Get your calcium from kefir

For stronger bones and muscles get your calcium from kefir; and the vitamin D from sunshine.

There is disturbing evidence that attempts to prevent and treat osteoporosis with calcium supplements, even more so with large amounts of vitamin D leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease[1]; the mineral is deposited in the coronary arteries.

The research also showed there was little protection against hip fracture; 16 vs 14 women per 10,000.

And there was a significant increased risk of kidney stones; an extra 6 women per 10,000.

The body simply wasn't designed to cope with a much higher concentration of calcium all at once.

"There is no adverse relationship between DIETARY calcium intake and coronary cardiovascular events."

- Professor Matthew J. Budoff, MD, chair of Preventative Cardiology Lundquist Institute.


Calcium supplements in the presence of chronically raised blood glucose is linked to a further increase in deposition of the mineral in the coronary arteries; leading to stiffness of the great vessels and higher blood pressure. Nearly 50% of those enjoying typical supermarket food are prediabetic.

Diabetes leads to kidney disease and a lowered glomerular filtration rate. The organ is unable to cope with the sudden load of calcium all at once causing deposition in the arterial linings; and stones.

Professor Budoff only recommends calcium supplementation in diabetics "if the diet is insufficient."

"We've even seen supplements raise the serum calcium which you never see with the mineral from dietary sources."

- Prof Budoff

How to make kefirFive minutes to make your own kefir calcium supplement at home

"You get many more milligrams at a time when you take a supplement than if you had a high-calcium food or drink."

- Prof Budoff

Vitamin D

Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium. Professor Budoff's concern is that people are taking very large amounts, thousands of units and because it is fat soluble it stays in the system.

It is his opinion that it is the very high doses of calcium together with vitamin D that causes the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


Bernie building a compost pileExercise plus vitamin D helps to build stronger muscles and bones

Fifteen minutes of exposure to sunshine, with a hat on to prevent overexposure on the face is sufficient to provide enough vitamin D for most of the year; longer in winter for those living beyond the temperate zones.

Food rich in vitamin D is obviously recommended as well.


Much depends on our philosophy of health care. The pharmaceutical industry is trying to make it easier for us by providing the minerals and vitamins that our bodies need from supplements.

Cynics would say that it is only the profit motive that drives them. Calcium from dairy products, dark-green leafy vegetables and legumes is far cheaper; and without the increased risk of raised blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and kidney stones.

Vitamin D from sunshine costs nothing.


Walking reduces blood glucoseWalking also reduces blood glucose; note the hats.

There is a strong association between low muscle mass and osteoporosis[3]. To build stronger bones we also have to exercise[4].

Neither all the tea in China, the calcium from the Urals nor the supplements can give us better balance and a stronger frame. Bone is living tissue that responds to a stress; when we go walking, lift a weight or dig in the garden, the pull of the muscles activates receptors that instruct the skeletal structure to add mass.

In the process of building stronger muscles, the body also demands more calcium from the system for our bones; that is the remedy for osteoporosis.

In fact it would be very interesting if the researchers were to examine whether that increased risk of cardiovascular disease from taking calcium supplements also holds true in those who are walking regularly.

Of course they would be hard pressed to find a sufficiently large group of women who are walking regularly in the sunshine that are also taking calcium supplements and vitamin D tablets.

Osteogenic loading

Loading the skeleton with an axial, compressive force stimulates the bone-forming cells called osteoblasts to take up calcium from the blood and build new tissue. Scientists have shown that it stops the deterioration of the "microarchitecture;" a key feature of weak hips and vertebrae, for example.

Even one twelve-minute session per week will improve the bone mineral density[5].

There is some danger. Overworking the spine with these compressive forces can lead to compression fractures; so there are machines that will precisely determine the load. Three times a week is recommended.

Again much depends on your philosophy of life. Do stronger bones come from attending a few costly classes a week using expensive machinery or by developing your own programme? Both will work obviously.

Axial compression loading gardeningAxial compression loading fashions stronger bones

This woman is carrying two half-filled buckets of shower water to irrigate her seedlings; she does it every day unless there has been rain. That is axial, compressive osteogenic loading. She is getting a triple benefit; walking and gardening too.

Incorporating physical exercise into one's daily lifestyle is the trick. Gardening, using the stairs and walking all call for calcium from the blood stream; it is not going to be deposited in the coronary arteries, raising blood pressure.

"There is increasing evidence that exposure to plants and green space and particularly to gardening, is beneficial to mental and physical health."

- Clinical Medicine (PMC6334070)[2]

The dangerous part is lifting the buckets when they are on the ground; so raise one first onto a low table, then the other. Now you can carry both of them without difficulty.

Perhaps start with just one litre of water in each bucket for the first month. Rome was not built in a day, nor will your brittle bones be strengthened miraculously overnight when you get your calcium from kefir, start walking and begin osteogenic loading.

Take it slowly and do it daily; far better than expensive classes three times a week methinks.


Is your diet sufficient is the first question that Prof Budoff would ask; and if not, why not?

Kefir is like a very strong culture of yoghurt that originates from the people living in Eastern Europe in the region of the Ural mountains; except that it contains a far wider spread of friendly bacteria, yeast cells and viruses. It is for the Bulgarians what sauerkraut is to the Germans and kimchi for Koreans.

Scientists keep emphasising that it is not only the total number of bugs in the microbiome but also their diversity that counts. Supplements supply a very narrow spectrum.

Kefir is the richest natural source of absorbable calcium that is known; and you can make it in just five minutes in your own kitchen for the price of a cup of milk.

Which takes us back to our philosophy of wellness. Does health come from exercise, good food and plenty of exercise in the sunshine or can you get it all from a bottle at the pharmacy?

Body weight

One other not so little benefit is that strong research shows the correlation between lifestyle and ideal body weight. If you choose to get your calcium from kefir and to drive its uptake into your bones with exercise, you will be able to forsake that dirty four-letter word "diet" from your thinking for ever.

Get your calcium from kefir

Get your calcium from kefir because the experts are now saying there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease from supplements; especially if you are taking mega amounts of vitamin D.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

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  • ´╗┐Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • ´╗┐What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
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  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
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  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
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  • Blue zone folk are religious
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