The Importance of Organic Calcium vs. Inorganic Calcium: The Women’s Body’s Ability To Recognize and Utilize Calcium
By: Mark J. Occhipinti, M.S., Ph.D., NDc.
Chemistry defines organic as containing carbon or carbon-hydrogen or carbon-carbon bonds. Organic is also defined as a food produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, additives, anti-biotics, steroids, etc. An example of organic calcium is found in leafy green vegetables grown without pesticides and delivered and packaged without the use of preservatives or additives. Inorganic calcium is that calcium found in foods that have been produced with the use of chemical fertilizers, additives, etc.
A women’s body depends upon an intake of calcium each day for the processes of life to take place. Calcium is a critical component for the formation of strong bones and for calcium’s role in the contraction and relaxation phase of all muscles within the human body (skeletal, cardiac, and smooth). The medical profession and the media advise us to take in plenty of dairy products every day to assure we are getting enough calcium to build strong bones and teeth. According to some experts higher calcium intake lowers the incidence of osteoporosis, ( a condition of softening of the bones, that is implicated in the deaths of 35,000 Americans each year). 8 However, in countries such as China where animal source protein and calcium intake are very low the incidence of osteoporosis is very low.1 Women are told according to the RDA’s (recommended daily allowance) that they need anywhere from 800 mgs. to 1,500 mgs of calcium daily to ward off osteoporosis.
What we are not told however, is that there are two types of calcium found in nature (organic and inorganic).2 The human body can only recognize and utilize one type of calcium: organic calcium. This bio-available type of calcium found in fruits (many citrus), grains and vegetable. The physical characteristic of organic calcium is the only available form that the body needs and uses.3
Organic calcium is found within the body in the matrix, spongy living core of the bones. Animal dairy products contain inorganic calcium. Which is not recognized, nor utilized by the body. Dr. Stanley Kaplan, MD has found that organic calcium losses were elevated markedly in individuals for 3-4 hours after a meal rich in calcium from dairy and high in protein.4
Independent medical studies, those not funded by the Dairy Council, have concluded that excessive calcium found in the body (in the blood stream ) will not be recognized. Instead, this inorganic calcium from animal sources are removed from the blood and collected in the kidneys. This can lead to the development of kidney stones. The body requires calcium for life and daily bodily repair. Since there is no usable calcium available the brain instructs the bone matrix to release organic calcium into the blood stream. The net result is a loss of calcium from the bone matrix. This loss causes a weakening of the bone resulting in osteoporosis according to Dr. John McDougall, M.D. 5
Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., professor of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, has studied nutritional bio-chemistry for forty years. He is the director of the China- Oxford Cornell Study, which is the largest study of diet and disease in medical history, and supports the necessity of organic calcium intake. He agrees that calcium intake should be from fruit, grains and dark green leafy vegetable sources. The absorption of organic calcium takes place readily from the blood in its vital role of carrying out the metabolic processes in the body. A supplemental form of calcium can be delivered in the form of calcium ascorbate, which delivers the essential organic calcium, with the addition of vitamin C.6
In February 1995, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine lodged a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against the Dairy industry. The complaint focused on ads for milk and milk products, stating they were deceptive, and imply that calcium in milk is the answer to the bone loss associated with osteoporosis. PCRM holds that calcium intake is important during early childhood, and early adulthood for promoting bone mass growth. PCRM states there are adequate sources of organic calcium from fruits, vegetables and grains to achieve our necessary requirements of usable organic calcium.
In addition, the American Pediatric Association during the last two years has stated that new born to infants to two years of age should not drink milk. This is due in part to the baby’s leaky gut that allows for passage of nutrients, and unhealthy animal products to enter the blood stream, causing a high level of allergic reactions. Including ear infections, sinus infections, higher incidence of obesity, diabetes, asthma. 8,9 According to the research conducted by PCRM, milk consumption later in life actually contributes to calcium loss. Research has demonstrated in countries with a lower calcium intake 1,200 mgs /day.7 PCRM urges women to control calcium loss in adulthood by:
2) Reducing meat intake
3) Reducing sodium intake
4) Limiting Caffeine and Tobacco use.
Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., president of PCRM, states that “dairy ads give women a dangerously false sense of security”.
Excessive calcium intake does not fool hormones into building more bone, any more than delivering an extra load of bricks will make a construction crew build a larger building. Furthermore inorganic calcium promotes a net calcium loss, creating the potential for disaster over time in the unsuspecting individual.
1 Campbell, Colin, M.D., China-Oxford Study
2 RDA’s for Calcium, Nancy Clark’s Nutrition Cookbook. 1990.
3 McDougall, John,M.D. Diet for A New America.
4 Spencer, H. Do Protein and Phosphorus Cause Calcium Loss? Journal of Nutrition, 118:657.660; 1988
5 Ellis, F. et al. Incidence of Osteoporosis in Vegetarian and Omnivores, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 25:555, 1972
6 Hegsted,Relationship Between Nutrition in Early Life and Late Outcomes, Including Osteoporosis, Nutrition and Aging, 1990, pp.73-87
7 Barnard, N.,M.D. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 1995.
8 Hegsted, M Calcium and Osteoporsis, Journal of Nutrition, 116: 23162319; 1986
9 Rogers, Sherry, MD: The Scientific Basis for Selected Environmental Medicine Techniques, 1994
10. Spencer, H. Effect of a High Protein (Meat) Intake on Calcium metabolism, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 31:2167-2180; 1978.
Article Categories: Food & Nutrition Science