The shocking truth about your vitamin supplements  

The Good Life Letter

18th June 2010

  • Discover why a health time-bomb is ticking beneath Great
  • Revealed! Why many calcium supplements are NOT doing
    what they promise on the packet
  • How to make sure your body gets the calcium it needs 

I've been doing my best to avoid the World Cup.

Being a Welshman... and a rugby fanatic.... the romance of the so-
called 'beautiful game' is totally lost on me.

When I did catch a bit of football on telly, I was almost driven insane
by the Vuvuzela horns. To these old ears they sound like a swarm of
killer bees. Horrible.

So while Italy was playing Paraguay on Monday night I was reading
an article in Today's Diet and Nutrition.

It was about the disastrous state of nutrition in modern Britain. The
scientists behind the article claim we are at threat from a wider range
of nutritional problems than ever before. Obesity, heart problems, late
onset diabetes, arthritis, depression just to mention a few.

Today I want to show you why we're facing this nutritional health
crisis... what you can do about it... and why the answer is not always
to take supplements.

In fact, one particular type of supplement on the market may NOT be
doing what's promised on the package.

I'll explain more in a moment.

But first...

The missing nutrient that is ruining our health

The article pinpointed two major problems...

First, we simply don't move around enough. Society has become
more sedentary. We sit for long periods in cars, in offices, on sofas.

Whereas our prehistoric ancestors spent the days hunting and
gathering, we do little of either. Unless 'gathering' means doing the
shopping on the internet, or phoning for a pizza.

A Food For Thought Survey for the British Heart Foundation in 2009
found that nearly one in three children do under an hour of
exercise a week.

This is a ticking time-bomb for the nation's health.

It's not just about obesity. Lack of exercise makes us more vulnerable
to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other problems.

According to the article, the second major problem is a dietary one.
The rise and rise of processed foods has been a nutritional disaster.
I've talked about this time and time again in the Good Life Letter....
about how processed sugars, fats and salt are turning the UK into
obese food addicts, hungry for a fix.

But here's something I didn't know... one of the biggest problems right
now is a lack of calcium in our national diet.

You'd think that we would get enough from eating milk and cheese,
Well no.

Research has shown that high protein diets with too much salt reduce
your body's ability to absorb calcium. Which means our current
national diet is a disaster.

And the news gets worse...

Why the over 35s can't get enough calcium

It's estimated that you absorb 60% of your dietary calcium during your
childhood and early adulthood. Think of it like a retirement savings
account. Your body stores it up when you're young to protect you in
the future.

So imagine the effect of millions of youngsters NOT getting enough
calcium early on in life. This is yet another ticking health time-bomb.

A lack of calcium can lead to bone diseases like osteoporosis and
chronic problems like muscle cramps. It also makes it harder and
slower for you to recover from illness, injuries and operations.

What does this mean for you and me?

Well, it means we have an uphill struggle to get our vital calcium from
food. Our ageing bodies need as much help as possible to absorb it.

One obvious option is to increase your intake of calcium-rich foods.
These include milk, cheese, sardines, yoghurt, spinach, salmon,

The second option is to take a calcium supplement... perhaps you do

If so, you may be shocked by this...

Why many calcium supplements are NOT doing what they
promise on the packet

Calcium supplements only work properly if they are in balance with
ANOTHER mineral - magnesium.

If you want to help your body absorb calcium, then magnesium is
essential. Basically, Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption.
Without enough magnesium, calcium can collect in the soft tissues
and cause one type of arthritis.  But taking more calcium is not the
answer; it only amplifies the problem. In fact, excessive calcium
intake and insufficient magnesium can contribute to both of these
diseases. Magnesium taken in proper dosages can solve the problem of calcium deficiency.

The trouble is, modern food production has stripped away a lot of
the magnesium from our diet. Fertilisers are the chief culprit. They are
full of potassium. The companies that make fertilisers use it because
it helps plants to grow. But, it stops plants from absorbing
magnesium. And that means we're eating less magnesium on a daily
basis. The other problem, is that we don't eat as many nuts,
wholegrains and seeds as we used to - these are key sources of

Not only is magnesium sorely lacking in our diet, it's missing from
many calcium supplements too, rendering them useless.

So here's what you need to do...

  • Always check if your calcium supplement has magnesium in it
  • Increase your intake of nuts, wholegrain and seeds - avoid
    white bread, salted nuts and anything too processed.
  • Eat more salmon, sardines and other oily fish.
  • Eat well-grown vegetables from healthy soils... this means
    organic, or well-famed non-organic soil. I appreciate that this
    may be a more expensive option, but see what you can do.
    Your health is worth it.
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible - shop at the
    farmer's market or local markets instead.

These simple strategies should get more magnesium and calcium into your body. This will help protect your bones as you get older.   Hopefully I'll be able to tell you about a great calcium supplement
that it perfectly balanced with magnesium on Sunday.  I'm just trying
to get the final details sorted out and I'll write to you on Sunday

And I got all this information by ignoring the World Cup! Maybe football's not so bad after all.

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