by D. Elroi, BSc. Harvard, MSc. Penn.
When people feel in excellent health they dont usually take much interest in health matters. But when there are aches and pains and other disturbances, that is when a solution is demanded – and promptly!
It is therefore welcome to find an instant drink, trade-named Cal-M…being an wholly natural mineral combination and therefore a nutrient; supplies substances that the body is evidently short of, Cal-M is a powder, supplying the mineral acetates derived from Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Carbonate and Organic Cider Vinegar, all mixed and dried and providing the following amounts per approximately 2g:
- Calcium 164mg
- Magnesium 12.6mg
- Potassium 5.2mg
- Phosphorus 180mcg
- Zinc (at least) 2.4mcg
- Iron (about) 10mcg
Acidity in pH units is 5.5 throughout. For those unable to tolerate milk, please note that the calcium-magnesium content of one teaspoon of Cal-M resemble those of 100g cow’s milk. The incorporation of cider vinegar into the formula serves a number of purposes:
- To convert the insoluble calcium gluconate and magnesium carbonate, into soluble calcium acetate and magnesium acetate.
- To provide a mildly acidic medium, which furthers the absorption of the substances in the digestive system.
- Hinders fungal and bacterial decomposition of the powder when stored under normal circumstances.
- Provides elements such as potassium and phosphorus and trace elements such as zinc and iron and some vitamins.
The unique method of combining the ingredients gives a product which is rapidly soluble in boiling water. The presence of the cider vinegar gives a very pleasant mild taste to the solution.
To understand why calcium, magnesium and potassium supplement might be useful, let us see what the functions of these minerals are in the body.
Calcium is needed for bone and tooth building and repair, for muscle function – especially heart-muscle function for proper blood clotting and in the transmission of nerve impulses. Magnesium is also one of the components of bones, it is an indispensable factor int he absorption and balance of calcium and due to this characteristic of being a balance to calcium it enables the muscles to relax after every contraction. Magnesium is a starter (catalyst) for most of the chemical reactions in the body; it is notably a co-enzyme for the absorption of protein and for many other enzyme systems and reactions where ATP is formed (ATP supplies energy for the utilization of sugars, proteins and fats). Magnesium is also vital int he transmission of nerve impulses (messages).
Potassium too is vital in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions, not least in the heart and in the intestines. In the latter, this mobility plays a most important part int he process of digestion. Potassium and sodium balance each other and thus balance the fluids int he body which determines to what degree the potassium will be retained of excreted.The above shows to some degree, how much these major minerals are interdependent.
The cider vinegar which is used exclusively in this product is outstanding in that it is grown organically in England and in that in its various production processes no preservatives are used. According to Maurice Hanssen and D. J. Jarvis, cider vinegar has been used for many generations as a very satisfactory natural health remedy. Part of its effects appear to be due to its vitamin and mineral content in which the acetic acid seems to have a specific value of its own. Another one of the traditional folk remedies is copper…[also contained in cider vinegar] .
As for the other minerals and vitamins contained in varying, if small amounts in Cal-M such as iron, zinc, phosphorus and B6: suffice to say at this point that researchers are becoming increasingly aware that not only the minerals which exist relatively large quantities in the body are important for its role; even relatively small amounts of some of these substances are indispensable to correct functioning and repair.
What concerns us here are deficiencies of one or a number of the above mentioned substances, and how this expresses itself. For it is only when the body sends out signals of distress that we realise there is something ‘amiss’.
How and when do deficiencies occur?
For a start, simply because not enough foods containing them are eaten (or drunk in the case of milk, a major supplier of calcium), due to lack of information, habit, fads and diets. This includes the unfortunate prevalence of many foods stripped of vital nutrients such as white rice, white sugar and white flour, and foods grown in mineral-deficient soils.
Then there are a number of factors which either prevent full absorption of these nutrients, or which cause excessive excretion. Amonst these are: stress, kidney malfunction, prolonged diarrhoea and/or taking laxatives, many drugs and synthetic hormones, increased needs during breast-feeding, eating very large amounts of proteins, or drinking too much alcohol, excessive sweating (due to physical exertion, prolonged steam-baths or sauna and due to hot weather for instance).
Though hardly any of us test our bodies’ mineral and vitamin content daily, still we suffer when we have a lack or imbalance.
Deficiencies the result…
Chronic tiredness, tension and ‘nerves’, muscular spasms and stomach cramps, pre-menstrual tension and menstrual cramps, athletes’ over exhaustion and under-performance, arthritis, coeliac disease, breathing difficulties, loss of memory, heart irregularities and even heart failure, diabetes mellitus, cold hands and feet, insomnia, facial tics and twinges, aching feet, loss of muscle tone and breaking bones (due to osteoporosis).
In babies, there may be much crying due to stomach cramps and other paid, tetany (convulsions), breathing difficulties, shown to be mainly due to magnesium deficiency, and in children – inadequate growth, ‘laziness’ inability to concentrate, excessive tiredness as well as sleeping difficulties (such as nightmares) and high sensitivity to pain and noise.
While some researches found magnesium to be low in children with asthma, others found that children with many of the above complaints lacked not only magnesium, but calcium as well.
Women get an extra share of ‘troubles’; hormones and other factors upset their body balance causing physical and mental manifestations, especially before and during their periods. This includes the time before young girls start having periods and extends to the menopause a beyond. Before and at the beginning of periods, calcium needs to be supplied in abundance (but usually is not), and it needs to be balanced with magnesium and potassium to be effectively absorbed. This can keep down cramps and tension to a very marked degree.
When women reach the menopause another type of hormonal imbalance takes place which brings about another set of disorders and complaints again avoidable where no deficiencies occur.
It appears that calcium is excreted at night, leading to bone porosity in a marked degree in older women, while additional calcium during the night seems to inhibit this from occurring, and deficiencies such as above can make a restful nights sleep elusive to many people.
A related syndrome is the well documented occurence of much calcium loss in bedridden people. This is of course, not typical for woman, nor are many types of headache especially back-of-the-head-and-neck cramps.
The sources we investigated also dealt with many other often painful conditions, e.g. arthritis, kidney stones and atherosclerosis, all in relation to deficiencies of these minerals. We would sum up by saying that the need for these minerals and trace elements appears to be much greater than generally realised even among some professionals.
D. Elroi, Bsc Harvard, MSc. Penn.
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