Importance of Good Sources of Calcium

City Connect’s Health Writer Thierry Clerc looks at calcium and discusses the importance of getting good sources of calcium from the foods you eat. You may be surprised to hear that diary is not the best source of calcium we’ve all been led to believe. Read his full article below…

Nearly 3lb of our body weight is calcium, and 99% of this is in the bones and teeth. This calcium is not static and will shift to other parts of the body whenever necessary. The kidneys and the thyroid glands primarily drive the calcium balance in other parts of the body, in response to stress, change of metabolism, or levels of blood of acidity. Calcium is found as a compound, binding with other key minerals. Ideal sources of calcium should also have a high level of magnesium (a 3:2 ratio) and of phosphate (a 2:1 ratio). This is more or less the ratio, you find in nuts, seeds, seaweed and green leafy vegetables are arguably the best sources of calcium and other minerals. This is why cows eat green stuff when they need to produce milk.

If dairy is not a good source of calcium, then why keep we hearing it is a good one?

Dairy has a very high level of calcium and a low level of magnesium, and for this reason is actually a poor source of calcium. People need magnesium, phosphate and vitamins, which are found in whole foods. Dairy is one of the most heavily produced and subsidised food in the West. It is very cheap to make, sell and for this reason, there is money to market it. However, more than half of the world of population, from China, Africa to South America, has a diet low in dairy products, and they do very well with it.

Poor diet and lack of sun explains the explosion on osteoporosis in the West

To ensure that your body processes well the calcium it is important, to have your diet and lifestyle right. Vitamin D is also very important for calcium assimilation, and vitamin D is primarily produced by the skin, when it is in contact with sunlight. Here are some simple and free advice to follow to re-balance your diet:

What are the symptoms of calcium imbalance, and when to supplement in calcium?

With my patients, I usually prefer to talk about calcium imbalance than deficiency. This is because too much calcium is as bad as too little. The following symptoms are good pointers to a calcium imbalance: brittle and weak nails, weak hair growth, cramps and muscle tics, or nervous twitching, gouty arthritis and gout These symptoms, if not addressed early, will start to lead to more critical symptoms, such as thyroid issues, osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. If someone suspect a calcium imbalance, then it is important to consult, and check if there is a magnesium imbalance, or too much calcium in the diet. Poor nutritional lifestyle, smoking, stress or refined sugar can also upset this balance. The only time, I suggest people to take supplements, is when they are children going through growth spurts, or when osteoporosis is very well advanced. In these cases, calcium amino-acid chelate or calcium citrate are the best source (much better than calcium carbonate). In all other cases, a change in diet and a support plan made of homeopathic remedies and herbal treatment should help putting the balance right.

So shall we stop drinking dairy or eating cheese?

Not exactly! Everything in moderation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is usually all right. The issue is that dairy products, just a couple of generations ago were not so widespread.. If you can’t live without it, then organic unpasteurised cheese, butter and yoghurts are excellent food. However, these food are not really as good for calcium intake as they are to nourish and stabilise the digestive system.

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Thank you for reading this article, and enjoy a healthy month!

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