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Biochemistry of Calcium Revealed

Calcium is a most important factor for health and longevity.

Calcium is a metal, bright and shiny like all other metals, not the white powdery substance most people think. That white powdery substance is calcium carbonate, or some other compound in which calcium makes up less than half of the total molecular weight of the substance.

About 99% of our body's calcium is deposited in the bones and teeth, the remaining 1% in body fluids.

Our bodies need and use more calcium than any other mineral. There are 179 different identified uses for calcium in the human body.

Calcium controls muscle contraction and relaxation, is responsible for nerve impulse transmission and the transfer of information between our brain cells. Calcium controls osmosis and diffusion through the cell membranes, and also the passing of information within the cell. Calcium controls the rhythm of the heart, the formation of enzymes and hormones, and also the DNA formation in chromosomes. Calcium is used in blood clotting, urine filtration, and in the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. And perhaps most importantly, Calcium is the main buffer used in the body to neutralize acids and maintain the proper pH.

But when our health practitioners tell us to use conventional calcium supplements, do they realize that very little of the calcium we consume in these products is actually absorbed and utilized by our bodies? Do they know that these conventional calcium products have negative side effects?

Ionic Calcium is the only physiologically active form of Calcium.

Bone, though considered primarily the structural support for the soft tissues of the body, also serves as a storage deposit for calcium. Its calcium is available to the body and is drawn upon to maintain normal blood pH levels during conditions of calcium deficiency. The protein-bound calcium of the blood is thought to serve as a secondary reservoir, becoming available locally only during excessive loss or use of calcium. Because ionic calcium is the only physiologically usable form of calcium, calcium from all sources, whether from diet or from bones, organs, and tissues, must first be broken down into ionic form before it can be utilized by the body for any of the 179 plus biological functions.

Maintenance of a positive calcium balance by the body usually depends on dietary intake and the efficiency of absorption of calcium ions from the intestinal tract. Calcium is one of the most difficult elements for the body to digest and absorb. It forms insoluble compounds with many of the anions present in food, making efficient absorption a problem. In most instances the phosphate anion is the principal interfering ion. Of the Calcium phosphate complexes, only calcium dihydrogen phosphate is sufficiently soluble to maintain the necessary levels for efficient absorption of the ionic calcium. This salt is stable only in highly acid media, such as stomach acid. In the alkaline area of the small intestine, the much less soluble mono-hydrogen phosphate of the highly insoluble tertiary phosphate is the stable form, and both of these forms cannot be fully absorbed by the body. In addition to this, once calcium has been inonized by the stomach acid, its absorption into the body is dependent on the presence of vitamin D in the intestine. Vitamin D is not present in most of our food and not in sufficient quantities when it is, so our body is dependent on the action of sunlight on our skin to synthesize it. Without sufficient sunlight and consequent intestinal vitamin D, most dietary ionized calcium will pass through the body unused.

Conditions in the stomach normally provide sufficient acid for the stable intake of the free calcium ion even in the presence of phosphate ions; but absorption cannot take place in the stomach. As the contents of the stomach (chyme) are discharged from the into the small intestine, they are neutralized by the alkaline bile. Calcium absorption takes place in the duodenum, but it is apparent that solubility considerations counteract to prevent this uptake, except during the relatively short period of time before the chyme is completely neutralized. Absorption in the remainder of the intestine is pretty much nonexistent, because the calcium by then has been precipitated from solution due to the alkalinity of the bile.

High amounts of phosphorous in the diet (high red meat consumption, carbonated beverages, and so forth) are unfavorable to calcium absorption. Because of the common ion effect, excess phosphate will depress solubility of the soluble calcium dihydrogen phosphate stable at the stomach's normally acid pH level. Therapy involving use of strong bases such as antacids and H-2 blockers like Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid, etc., decreases the efficiency of calcium absorption because of their alkalizing effects of the pH of the stomach. Tums or calcium carbonate, and alkaline sources of calcium, neutralize stomach acid needed for calcium absorption. A diet too high in zinc can interfere with calcium absorption. Faulty fat digestion due to excessive fat intake or inadequate bile secretion also interferes with calcium absorption through the precipitation of insoluble calcium soaps. Certain foods such as rhubarb, Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, cocoa, soybeans, cashews, and kale contain a high oxilate content, which acts as a calcium absorption blocker by binding with calcium, producing insoluble salts as calcium oxilate which can not be absorbed. So even with high intake of foods containing calcium there are many factors that interfere with its absorption, leading to a deficiency of usable calcium.

The average American diet of meats, refined carbohydrates and soft drinks high in phosphorus has been documented to contribute to increased bone loss in adults. It is important to remember that proper calcium absorption under normal circumstances requires adequate levels of vitamin D. The excretion of calcium is largely through the mucosa of the small intestines, and a comparatively small quantity (25-35%) is excreted in the urine as calcium phosphate. Excretion is a normal continuous process, and a negative calcium balance is the result of too low dietary intake and/or factors interfering with absorption.

The following chart shows the average amount of calcium needed for specific age groups. These amounts were established by nutritionists at Purdue University in 1997, and supersede the amounts considered as the required amounts previously. Higher amounts up to 2,000 mg daily are recommended for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, girls between 11-20 years of age, people who are under high physical of mental stress, and anyone with osteoporosis. Also, people who have muscle spasms or cramps or bone fractures need more calcium. Please note that the following chart calls for absorbed calcium not total calcium intake.

AGE
ABSORBED CALCIUM
1-3 years
500 mg
4-8 years
800 mg
9-18 years
1,300 mg
19-50 years
1,000 mg
51+ years
1,200 mg


Calcium can be purchased in different forms. But in order to really be able to evaluate the absorbable (or usable) calcium of each product, we need to know (a) what is the amount of available calcium, and (b) what is the biochemical absorption percentage for the compound under ideal conditions.

Below, is a brief summary that addresses how much calcium is actually available to our bodies from commonly available calcium products.

A.) Calcium Carbonate {CaCO3}, known as Caltrate, Oyster Shell calcium, Tums, or generic. Total molecular weight of this compound is 100.09 mg. of which the Calcium weighs 40.09 mg. So Calcium carbonate is 40% calcium. Scientists tell us that only 10% of the calcium is absorbed from the carbonate. So for every 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate, 40% of 400 mg is calcium. Of this 400 mg 10% is absorbed, or only 40 mg of calcium.

B.) Tribasic Calcium Phosphate {Ca3(PO4)2}, known as Posture. Total molecular weight of this compound is 310.18 mg or which 39% is calcium. Scientists tell us that only 10% of the calcium is absorbed from this phosphate. So for every 1,000 mg of calcium phosphate 39% or 390 mg is calcium, of which 10% is absorbed, or only 39 mg of calcium.

C.) Calcium Lactate {(CH3CH[OH]COO)2Ca}is commonly found in dairy products. Total molecular weight of this compound is 218.22 mg, of which 37% is calcium. Scientists tell us that only 33% of the calcium is absorbed from the lactate. So for every 1,000 mg of calcium lactate 37% or 370 mg is calcium. And of this 370 mg, 33% is absorbed, or only 105 mg of calcium.

D.) Calcium Citrate {Ca3(C6H3O7)2}, known as Citrical®. Total molecular weight of this compound is 572.72 mg, of which 21% is calcium.Scientists tell us that 50% of the calcium is absorbed from the citrate. So for every1,000 mg of calcium citrate 21% or 210 mg is calcium. Of this 210 mg 50% is absorbed, or only 105 mg of calcium.

E.) Ionic Calcium {Ca++} is available as Coral Calcium. Total molecular weight of ionic calcium is 40.09 mg. Ionic calcium is 100% calcium. Scientists tell us that 98% of the ionic calcium is absorbed. So for every 1,000 mg of Coral Calcium, a unique organic calcium carbonate compound that dissipates calcium directly in its ionic form, 40% is ionic calcium or 400 mg of calcium. Of this 400 mg 98% is absorbed, or 392 mg of usable calcium.


The following chart illustrates how much of these commonly available calcium products needs to be consumed each day (in addition to an average 500 mg dietary calcium intake, in order to obtain a minimum 800 mg of absorbable ionic Ca++) and their comparative costs.

Compound
mg/unit
Units needed for 300 mg absorbable Ca++
Cost per unit
Total daily cost for additional 300 mg absorbable Ca++ to dietary intake
Ionic Calcium
342mg/bag
1 Bag
$37.50/30
$1.27
Calcium Citrate
400mg/tablet
7 tablets
$8.49/100
$0.59
Calcium Carbonate
500mg/tablet
10 tablets
$5.99/100
$0.60
Tribasic Calcium Phosphate
500mg/tablet
15 tablets
$8.99/60
$0.75

Note: Calcium obtained from calcium lactate in dairy products was excluded in the above table because of confusion surrounding the food industry's labeling of calcium lactate as pure calcium when it is not and because prices vary considerably as it comes from a food source with each sample having varying amounts.

The chart above shows that ionic calcium costs more than the other products. But when considering calcium supplementation, factors besides simply cost must be included. For example, consuming sufficient amounts of calcium tablets to achieve the desired absorption can have serious negative side effects, the most obvious are the reducing of the acidity of stomach acid and the reducing of the alkalinity of the mineral.

This chart and the information on this page may lead you to coclude that you need to take much more coral calcium to meet the daily requirements for calcium. This would be true if you got zero calcium from other sources. And 300 mg of ionic calcium is worth far more than any other form because it is 98% usable without having to go through the digestive process. Plus there are seventy other minerals in Coral Calcium (when it is the Marine Bio product) that we are not even taking into account, that are not present in the other products (and not in other coral calcium products), and that have an alkalizing effect in the body (not in the stomach) and are essential for many other reasons. Most importantly, we are seeing dramatic results from using the coral calcium in the improvement of health and the reversal of degenerative diseases, results we are not seeing with other calcium products.

Conventional calcium absorption requires an acid environment in the stomach for proper digestion, and people over 60 years of age produce only approximately 25% of the stomach acid they produced when they were younger. It is a known fact that as many as 40% of postmenopausal women lack sufficient stomach acid for proper calcium absorption - and that's without the intake of large volumes of alkaline calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate which will further reduce the acidity of whatever stomach acid they do have.

And large amounts of dairy products increase the intake into our bodies of fats, cholesterol, and artificial hormones and antibiotics fed to dairy cattle to increase growth and milk production.

Ionic calcium, on the other hand, does not intereact with stomach acid in order to be digested and absorbed and assimilated. Rather, it is absorbed directly through the tissues of the mouth, esophagus, and upper stomach.

Calcium deficiency, which is also known as hypocalcemia is directly linked to approximately 150 diseases. Here is a partial list: Acid reflux (Acid Indigestion), Allergies, Arrhythmia, Arthritis, Asthma, Bone spurs, Cancer, Colitis, Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Gall stones, Gout, Headaches, Heart disease, Heart palpitation, Hiatal hernia, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Increased cholesterol levels, Indigestion, Insomnia, Kidney stones, Loss of mental functions, Lower back pain, Muscle cramps, Recessed gums, Rickets.

It might be confusing that kidney stones are included in this list. Kidney stones are a buildup of calcium in the kidneys which are very painful to pass, and surgery is sometimes necessary to remove them. Doctors used to think (and too many of them still do) that the stones formed because of an over-abundance of calcium in the diet and instructed the patients to restrict their calcium intake. This has been shown to be the direct opposite of the truth. Kidney stones are caused by a lack of calcium in the diet. What happens is this: When the body becomes acidic, it leaches calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acid to keep the pH from dropping below the level necessary to support life. But the calcium from the bones is not very bioavailable with only a small percentage being actually used to correct the acid condition, and the rest, left over and inactive, starts to accumulate in the kidneys (and in the joints, and as bone spurs).

Science has proven the stones are not formed from calcium in the diet by using radioactive markers on the dietary calcium. When the stones and spurs were later examined there was not one bit of dietary calcium contained in them. Fully 100% of kidney stones and bone spurs comes from calcium leached out of the bones in order to neutralize the acids in the body fluids. Some doctors still haven't gotten the news and are still telling their patients to restrict calcium intake. That, of course, is going to make the problem worse and cause more stones and spurs to develop, which will lead to the doctors' only response at that point: surgery.

Other Trace Minerals
It is known that calcium can not be absorbed and utilized in our bodies without the presence of certain trace minerals, including magnesium and boron and many others. The full complement of these trace minerals is not found in most calcium supplementation products and is severely lacking in the typical American diet. These trace minerals are important not only to facilitate the digestion and absorption of calcium (as in the case of magnesium), but they are also absolutely needed by the body for the performance of the millions of biochemical reactions that are taking place every day.

Marine Bio's Coral Calcium is a patented process product (the only patented process coral calcium on the market) which contains 76 essential trace minerals from the sea that synergistically aid the immediate utilization of ionic calcium by our bodies and perform all the other functions for which trace minerals are necessary. Consider that for less than the daily cost of a single fancy cup of coffee or a couple of cups of regular, you can provide yourself a safe, natural method of nutritional prevention of calcium deficiency (and the 150 diseases associated with calcium deficiency, including osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, indigestion, etc.). Marine Bio's Ionic Coral Calcium is a cost effective, easily assimilated, virtually tasteless, easy to take form of calcium. A positive side effect of taking your calcium in this form is that it will encourage you to increase your intake of good water, another absolutely essential ingredient for health.

Coral Calcium is the biggest selling nutritional supplement of all time. But just because it has the name, that doesn't mean it's good. Not all coral calciums are the same. Only Sango Coral from Okinawa has the same mineral composition of human bone and is therefore ideally suited for the human body. But not even all coral calciums from Okinawa are the same. While any coral might give you some benefits, only Marine Bio's coral is cleansed, activated and ionic. Coral Calcium (or any calcium product) in the capsule or caplet form will always damage the digestive process. The calcium that is ionized immediately when added to water (Marine Bio Coral Calcium) is by far the best form to use. What makes the Marine Bio product unique is the patented process that guarantees it to be pure and free from pollutants - and activated so that the calcium and other minerals ionize immediately when exposed to water. Just soaking or dissolving other calciums in water will not result in their ionization. They will still have to be ionized by the stomach acid.

Only Marine Bio's Sango Coral from Okinawa is the original patented process coral (2 United States patents, a UK Patent, a French Patent, and a German patent) with the most life giving benefits. Only the Coral product produced by Marine Bio Co., Ltd's patented process is approved for human consumption in Japan by the very strict and meticulous Japanese government. All other coral products from Okinawa have to be mined stated for other uses (such as in contruction) and taken out of the country before they can be put into pills and sold as supplements.

The superiority of Marine Bio's Coral Calium products is proven in the laboratory using an ORP (Oxygen Reduction Potential) Meter to measure the electrical current in millivolts. The higher the negative charge the more negatively charged electron (free radical fighters) the substance possesses. Because of the patented activation process Marine Bio's coral calcium always scores much higher than any other brand.

You can go to the Official United States Patent Office Website and read the patents for yourself. United States Patent Numbers for Marine Bio's Coral Calcium and only Marine Bio's Coral Calcium are 4,463,031 and 4,540,484.

Marine Bio's Coral Calcium also has the secondary role of purifying water. In fact, the product was originally conceived as a purifier for water in Third World countries.

If you look at the complete picture, only one of the calcium products available is really a viable option, and that is Marine Bio's Coral Calcium.

 

 

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© Charles Martin Simon

Products discussed on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not claimed to diagnose, cure, prevent, or treat any illness or disease.