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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

40 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren – I’d love to hear your thoughts on prenatal vitamin supplements. I’ve been seeking a natural, alternative vitamin since reading horror stories about folic acid versus real folate and the harm of synthetic vitamins in general (which you’ve touched on before in other posts). I’d love if you’d consider writing a dedicated post about prenatal vitamins & other considerations you think might be important for women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant. Many thanks!

        • Thanks for this great info Lauren! I have been (sporadically) taking a calcium/magnesium supplement, and my bottle was getting low. Now I know what food to buy instead of the vitamins!
          I second the request for a post (or posts 🙂 ) about prenatal vitamins. I want to start trying to conceive in a year and was told to start taking folic acid now. I was feeling bad about not wanting to take vitamins, but figured I could suck it up to have a healthy baby. Now I’m thinking maybe there is more to my aversion of taking pills than I thought. I’ll check out the 2 links!

      • I have a very bad case of osteoporosis, and a clearly c-shaped battle with scoliosis. I have been taking vitamin D, and Calcium for many yrs. now just over the counter. I have bought up K2 with my MD before and she doesn’t think I need it!

    • I’m also interested in this answer as I have a dairy intolerant child with 34 other allergies and sensitivities. He was calcium deficient – so we have one (liquid) with magnesium, k, d and a few others. Is that not safe?

    • I’m curious about your opinion on this, too, Lauren. I take Garden of Life as well. It is the only calcium supplement I know of that comes from an actual food source as well as being paired with K2, D, and Magnesium. It seems highly bioavailable for me. If it didn’t exist, I would not take a calcium supplement because like you, I’ve done quite a bit of research on it. Are you familiar with Garden of Life? What do you think? 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post, Lauren! I also have a question regarding calcium sources. You said raw dairy is an excellant source. We have extremely limited access to raw dairy, but I make yogurt and kefir from non homogenized, low temp pasterized, hormone and antibiotic free milk. Does the culturing make up for the pasterization in terms of restoring vitamin/mineral content? I have a 1 yr old and 3 yr old, and want to make sure they are getting enough calcium, as am I, as I have low adrenal and thyroid issues and am trying to restore my body before we have more babies! We do use alot of bone broth in soups, to cook with, and as a beverage. Anyway, very curious about the cultured dairy, if you are able to respond. Blessings!

    • Hi Marie, you definately do not need to be eating dairy to get calcium. A lot of people with digestive issues have problems with absorbing calcium from cows milk, cheese etc and get other problems like asthma, skin problems etc so best to get from a natural source like raw sesame seeds or tahini or leafy greens. An adult needs only 1 teaspoon of raw sesame seeds per day to get more than enough calcium for the day. So makes lots of fresh hummus etc with lots of tahini for you and your kids or mashed veg with tahini mashed in or dressings, smoothies etc in summer. We make a coconut milk based ice cream with tahini and cinnamon…sooooo good! Women who take calcium tabs while pregnant tend to get quite gritty placentas.

      • Sorry Cherie, but one tablespoon of whole sesame seeds contain about 88 mgs of calcium which falls well short of the recommended dosage of 700 mgs per day for children aged 1 to 3 years, and 1,000 mgs per day for adults.

        Marie, not sure if you’re aware, it’s not recommended that young children have raw dairy products. This doesn’t mean I’m against raw dairy products, just please be careful, your children are precious, google it.

        There is nothing wrong with diary if one can tolerate it. If you can’t tolerate the general shop bought A1/A2 milk and aren’t lactose intolerant, try 100% A2 milk. It’s more easily digested by some.

  3. Thank you Lauren for the informative post. I have a question on calcium sources – what are your thoughts on sesame seeds (or tahini) as a calcium source? I know they do contain omega 6 and oxalates, so do you believe that the cons outweigh the pros?

  4. Hi Lauren,

    I love your website and have learned a lot from you. I’ve been taking the dissected liver pills you’ve suggested as well as magnesium. But what do you think about taking fish oil and echinacea pills? Any harm?

    Thanks!

  5. Hi Lauren!

    I recently had a hair analysis which showed very high levels of calcium. My healthcare practitioner recommended calcium supplements, which didn’t make sense, but she explained that an elevated reading of a mineral may indicate biounavailability of the mineral. In this case, it may be necessary to supplement the mineral in available form until the body can utilize the mineral it already has. So I started taking lots of calcium today. What are your thoughts on her explanation? I would really appreciate your response!

    Thank you!

  6. hi Lauren, I just purchased some bone builder vitamins that contain vit K2, boron, d3,calcium from coral mineral, silica, tritium, mag. It’s all from minerals and natural sources. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at my last bone density test. I did paleo for 2 yrs. and now realize I need dairy like goat cheese and fermented dairy. The paleo diet also made me slightly hypo thyroid so I’m adding more carbs any suggestions for that? Never had an issue with either bones or thyroid until I stopped eating wheat, dairy, sugar and soy. What do you think?

  7. Wow – everyone has been asking, basically, the same question for the past several days. I, too, was tested and found to be borderline deficient in calcium I eat a ton of leafy greens (not a source of K2, apparently), take high doses of vitamin D3 at night because I’m also deficient in D3. Can’t tolerate dairy. So, what’s a person to do? If a person is, say, “normal” in how their body functions, maybe not taking calcium supplements is OK. But if a person has some functional reason that isn’t easy to determine why they aren’t getting what they need, it seems supplementation is the only answer in hopes of “fixing” the problem.

  8. Help, please. I stopped short when I saw the calcium study only included men. Where is the study on women? What about different age groups? This seems an incomplete posting. I agree, vitamins and minerals from food are best and I agree there are cofactors to be considered..

    I am leery of definitive statements based on one article. I am not a scientist, a doctor nor an advocate of supplements. I am a mom, though I want good, solid information based on the population being served (in this case, women).

    Any light you can shed would be helpful. Thank you.

  9. Hey Lauren,

    would lard/tallow have the cofactors necessary to pair with greens like ghee, or is the milk fat unique in having that property?

    Thanks for sharing all you know with the rest of us. You have helped me shape my personal health and autoimmune recovery in amazing yet manageable ways!

  10. mercola.com has some good articles on importance of K2 and recommended sources and amounts. i personally buy this product as a supplement: Thorne Vit. D/K2, 1 fl. oz. 2 drops has 1,000iu of Vit. D and 200mcg of K2. I got it from Amazon and its pretty cheap.

  11. Hi Lauren,
    I appreciate your site. Here’s what I do for calcium. I learned it from my great uncle who was a wild man. He saved his eggshells and ground them up. It’s an organic source an I don’t know what it has for co-factors but I know it works. He took a Tablespoon a day with breakfast, which was too much. The dentist couldn’t see his teeth through his jawbone because it was so dense. My husband had his bone density checked and it was low, so he started taking my ground up eggshell. The next time he had it checked he was normal. I am always normal and I take about 1/4 teaspoon a day. I also take Calm magnesium. I also take a finger tip of borax everyday. My husband and I do a small truck garden and found out that boron is the key and calcium is the gate for all the other nutrients to get into the plant. I don’t know how that applies to humans other than we both have the same designer. I add boron in the form of borax because areas where there is plenty of boron in the soil, the locals don’t get arthritis. Please run this by your research friend and let me know what he has to say. I have never taken other calcium supplements because I learned a long time ago that they are made from limestone. You might as well break up your sidewalk as a supplement. The body has no idea what to do with it so it makes statues in your joints.

  12. I appreciate the heads up about Molasses. I’m going to use that!

    I also developed osteoporosis on what I thought was a sound whole foods diet. I ate grain free, high fat low carb- felt wonderful and had all sorts of improvement – but I didn’t know about organ meats, bone broth, the importance of stress reduction, sleep, circadian rhythms etc.. I was also unable to keep my vit D levels up, despite having a nice tan and supplementing. Sometimes there’s things going on (wrong) in our bodies despite ‘doing almost everything right’.

    That being said, I hope the commenters with bone loss do figure out how to safely supplement with calcium (including the co-factors Lauren talks about). You are in a different category once your bone mass is deteriorating. Bone loss is a very very serious condition that can lead to a lot of issues including premature death.

    Thank you for this thoughtful, informative article, Lauren. I learn so much from you!

  13. Hi Lauren,

    I just wanted to share this whole bone calcium product that I have been using from Traditional Foods Market. http://www.traditionalfoods.org/

    It was recommended my my GAPS certified/WAPF nutritionist. I do not tolerate dairy and developed cavities while breast feeding my first child (despite having a very clean diet) and just wasn’t getting enough calcium from my food.

    I haven’t felt good about supplementing with calcium till I found this but this is not synthetic and it basically just ground up bones. It has worked really well for me. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge!

  14. I don’t supplement calcium for myself anymore either. I found your article to be very informative, yet I’d like you to check your information about brie cheese. My understanding is that that French cheese is a soft cheese, aged only a few weeks, while gouda and edam are generally aged a few months.

  15. This was very interesting and I agree with you all the way. I do take a supplement because I do not get enough calcium from food and am a vegetarian and allergic to soy so no K2 for me – I do take a whole food supplement from New Chapter that is plant-sourced and fantastic and has K2, D, magnesium, calcium, strontium, silica, and vanadium (the magnesium level isn’t what I would like so I take a separate magnesium with it). As it says on the label, it “directs calcium to the bones where you need it, and keeps it out of the arteries where you don’t”. Just throwing it out there for people who need to supplement for whatever reason.

  16. I’ve heard that calcium supplements can be used to reduce the aches that come with having a fever (the white blood cells need more calcium, so they pull it from the bones). By giving the body extra calcium, the WBCs apparently won’t need to pull it, thus reducing the achiness without reducing the fever! So, you can rest more comfortably AND keep the fever hot to kill the pathogens. Thoughts on supplementing with calcium in this way? It’d be super hard to get enough dietary calcium during an illness, so a supplement would probably be good.

  17. I have completely reversed my osteoporosis. I am 52 now.

    One year back there was a finding that calcium and sodium are controlled by same molecule in human body.

    About 7 years back I started adding salt (1/4) spoon in my 8 glasses of water. That was based on recommendations of http://www.watercure.com and http://www.watercure2.org

    So there was excess sodium in my blood. That increased calcium excretion in urine.

    That helped me get rid of osteoporosis.

    Later after 18 months I found I have water retention and high BP so I gave up salt addition. My BP did come back to normal. But water retention was hard to manage.

    Based on healthyindianow.in I could finally manage water retention as well.

    I do not take calcium supplements or diary or any food with calcium.

    Today my bones are better then these were at age 18-29

    Used calcium is the problem in body. When it gets stuck in body (calcification) the problem starts

  18. Yes, and folks with a histamine intolerance have a tough time here. No canned fish, dairy (esp cheese), bone broth, or beans. Guess we need to be more aggressive with out leafy greens…

  19. Hi Lauren,
    Love love your website! I was wondering what your thoughts on grinding organic egg shells and consuming that as a daily supplement. Would that cause any harm?

  20. Such a great article! In addition to regularly eating all the foods above (except the beans), I take a whole food calcium that has K2, D and Magnesium (Garden of Life) brand. I don’t always take the supp but prefer getting the calcium from foods but I do take it every few weeks for ‘insurance’.

  21. I just tried canned salmon. I was pretty apprehensive about the bones being in there, but let me say that it was SUPER good!! As it turns out the bones were a neat, crunchy aspect of the salmon. I need more calcium and this is definitely going to be a new staple in my pantry!! Ghee was another one of these foods I was blown away by! Thanks Lauren! I can’t wait to try incorporating more of these calcium-rich foods!

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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