Adequate calcium intake is a major nutritional concern today, especially for postmenopausal women, who are at high risk for osteoporosis. But as the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is important for everyone. We depend on calcium for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, proper muscle action, heart health, and a smoothly functioning nervous system. Calcium also plays a role in maintaining the body's acid/alkaline balance, as well as in blood clotting and other biochemical processes.
Even when major symptoms like bone loss are absent, a calcium deficiency in the body can cause numerous other disturbances, including muscle pains and cramps, anxiety, sleep disorders, and hyperactivity. As long ago as 1950, Dr. Carl J. Reich, a pioneer in preventive medicine, determined that common complaints such as indigestion, headaches, arthritis, and asthma, could also be traced to a lack of calcium.
Do we need more calcium in the diet, then? A supplement, perhaps? Possibly so, but our first priority should be to make the most of the calcium that's already supplied by our food. We know from the Cayce readings that eating a particular food is only half the story. The other half is assimilating it. And there is much we can do to improve the assimilation of dietary calcium. Maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance by following a diet that consists of 80% alkaline-forming foods such as vegetables and fruits is most important. When this balance is disturbed through the excessive consumption of acid-forming proteins and starches, the body tries to compensate by drawing on its reserve of alkalizing substances, including calcium.
The Cayce diet with its high ratio of calcium-rich greens and other alkalizing veggies and fruit not only ensures an adequate intake of calcium, but also its proper assimilation. Green vegetables have the added advantage of supplying magnesium, another significant factor in calcium utilization.
It is also important to expose the skin to enough sunlight to allow the body to synthesize vitamin D, without which calcium cannot be absorbed. Especially for those living in northern latitudes, a natural vitamin D supplement such as fish liver oil is essential during the winter months, when sunlight and outdoor activities are restricted. Since sunlight absorbed through the eyes benefits the endocrine system, including the parathyroid gland, which regulates calcium metabolism, sunglasses should be avoided whenever possible.
Regular exercise increases circulation to the tissues and facilitates calcium assimilation. Massage offers similar benefits. Both exercise and massage also promote relaxation, a most important factor in calcium metabolism. Stress, worry, and tension, on the other hand, cause excessive dumping of calcium into the intestines, sometimes resulting in more calcium being excreted than is taken in with diet. Daily meditation, which helps us cope better with all types of stress, may be more important than a calcium supplement.
Calcium absorption is also reduced when high-phosphorus foods, such as carbonated soft drinks and processed meats and cheeses, are consumed with frequency. Excessive caffeine intake and high Sugar consumption have a similar effect.
Insufficient production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is another factor which can significantly disrupt calcium absorption. A common health problem usually traceable to stress, but most often associated with aging, this condition can be relieved by drinking some apple cider vinegar before meals, or by taking hydrochloric acid in supplement form. An acid environment in the stomach is essential for the breakdown of nutrients, and does not disrupt the acid/alkaline balance of other body fluids.
Once a healthy calcium metabolism has been restored, the body will readily absorb and assimilate this mineral from calcium-rich foods. In addition to leafy greens, these include egg yolk, carrots, turnips, dried beans, almonds, sesame seeds, dairy products, and kelp and other sea vegetables. Edgar Cayce considered chicken bones to be an excellent dietary source of calcium, which is best accessed by thoroughly chewing the bones, especially neck bones and the soft ends of leg bones.
The calcium supplement most often recommended in the Cayce readings, notably for pregnant women, was Calcios, which is still available today. During Cayce's time, Calcios was made from pulverized chicken bones. Due to problems with the supply of raw materials, the product is now derived from cattle bone and marrow in recent years, which does not appear to have reduced its effectiveness. However, a manufacturer's review currently underway is aimed at reinstating the chicken bone base and realigning the product more closely with the original formulation.
The digestibility of Calcios is enhanced by the addition of hydrochloric acid and natural digestive enzymes. Edgar Cayce suggested that a thin layer of Calcios be spread on a cracker and eaten as a food about three times a week.
Cayce also recommended small amounts of Limewater, an aqueous preparation of calcium hydroxide, as an effective calcium supplement for babies and children.