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It’s interesting to me that Americans take more calcium supplements than any other country yet the U.S.A. has the highest incidence of osteoporosis. According to the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and another 34 million have low-bone density and are therefore at risk for osteoporosis.

The calcium and other bone-building minerals in vegetables are superior to the inorganice and poorly-absorbed calcium in many supplements. Calcium in supplements is often from coral, oyster shell, bone meal, dolomite, limestone, di-calcium phosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, or calcium carbonate (chalk). Calcium ascorbate, calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, calcium hydroxyapatite, calcium malate, and calcium orotate will be more easily absorbed and silica (from the herb horsetail and bamboo gum) is used by the body to produce its own calcium. If supplemented calcium doesn’t have the complimentary magnesium available to it in the body, the result is worse than it going to waste: it gets stashed in the form of stones and deposits (generally in the shoulder and rib areas).

The likely cause of these osteoporosis statistics is that while Americans are taking calcium they are not getting enough magnesium. (And, the calcium they may be taking may be an inferior form of calcium.) When calcium is supplemented without magnesium the body is triggered to excrete magnesium, which creates a vicious cycle of more unassimilated calcium and an ongoing deficiency of magnesium.