Bones! Bones! Bones, bones, bones, bones!
There is a powerful relationship between calcium, sugar and disease, and it may not be what you are imagining.
Although it’s true that calcium dysregulation can play a fundamental role in many of the problems of aging, stress, inflammation and degeneration, when properly regulated it is highly protective against these same things.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is central to the regulation of calcium. Insufficient dietary intake of calcium is known to cause PTH to rise, temporarily raising blood calcium to adequate levels by removing it from your bones.
Sometimes increasing intake of calcium can be all that’s required to lower PTH levels and reverse the excitatory, inflammatory effects of poorly regulated calcium. It’s also true however, that sufficient intake of sugar is (in many ways) indispensable.
Proper thyroid function is crucial for inhibiting parathyroid hormone. The stress hormones – cortisol, serotonin, prolactin and estrogen (which tend to increase as thyroid effectiveness is lessened) – play a role in promoting PTH’s release. All of these (in some way) can be shown to further interfere with the efficiency of thyroid metabolism, sometimes creating a vicious cycle which can be difficult to break.
Sugar consumption on the other hand, promotes thyroid function directly in many ways, and indirectly through suppression of the stress hormones.
Sugar also increases the production of cholesterol, which is necessary for the creation of the protective hormones including progesterone and testosterone (both of which happen to be central to the suppression of PTH).
On top of all this, insufficient intake of both calcium and sugar – and the potential resulting increase in PTH – can help to shift cellular metabolism away from efficient use of glucose, and once again promote a stress state – lowering carbon dioxide production, increasing lactic acid – and further fueling degeneration.
Although the relationship of the polyunsaturated fats (both when consumed and when released from storage as free fatty acids) to the suppression of thyroid and digestion – as well as to the promotion of bacterial endotoxin (and many of the inflammatory substances, including serotonin) – also plays a big part in the aggravation of this state of imbalance, I will leave a more detailed discussion of this for another occasion.
The above can all (in numerous ways), be involved in exacerbating the dysregulation of calcium – thereby weakening the bones and causing calcification of tissues, by depositing it where it doesn’t belong – promoting the possibility of a downward spiral of inflammation and disease.
Sufficient vitamin K, D and A – as well as sodium and magnesium – are also involved with the tissues proper handling of calcium and with the lowering of PTH. Decreasing phosphorus intake relative to calcium is also very important.
Contrary to popular recommendations suggesting a decrease in calcium intake in the presence of high blood calcium (and other associated symptoms of calcium dysregulation), a diet of milk, cheese and gelatin with lots of sugar from sweet juicy fruits, honey and sucrose, seems to be a more rational approach to protection from many of these issues – not to mention related diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
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Image: iCare愛健康–Jan 02,2014