The Calcium Myth
One of the oldest and most accepted theories of successful marketing is that, to successfully sell a product, you must first identify a need, then convince the market that your product fulfills that need better than any other product. It is simply a case of, you need this and we can give it to you better than anyone else! Often times, it requires a campaign to let the public know that they have a need. Again, marketing principles tell us that a successful awareness compaign convinces the market that they will be worse off if they do not fill this need in their lives.
Our medical profession has responded by telling everyone, women especially, that they need to eat foods that are rich in calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Current figures show, however, that this has done little to stem the growth of the disease. Is it a disease of old age? The answer lies in looking around the rest of the world. It is correct to say that Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease. When one sees the number of other degenerative diseases which exist in the 21st century, we should not rule out the fact that perhaps our bodies are succumbing to our modern lifestyle.
Research into African populations reveals some startling facts. The women of the Bantu race in Africa do not suffer from Osteoporosis. In fact, there is no evidence of it at all. Further, a broken bone is so rare, that if one occurs, it is big news. These women, who on the average produce nine children in a lifetime, present remarkable bone density. So, how much calcium are they getting? On the average, 350 mg of calcium a day!
So why do we get Osteoporosis when our average daily consumption of calcium is nearly four times higher than the Bantus? The simple reason is that calcium intake has nothing to do with Osteoporosis. We have to ask what is causing our bones to surrender our calcium. All the reliable research of the past 15 years has proven conclusively, exactly what causes Osteoporosis. Unfortunately we don't hear too much about this research because there is no one really interested in spending the money on advertising campaigns to warn us. In fact, quite the opposite is happening.
The problem stems from the amount of protein we consume, especially animal protein, as found in meat, dairy products, poultry and fish. You see, the human body has a very low protein requirement. We cannot store excess protein. So, once protein is digested and converted down to amino acids. If not used, it is left circulating in the blood. If the volume of amino acids and their bi-products accumulate in the blood, the blood pH drops. The blood becomes very acidic. The human body is constantly working to maintain a state of balance. When the blood becomes too acidic, in an effort to balance the pH, the blood draws calcium and magnesium from the bones, as these are the two most readily available alkaline substances in the body.
The more protein we eat, the more calcium our blood draws from the bones. The end result is high levels of uric acid, calcuim and magnesium in the urine. It is very simple, very basic biochemistry. Countless experiments over the years have proven that women , when fed a meal high in animal proteins, lose large volumes of the vital minerals in the urine of the hours following the meal. Fed a meal dominated by plant products, there is little or no calcium in the urine.
Why we don't see advertisements on television warning us against over consumption of protein.
1. If we tell people that they don't have to worry about calcium, we are destroying a very powerful marketing tool of the dairy industry.
2. Since the information has been available about the real cause of osteoporosis, the dairy industry has multiplied its advertising in both the press and the electronic media, convincing us that we need lots of calcium and that dairy foods are, in fact, the best source.
3. Warning people to minimize their protein intake could compromise the industries that sell us beef, pork, lamb, poultry and fish. These industries are very rich and extremely powerful.
4. To simply prevent osteoporosis, a number of drugs would become redundant, something that would not please the drug companies that sell them.
5. Preventing osteoporosis would also reduce the number of visits that people make to GP's.
You might then ask why individual doctors with a conscience do not give the correct advice. The reason is quite simple. First, most GP's out there did not study much, if any, nutrition while at the University. Second, due to the time and commercial pressures they face daily in practice, the only on-going education they receive is either in Journals funded by the Pharmaceutical companies, or at conferences sponsored and organized by the same companies.
In conclusion, to prevent osteoporosis, simply eat a diet that consists of a variety of foods from the true, four food groups. These are grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables. You will get enough protein and plenty of all the other nutrients you require. Make sure to eat whole foods, avoid the refined alternatives and when possible, choose organically grown, non-genetically engineered products,
( GMO Free).