Too Much Calcium and Not Enough Magnesium: The Silent Killer

Feb.. 21, 2020; by Ben Taylor ( Most health issues don’t kill immediately or unexpectedly and generally give adequate warning so that counter-measures can be taken. Heart attack and stroke on-the-other-hand, often kill with little warning. Although also developing over extended periods of time, both often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Too much Calcium and not enough Magnesium: the silent killer lurking in our water.

After a young relative in his 40s passed away recently of a massive heart attack, I decided to purchase cardiovascular and stroke risk screening for myself, my son and daughter and their spouses. This procedure compares blood pressures between your upper and lower extremities and also uses ultrasound to detect the amount of plaque build-up in your arteries. The company I used,, visits small communities all over on a yearly rotation. They charge about 140.00 for the first client and if you sign up additional clients, they are $99.00 each. This is a small price to pay for saving the life of you or your children.

Seldom if ever considered, but possibly by far the biggest culprit and silent killer, is also one of our greatest Hill Country assets …our water. The problem is our water contains very high amounts of Calcium Carbonate (and Iron). If Calcium is not consumed in at least a 2:1 ratio with Magnesium (Vitamin D is also essential), it cannot be efficiently digested and absorbed. Without sufficient Magnesium and Vitamin D, Calcium ends up being stored in body tissue (causing stiff muscles), joints (causing Arthritis), arteries (causing plaque build-up and arterial blockages and strokes), or in the kidneys (causing kidney stones). The good news is, this potential danger is easily remedied and neutralized by increasing our intake of the most amazing mineral of all- Magnesium.

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, a leading magnesium expert and medical director of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association writes, “The commonly agreed-upon ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium found in many supplements traces back to French scientist Jean Durlach(6),” explains Dean, “who stipulated the 2:1 ratio as an outermost not-to-be-exceeded level when considering calcium intake from all sources (food, water and supplements).” This is erroneously taken as a recommendation of a 2:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio.

“The fact that most people do not get their minimum daily requirement of magnesium exacerbates the situation. The high calcium – low magnesium diet of most Americans, when coupled with calcium supplementation, can give a Ca to Mg imbalance of 4: or 5:1, which constitutes a walking time bomb of impaired bone health and heart disease.”

Dr. Dean recommends “minimizing calcium intake, supplementing with vitamin D, and getting at least a 1:2 or at the very least a 1:1 calcium-magnesium balance.”

A note on iron levels. Our Hill Country water is also very high in Iron content, which can eventually result in liver damage and death. Ferritin level tests are relatively cheap from Life Extension Foundation through Lab Corp. If it is too high, getting to an acceptable level can usually be accomplished by giving a few pints of blood over a period of a couple of months. It is often dramatic in improving your energy level and increasing mental acuity.

I have personally seen older people who were developing Arthritis in their fingers quickly reverse it by reducing or stopping calcium supplementation and increasing their magnesium intake. In looking at our local water analysis, it doesn’t even show calcium or magnesium levels. If you’re over 40 years of age and have never done the ultra sound screening, I would not wait another day. There are some available screening dates in March and April in Ingram, Kerrville, and Boerne. The life you save may be your own.


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