What causes us to lose calcium?
What causes us to not absorb calcium?
There is little doubt that the typical western diet is responsible for the effects of osteoporosis — not to mention causing many other health problems. High in fat, sugar, protein, sodium and phosphorus, 'western cuisine' causes calcium to flush out of the body unabsorbed and therefore, unused.
Beer, alcohol, coffee, tea, soft drinks, salt and nicotine are the bone’s worst enemies, directly interfering with calcium absorption. Sugar is also a major cause of calcium deficiency and is known to deplete the body stores of phosphorus. Phosphorus and magnesium are essential for the assimilation of calcium; and, when there are imbalances of either, calcium is excreted from the body rather than utilized. High phosphorus foods cause calcium to form insoluble compounds that lead to inadequate absorption. Chicken contains more phosphorus than even lean cuts of red meats; consuming large quantities of poultry, seafood, soft drinks, pork products and processed foods significantly contribute to a phosphorus-calcium imbalance.
Not only does sugar have a devastating effect on calcium levels but caffeine does also. Because of caffeine’s diuretic properties, it doubles the rate of calcium excretion, causing the parathyroid gland to secrete the hormone responsible for drawing calcium from the bone in order to keep the blood calcium level within normal limits.
When too much protein is consumed, the breakdown and excretion of excess sulfur-containing amino acids causes the urine to become more acidic, forcing it to expel more calcium along with the excess proteins. Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are concentrated sources of sulfur-containing amino acids. Plant foods do contain these same sulfur amino acids, but they are less concentrated sources of total protein and so the excretions are less likely to occur. To put it simply, the more protein that is eaten, the more calcium that is secreted and lost from the body. If there is insufficient calcium in the diet, or if it is lost because of high protein diets, the body will borrow calcium from anywhere to satisfy its needs. That usually comes from the bones, contributing to osteoporosis.
For generations, milk has been touted as being the only good source of calcium and a major contributor in the prevention of osteoporosis, when in fact, it takes a very high consumption of milk to obtain enough calcium from milk to do any good. Milk processing tends to bind the calcium, rendering it unusable by the body.
After spending millions of dollars on foods which are destructive to the body, more is spent on supplements to undo the damage.
Another factor leading to poor absorption is not having enough stomach acids to properly break down and absorb calcium. As we age, our bodies produce less stomach acids.
Antacids, acid reducing and acid blocking medications have also been proven to prevent the absorption of calcium. Examples: Prilosec, Nexium, Tums, Aciphex, Prevacid, Protonix, Tagamet, Pepcid, Rolaids, etc. The American Medical Association released a study on December 27, 2007 proving this theory.