It is conventional wisdom in allopathic medicine that brittle bones and age-related bone loss — or osteoporosis — in seniors is a result of a loss of calcium; and doctors have often prescribed calcium supplements in addition to drugs like Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax or Reclast.
But those drugs carry with them unpleasant side effects, and taking a calcium supplement is no good if the calcium isn’t absorbed. Besides, it’s increasingly evident that calcium deficiency is not the primary culprit in osteoporosis.
Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D., writes that low vitamin D hinders calcium absorption, and that most people with age-related bone loss are deficient in vitamin D and another mineral that may be the most important of all: magnesium.
More than 325 different body enzyme systems are dependent upon magnesium in order to function properly. The mineral is the fourth most abundant in the human body, signifying that magnesium may be even more important than calcium.
According to Dean, both magnesium and vitamin D in proper balance is crucial for calcium to properly assimilate into the bone structure. And she notes that taking calcium alone can lead to long-term health problems like calcification of the kidneys, artery walls, gall bladder, muscles, breasts and other soft tissues. This leads to chronic disease.
However, too much vitamin D and insufficient magnesium leads to even greater magnesium deficiency because magnesium is necessary and used by the body as it metabolizes vitamin D.
To increase your magnesium, Dean recommends taking 600 milligrams daily of elemental magnesium and eating leafy greens, nuts, seeds and bananas. She also recommends taking between 1,000 and 2,000 international units of vitamin D3. But be sure you’re taking natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and not synthetic vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
This will also result in better calcium absorption and stronger bones … and much more.