Calcium supplementation is controversial. Some people believe that supplements, but not calcium-rich foods, can increase the risk of heart disease. Here are my recommendations for calcium supplementation to make it as close to eating whole foods as possible.
The bone meal powder I use can be found at chrismasterjohnphd.com/calcium. If you use my affiliate link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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This is the best way to supplement with calcium.
Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com, and this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!
And today we’re going to talk about supplementing with calcium. Now, there’s a lot of people out there in the alternative health world, the ancestral health world, who are skeptical of calcium supplements. Naturally skeptical because, hey, supplements, it’s better to get your nutrients from food, but also there’s some data out there suggesting that when you supplement with calcium, you cause a transient rise in your blood calcium level, and although your body is very good at controlling that through homeostasis to bring it back down to normal, the transient spikes might be bad for you by promoting, for example, heart disease.
Now, personally I’m not ready to jump on that bandwagon yet in necessarily claiming that the calcium supplements that are out there are doing harmful things to most people.But I have a new recommendation that I think solves that issue and solves some other issues as well.
So, this recommendation is to use bone meal powder mixed into your food. I initially thought of this because I wanted to benefit my teeth. I was eating a dairy-free diet for reasons that I’ll talk about in some other episode. I was eating a dairy-free diet. I knew my diet without dairy was not providing enough calcium, and so I wanted to get a calcium supplement. But I thought, wait a second, what if it’s better for my teeth to chew the calcium along with my food? Because if you consume dairy products, even if it’s milk, it’s still swishing around in your mouth, you swallow it, you swish a little bit more around your mouth, it’s gradually coming in, coating everything in the mouth and going down.
Now, yes, calcium is good for your teeth after it gets into your stomach because it goes into your blood supply, the blood supply goes into the teeth and nourishes the teeth from the inside, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no benefit to consuming calcium around your teeth. For example, when you’re eating food, that’s when bacterial acid production is higher. That’s when demineralization is going to run higher, and if you have the nutrients swishing around in your saliva to balance that with remineralization, I think that’s a good thing. And so what I started doing was taking bone meal powder, taking 1/4 teaspoon at a time, sometimes 1/2 teaspoon with my evening meal, providing between 250 milligrams in 1/4 teaspoon or 500 milligrams of calcium in 1/2 teaspoon for the particular bone meal that I was using. And I started mixing it together in my mixed starches.
Now, this isn’t going to be very easy if you—if the foods you eat don’t mix, but to the extent you eat foods that can either be blended with something or be stirred with something, just stir it into the food so that it mixes homogeneously in the food. Bone meal powder is a food. If you look, for example, at where did the Inuit get their calcium from, it was by freeze-drying fish bones and pulverizing them into a powder.
So bone meal powder is a traditional food, and to mix it together with your food is the closest approximation to what you would get if you were actually eating calcium rather than supplementing with calcium. Now the question is what bone meal powder? Well, there is a concern that if you don’t know where the cows are coming from, and they might be coming from industrial, polluted areas, there’s a concern that things like lead could wind up in the bones, for example.
So I talked this over with Chris Kresser, and we came to the conclusion that the best bone meal to use right now would be Traditional Foods Market Whole Bone Calcium, which is shown on the screen, and it’s from free-range, pasture-raised animals. If you’d like to purchase this product without using my affiliate link, just Google the product name. If, on the other hand, you’d like to purchase this product with my affiliate link so that you can support the free content that I produce at no extra cost to you, then use chrismasterjohnphd.com/calcium to purchase the product.