CALCIUM, VITAMIN D and CANCER - Dr. K.W. Donsbach, DC, ND, PhD
Calcium is primarily deposited in the hard tissue structures of the body, namely the bones and the teeth, which contain over 1,000,000 mg of calcium. A considerable amount of calcium is also found in the lymphatic tissue, between the cells. Only 200 mg of the body's total calcium is found in the blood stream. But this minute amount is so important for life that elaborate measures are taken to make sure that it is always present, for calcium is used to fire the muscles, including the heart.
Calcium requires vitamin D in order to be absorbed through the wall of the intestine. When the level of calcium in the blood drops, extra Vitamin D is mobilized in the kidneys and rushed to the abdominal wall to pull more calcium into the blood stream. If there is insufficient Vitamin D available to ensure calcium can be obtained by absorption, the parathyroid gland kicks in with the hormone (PTH) message to the bones and teeth to give up calcium for the blood.
The overwhelming majority of non-bone calcium is in the extra-cellular fluid at a ratio of 10,000:1 (with the 1 being inside the cell). This ratio is so critical that even small calcium level variations in the cell will produce gross changes, such as abnormal movement of the cell, extra-excitability of the cell, and worst of all, abnormal cell division.
An inadequate intake of calcium, which could result from dietary deficiency of either calcium or Vitamin D, will cause the parathyroids to signal the bones to give up calcium. Now comes what is referred to as the "calcium paradox". The extra amounts of calcium which flood out of the bone when stimulated by PTH often overshoot the amount needed by the blood. An excess of calcium in the blood is just as serious a threat to life as too little. Therefore, when the normal calcium level is reached, any excess is quickly deposited in soft tissues such as the lining of arteries (arteriosclerosis); brain tissue (premature senility); and into joints (arthritis).
But it is the disturbance of the delicate balance of calcium inside and outside the cell that really produces problems. When even a tiny amount of excess calcium enters a cell and changes the 10,000:1 outside:inside ratio, the cell's "imbalance of calcium" signal erupts, which can create a life-threatening disease, called cancer.
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