoids have also been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth, act as anti-inflammatories, and possess anti-viral activity.

An average orange contains about 64 mg of vitamin C, 238 mg of potassium, 61 mg of calcium, and 3 grams of fiber.

Orange pulp contains twice the amount of vitamin C as the peel and 10 times that found in the juice!

For the most health benefits, eat the whole fruit, preferably organic.  When consuming juice, squeeze it fresh.  There is much nutrient loss in packaged juices.  If you do buy juice, choose those with high pulp content to get more of the fiber and pectin.

Eat a serving or two daily during citrus season.  Choose from oranges, tangerines, kumquats, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.

Tip:  When choosing a vitamin C supplement, look for one that contains bioflavonoids.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.mealgarden.com/expert/lisahernandez

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.