From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND

Let’s talk about the relationship among calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 and the importance of magnesium in that grouping. Today, I’m going to share my thoughts on why I think:

  • most people over-supplement calcification
  • what calcium’s role in the synergy is, and
  • when and how to supplement calcium, if needed
Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Issue

Among the many emails I get, some of the most distressing are from women over 50 who’ve just “flunked” their  “routine” bone density test. 

They have:

  • been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • advised to take high dose calcium
  • been given a prescription for a bisphosphonate drug like Fosamax
  • yet your bone health is steadily declining
  • to add insult to injury you are suddenly suffering muscle twitches and leg cramps

No wonder they feel miserable and wonder what they did wrong. Well, they did not do anything wrong. They merely followed the advice of a doctor who didn’t consider magnesium’s synergy with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. The good news is that I have been writing about this for decades, and this medical disinformation easily can be corrected.

You Probably Don’t Need More Calcium

Unlike magnesium, calcium is not depleted in the soil. You can quite easily find calcium in the following foods: dairy, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish, and shellfish. Additionally, calcium is also fortified in many foods (such as orange juice, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.). I say that if you eat food containing at least 600 mg a day, regardless of situation or condition, calcium supplementation is inappropriate.

I base my recommendation on the WHO and UK RDAs for ca that range from 500-700mg per day. However, if you are consuming 600 mg per day of calcium-rich foods per day but have magnesium deficiency symptoms, then saturating your body with magnesium will optimize your calcium absorption and help direct calcium to your bones, which increases your bone health.

NOTE: Magnesium deficiency symptoms: headaches, migraines, eyelid twitching, esophageal spasms, hiatal hernia, GERD, heart palpitations, IBS, leg cramps, neck, back and joint pain, muscle cramps, insomnia, anxiety, depression…the list goes on affecting any muscle or nerve that depends on magnesium for proper function.

Magnesium and Osteoporosis

During one of my radio shows where the topic was magnesium and osteoporosis, I shared the following:

Did you know that there are approximately seventeen nutrients essential for healthy bones, including magnesium, the most important mineral, along with calcium? Susan Brown, Ph.D., director of the Osteoporosis Education Project in Syracuse, New York, warns that “the use of calcium supplementation in the face of magnesium deficiency can lead to a deposition of calcium in the soft tissue such as the joints, promoting arthritis, or in the kidney, contributing to kidney stones.” Dr. Brown recommends a daily dose of 450 mg of magnesium for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

To meet Dr. Brown’s “requirement” for 17 nutrients, I recommend, picometer liquid magnesium, calcium in the diet, a picometer liquid multiple mineral, food-based vitamins, ¼ tsp of a good colorful sea salt in each liter of your drinking water.

NOTE: Sea salt contains about 72 minerals!

Calcium within the Synergy

Calcium and magnesium are antagonists, and this antagonism drives many functions of the body. For example, calcium contracts muscles; whereas, magnesium relaxes muscles. Magnesium helps reduce blood clots; whereas, calcium helps with blood clotting. Calcium may contribute to inflammation according to several studies; magnesium is a natural anti-inflammatory. This opposition helps the heart to beat, contributes to blood circulation, and allows us to move our bodies.

Calcium Supplementation

Here is the FAQ I send people who ask about calcium supplementation, regardless of circumstance or condition:

To discover how much calcium is in the food you eat begin with the Cronometer, which is an app that helps you add up the nutrients in your diet and you can see if you are getting the 600mg of calcium that you require.

Once you know that, you can decide whether calcium supplementation might be necessary. If you eat 300 mg or more (but less than 600 mg) of calcium-rich foods, you can consider using 1 teaspoon of ReCalcia®.  If you eat 300 mg or less of calcium-rich foods, then you can consider using 2 teaspoons of ReCalcia®. You can also use the slow start program with this product, starting with 1/4 teaspoon a day and building up to either 1 or 2 teaspoons per day.

You probably don’t need calcium supplementation at all if you consume 600 mg or more of calcium-rich foods.

Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future