Health Coach to Children of The World

1808, Calcium

The Following Content Provided by my Business Partner: USANA, The Cellular Nutrition Company

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is found in a variety of natural and fortified foods, in dietary supplements, and also available in certain medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is an important mineral that is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions.
Serum calcium is very tightly regulated and does not easily fluctuate with changes in dietary intakes; the body uses bone tissue as a reservoir for, and a source of calcium, to maintain constant concentrations in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids. The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.

Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone. The balance between bone resorption and deposition changes with age. Bone formation exceeds resorption in periods of growth in children and adolescents, whereas in early and middle adulthood both processes are relatively equal. In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women (however men can be at risk too), bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.

Inadequate intakes of dietary calcium from food and supplements generally produce no short-term noticeable symptoms because circulating blood levels of calcium are tightly regulated. However hypocalcemia can result primarily from certain medical problems or medical treatments, and the use of certain medications.

Although an outright calcium deficiency is uncommon, dietary intakes of calcium below recommended levels could have negative health consequences in the long term. Certain groups can have a higher risk of a deficiency and may need to supplement with calcium including postmenopausal women, amenorrheic women and certain women athletes. Also individuals who are lactose intolerant or have an allergy to cow’s milk, and people who are vegetarian and vegan.

Over the long term, inadequate calcium intake can lead to osteopenia which if untreated can lead to osteoporosis. The risk of bone fractures also increases, especially in older individuals. Calcium deficiency can also cause rickets, though it is more commonly associated with vitamin D deficiency.

Food sources include: dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese) sardines and canned pink salmon (that include the bones). Nondairy sources include vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Many foods area also fortified with calcium.


A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has resulted in headlines such as “Calcium supplements may hurt your heart” and “Calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart disease.” But once again the headlines are sensationalized and the dire implications reported do not accurately reflect the conclusion of the paper.

Excessive use of calcium supplements, especially without the supporting bone health nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K, is not necessary or without risk. While emphasis should continue to be placed on increasing calcium intake from food sources, appropriate supplementation of calcium is a valuable method of ensuring recommended intakes to support bone, muscular, and cardiovascular health.

See what others are saying about this study:

Council for Responsible Nutrition

“This observational study demonstrated that people with the highest total calcium intake from both food and dietary supplements had the lowest risk of coronary artery calcification. This confirms the safety of calcium supplementation for heart health, which has been the conclusion of several large studies1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in recent years. Consumers should have confidence in the safety of calcium supplements, and women in particular should be aiming to get the targeted daily amount of calcium through a combination of diet and supplementation.”


A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition presents an 18 month trial of calcium supplementation (792 mg/d) with follow-up two years after supplement withdrawal. Subjects included 96 adolescent girls with low calcium intakes. State-of-the-art measures of bone were used to determine the change in total-body, lumbar spine, and total hip bone mineral content (BMC) during supplementation and then two years after supplement withdrawal.

Over the eighteen-month period, girls who received supplemental calcium showed significantly greater gains in bone mineral content (with the exception of the hip), and bone mineral density was greater at all sites compared with the group that received a placebo. In follow-up, indicators of bone loss were still significantly lower in the supplemented group than in the control group after 18 months without the calcium supplement. However, after 24 months (or two years without supplements), the differences between groups were no longer observed.

This study indicates that calcium supplementation does indeed enhance bone mineral accumulation in teenage girls, but the effect is short-lived. The likely mechanism for the effect of the calcium is suppression of bone turnover, which is reversed upon supplement withdrawal. Therefore, calcium supplementation must be consistent and life-long to achieve full bone health benefits.


The study involved 64,191 women from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. All women lived in Shanghai, China. Analysis of dietary questionnaire responses determined calcium and magnesium intake.

Women whose intake was in the highest group at an average of 649.6 milligrams per day had a 27 percent lower risk of diabetes than those whose intake was in the lowest group at 277.5 milligrams. Women whose intake of magnesium was highest at an average of 318.1 milligrams per day experienced a 20 percent lower risk compared with those in the lowest category of intake. Dairy intake was also related to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers did not have information on vitamin D intake, but the protective effect of dairy products could be partly due to their vitamin D content as well as calcium. The combination of vitamin D and calcium has been associated with a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in previous research.
Bone mineral content, bone area, lean and fat mass, height, and weight were measured before, during and following the treatment period. They were also grouped according to activity level.

Both groups experienced increases in height, weight, lean and fat mass and most bone measurements over the course of the study. However, the group receiving calcium was found to have a significant increase in height, lean mass and bone mineral content of the whole body, lumbar spine and hip compared to the boys who received a placebo. Physical activity level increased the effect of calcium supplementation on bone mineral content only in an area of the upper leg bone.

Calcium supplementation early in life may improve bone mineral content and stature and help reduce future osteoporotic fracture.


Patients with mental disorders are often deficient in omega–3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters.


About 10-20% of the population experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Research shows that nutrition can influence mental health.

According to a published review of nutrition and mental health, the most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are of omega–3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters.

Although the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical illness is better understood, fewer people are aware of the connection between nutrition and mental health. Many dietary patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods. Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging discipline shedding light on the fact that nutritional factors are intertwined with human cognition, behavior, and emotions.

This is not meant to imply that a particular nutrient or nutrients can cure or prevent all mental illness, simply that there is a connection between mental health and many nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, omega-3 fats, B-complex, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, chromium, iron, selenium, iodine, zinc, and mental health. Good nutrition plays a significant role in overall brain health. And poor nutritional status may negatively influence brain health, mood, depression, etc.

The Following Foods Are Recommended:

Collard Greens


Asparagus, Collard & Swiss Chard Salad

This recipe features local produce from 9 Bean Rows, Birch Point Farms  and locally produced products from Food for Thought.

Ginger Farm fresh local wild leeks
Wild leek infused olive oil (recipe link)
Local wild leek vinegar
Local raw wild star thistle honey
Turkish pul kirmizi biber pepper spice (optional)
Crushed red pepper
White pepper
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper
Farm fresh local asparagus
Farm fresh local collard greens
Farm fresh local swiss chard
Farm fresh local French breakfast radishes
Farm fresh local chives Raw cashews
Peel and mince a one half inch piece of ginger. Mince one large leek white. Zest lime, mince zest and juice half of lime. In a glass jar, mix ginger, minced leek white, lime zest, three tablespoons lime juice, three tablespoons wild leek oil, two tablespoons wild leek vinegar, one teaspoon honey, one quarter teaspoon turkish pepper (optional), one  eighth  teaspoon crushed red pepper, one  eighth  teaspoon white pepper, one quarter teaspoon salt and a dash of cayenne pepper.

With a vegetable peeler, peel per salad one cup asparagus into ribbons and one quarter cup wild leek whites into ribbons and place the ribbons in a large glass mixing bowl. Remove stems from one cup collard greens and one cup swiss chard per salad. Chiffonade collard greens, swiss chard and add to glass mixing bowl.

Add marinade to glass mixing bowl, stir vegetables and let rest for ten minutes.

Per salad, remove greens and stems from three radishes and julienne. Mince two tablespoons chives (reserve the chive blossoms). Chop two tablespoons cashews per salad. Slice remaining lime half into wedges.

Plate salad and top with minced chives, cashews and a lime wedge.

Recipe Provided by MyNorth



Baby Swiss Chard, Baby Bordeaux Spinach & Baby Pea Shoots Salad

9 Bean Rows baby swiss chard 9 Bean Rows baby bordeaux spinach
9 Bean Rows baby pea shoots
Farm fresh local amaranth micro greens
Raw brazil nuts
Food for Thought wild star thistle raw honey
Food for Thought organic wild leek vinegar
Green onion infused olive oil (recipe link) Sea salt

Mix one teaspoon honey with one tablespoon vinegar, one tablespoon oil and sea salt to taste. Plate swiss chard, spinach and pea shoots. Dice plumb and add to salad. Add one half cup nuts to processor and puree into powder. Top salad with micro greens, a little nut powder and drizzle with dressing.

Recipe Provided by MyNorth

Turnip Greens


Apple and Turnip Soup

Farm fresh local onion
Farm fresh local turnips
Farm fresh local apples
Canola oil
Local verjus
Local apple cider
Farm fresh local marjoram leaves
Farm fresh local chives
Homemade spring onion infused olive oil (recipe link)

Slice one large onion and saute in two tablespoons of canola oil and one quarter cup of verjus in a covered metal stockpot until translucent.

Wash and chop four apples and two turnips leaving skins on. Add the apples and turnips to the stockpot with another one quarter cup of verjus.  Stir and cook ten minutes. Add two cups apple cider, two cups water, one quarter teaspoon nutmeg and one quarter teaspoon sea salt. Stir and cook for twenty minutes.

Remove one tablespoon marjoram leave from stems and remove marjoram buds from leaves. Add marjoram leaves to soup at the fifteen minute mark and continue cooking.

Remove soup from heat. Snip two tablespoons chives. Blend soup with hand blender directly in the stockpot; adjust seasonings to taste. Serve soup with a drizzle of spring onion infused olive oil, a teaspoon of snipped chives, a few marjoram buds and sea salt.

Recipe Provided by MyNorth

Mustard Greens


Cucumber and Mustard Greens Salad

This recipe features local produce from 9 Bean Rows Farm, Birch Point Farm and locally produced products from Food for Thought.

Farm fresh local cucumber Farm fresh local green zebra heirloom tomato
Farm fresh local green wave mustard
Farm fresh local pea shoots
Farm fresh local mizuna
Farm fresh local baby red onion
Homemade green onion infused olive oil
Local cherry honey mustard
Local wild leek vinegar
Sea salt Pepper

Per salad slice one cup cucumber into matchsticks and place in a large glass bowl. Remove seeds and slice one cup green zebra heirloom tomato in matchsticks and add to the glass bowl. Remove one cup of green wave mustard from stems, chiffonade and add to the glass bowl. Remove woody stems from one cup pea shoots and add to the glass bowl. Remove stems from one cup mizuna and add stems and mizuna to the glass bowl. Slice two small baby red onions, separate into rings and add to the glass bowl.

In a glass jar, stir in two tablespoons green onion infused olive oil, one tablespoon herry honey mustard, one tablespoon wild leek vinegar and season to taste with ground pepper and salt. Pour dressing (reserve two teaspoons dressing) on the Cucumber and Mustard Greens Salad, gently stir and let rest for five minutes.

Plate salad with a grind of sea salt, a grind of pepper and a drizzle of dressing.

Recipe Provided by MyNorth

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