If you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s and have had an x ray taken of your neck, which is quite likely because, most of you desk jockeys have neck pain- you might be able to see calcium deposits in your carotid arteries. That’s not normal. It is common, but not normal. That’s an important distinction.
Most of the unnecessary x rays I am forced to perform, at the OPD, to look for a non existent spondylosis usually reveals something far more ominous. Intra arterial calcification. If there’s calcification in the main arteries that lead to your brain, it’s very likely that the same calcification is going to be present in the other arteries.
Why is this happening?
I only have theories. Not going to post studies here
- Too much calcium
- Too much calcium in the wrong places, too little in the right places
- Not enough sunlight exposure
- Assuming that overdosing on vitamin D supplements will compensate for lack of sunlight exposure
- Not enough vitamin K and it’s various isoforms
- Inflammatory diet
- Inflammatory lifestyle
- Too high an average blood glucose
Anyway, the main message I’d like to get across is that blindly consuming calcium and vitamin D is not without side effects. There’s a coming epidemic of strokes and heart attacks that orthopaedicians and general physicians will have to answer for. Treating osteoporosis or spondylosis with calcium is madness. But several times a day, I’m forced to prescribe these drugs because the patients demand them and get irate when refused.
If you want to improve the strength and quality of your bones you’re going to have to
- Load them mechanically with strength training
- Expose your skin to sunlight.
- Consume real foods with vitamin k isoforms
- Ensure a basic minimum of bioavailable calcium in your food
Using supplements should be a last resort
Further explanations on how this needs to be done, you’ll have to find out on your own, because talking about contentious topics like fat soluble vitamins, sunlight exposure and strength training gets me attacked from several quarters.
I’ll tell you what I’m doing. I’m getting atleast half an hour of sunlight a day during my commute on cycle. I’m strength training and loading my skeleton with significant external weight daily. I make sure that my diet contains a higher than usual dose of animal foods like ghee, butter and organ meats to get as much natural vitamin k isoforms as possible. More than half the volume of Food I consume is vegetables, mostly cooked or fermented, with raw in occasion. Calcium is consumed in the form of small quantities of fermented dairy. Around half a glass of curd thrice a week. The body knows how to absorb, use, recycle and conserve calcium provided you do all the above, even if calcium intake is lower than recommended. Simply overloading on calcium and vitamin D is not sufficient.
Here’s the only thing that you need to remember. There are no magic pills. No shortcuts. No superfoods. You’ll have to put in the work yourselves. In terms of both knowlege acquisition and lifestyle change.