Do You Need Magnesium and Calcium Pills to Raise Vitamin D Levels and Increase Bone Density? : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Friday Feb 4 | BY |
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sarasota on the beach vitamin d
This is a lot better than snow.

We’ve just arrived in Sarasota and have been getting the RV ready for “summer” again…

This means de-winterizing and cleaning and all the other goodies that come with driving a big ol’ bus.

I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to be shirtless outside again.

I feel human again!

Today, we have a follow up question from Anne about Vitamin D. Here’s what she asks:

“I am wondering now if calcium supplements are necessary if one is taking vitamin D and magnesium and their blood levels are healthy? Maybe Vitamin D / Magnesium / Calcium could a related topic?”

Well, Anne, you asked a great question, so here we go…

Research has shown that taking Vitamin D and calcium and magnesium together can increase your Vitamin D levels, it also shows that you can increase bone density this way as well.

But is that the only way?

In order to find out we have to look at the research here – just like any time we look into what science says about something.

1. The bulk of the research was done on people who have bone loss due to poor diets (maybe all of it.)

If you have bone loss due to a poor diet, excess stress, and general overall diet acidity, calcium and magnesium will help you rebuild your bones.

But here’s the thing – just about any change or introduction of minerals and more nutrients will help.

This is where the science is limited.

If you give someone who is generally acidic some minerals, they will become more alkaline which will stop or slow the leaching of calcium and other minerals into the blood stream to buffer blood pH.

But does someone need to take magnesium and calcium with Vitamin D to increase their Vitamin D levels and their bone density?

2. You can do it this way, but it’s not the best.

You can raise your Vitamin D levels and increase your bone density with calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D.

In fact, we’ve spoken to two different people in the last 4 months who decided they no longer were going to take their osteoporosis drugs and started taking Vitamin D, calcium and magnesium.

Both of them experienced an increase in their bone density, rise in Vitamin D levels and eliminated the side effects from these drugs – and also reduced their risk of femur fracture by doing so.

This way does work, but…

3. Here’s the better approach.

I would like to see a study that proves eating more greens while taking Vitamin D will raise your blood serum levels and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

I, personally, know it will raise levels as well as decrease acidity since I didn’t need any magnesium and calcium pills to raise and maintain my Vitamin D levels and bring up my body pH after my experiment with raw chocolate.

Greens have calcium and magnesium as well as other essential minerals for bone health and also overall good health so these would be the best, natural choice.

Silica is also beneficial for bone health and can be found in greens and herbs – particularly cucumber, nettles and horsetail.

Like I alluded to above, most of the people studied probably did not eat the amount of greens you or I eat, so their main source of magnesium and calcium is a pill.

Not the best recipe for health as a long term strategy (short term may be OK in individual cases.)

4. Salt decreases calcium.

Some interesting research that I found when looking into dietary salt and in particular sodium chloride, states that there is a correlation between salt in the diet and lowered calcium levels.

These studies found that when subjects ate salt in their diet, they excreted more calcium in their urine.

This would conclude in some way that the inclusion of salt in the diet (or whatever the salt came on – chips, meat, crackers, raw kale chips) is something that is not healthy for your bone health.

(You can look at the abstracts of these studies here and here.)

Keep in mind, this does apply to sea salt as well.

Sea salt is anywhere between 90-98% sodium chloride.

5. Acidic behavior and eating decreases calcium.

Stress, eating excess protein for non-protein types, drinking caffeine containing beverages, eating chocolate (raw or not), taking stimulants, being mean or any other acidic behavior can create acidity in the body which will eventually lower your ability to absorb Vitamin D as well as keep your blood pH alkaline – this is directly due to the amount of calcium and other minerals needed to buffer pH in the body.

After my cacao experiment went wrong, my calcium and magnesium levels were in the 20th and 18th percentile.

This means these levels were significantly low. My body was acidic and if I continued for many years, I’m sure I would have tested low on a bone density scan.

If you’re doing any of these things I mentioned above or a combination of a few, please be sure to constantly check your mineral levels through hair analysis to make sure you’re OK.

You probably would be better off avoiding that list as best possible and make your life a lot easier.

6. Test.

Ultimately, you will understand your body and how it works if you (1) keep note of how you feel, (2) monitor your blood and other tests, and (3) constantly keep yourself educated.

If you test on a regular basis (every 6 months – 1 year) you will know more about you than most doctors know about themselves. This is powerful knowledge and will help you save money on the purchase of useless or unneeded supplements, eliminate a good deal of confusion about what is working and what is not, and give you feedback as to how your body is changing over your lifetime.

This is a powerful tool, if you ask me.

So to wrap this up, my role is to present different opinions and ideas and urge you to try what you feel will work for you – as long as you test.

If you take either one of these approaches with Vitamin D or just about anything else, you will actually find something that works for you and not something that some expert shared with you at an event or on a teleseminar.

The difference between real, experiential knowledge and nutritional folk lore is quite large.

I would liken it to being at the Grand Canyon at sunset or seeing it in a picture. (When you’re there in September, you’ll realize that it gets pretty cold around that time! LOL!)

When you’re “there” or have experienced anything, you have a distinct and exact knowledge of the intricacies of the situation making you credible in your own right.

For me, like I said before, I raised my levels without taking magnesium and calcium in supplement form – but, I was eating a diet that was extremely mineral rich.

So while I’m sure you can take these supplements, I’m also sure that if you eat a diet rich in greens and take Vitamin D, you will be able to raise your levels and prevent your own risk of bone loss as well.

Of course, it’s up to you to test my theory and results. Try something and find out for yourself!


Get a Free Bottle of Sacha Inchi Oil! (Weekend Only Special)

I want to share with you that Sacha Inchi oil is back in stock in the Renegade Health Store!

Because we only order in small batches from our source in Peru, we’ve been out of the oil for a month or so.

A lot of you have been asking when we’re going to get it back, and today is the day!

Sacha Inchi oil is my favorite source of omega 3 oils in supplement form. The oil is 92% essential fatty acids and has about a 2:1 ratio of omega 3 oil to omega 6 which can counterbalance the significant amount of omega 6 oils in almost every diet… even raw food, vegan or whole food eaters.

This oil is also a perfect replacement for those who don’t want to have fish oil but still want some of the benefits of it. Your body will still have to convert the oils to long chain fatty acids, but you will be able to find them in a source that is vegan.

I like this oil much better than flax because of the anti-nutrients that flax has.

But regardless of all this, the stuff tastes awesome. It’s a perfect salad oil (you can supplement and eat at the same time) that I like much better than hemp or flax.

For this weekend only, we’re going to offer you a special deal on Sacha Inchi oil so you can try it.

You can even get a free bottle when you buy 3!

You can see the discounts that we have for you here and be sure to pick some up before Monday night when the price goes back to normal.

Here’s where to go…

(This deal ends on Monday the 7th of February, so make sure you get some now!)

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Claus B Herniksen says:


    I started my raw food journey in May last year and shortly prior to that I my vitamin D and B12 levels checked. When going raw I also stated taking around 4.000 units of Viamin D supllement daily and B12 suplement once every 2 weeks. I eat lots of greens/vegitables, including homegrown sprouts and 1 ounce of homemade wheatgrass daily. I had my Vitamin D and B12 levels checked recenty and both had increased to what in Denmark is regarded as very good.
    In spite of being 65 I don,t think I need to take others supplement. Although I have added a little Sun Warior protein and Spirulina to my daile green smoothy.

    Finally – thanks for a great show. I look forward to the upcoming debate.

  2. Gen says:

    That was really interesting Kevin. Thanks.

  3. Leam says:

    As a side note, The Great Health Debate starts on the same night the Steelers will try to beat the Packers?! What a sacrifice you are making in the name of health!

  4. Jessica Delo says:

    Kevin, did you guys get the 80 10 10 Dr Douglas Graham for the great health debate? My friend Jeremy is in Costa Rica with him right now…if your interested I could make the connection (sure you could do it on your own also).

  5. Not to get off the subject , but it is related to the optimal diet, has anyone heard of the ‘mucus-less’ diet by Arnold Ehert, I think thats how you spell his name.

  6. Jessica Delo says:

    Where do you and Annmarie get the wild oregano oil? And what strain was it called?

  7. oreganol says:

    Great advice as always. I think the most important point you mentioned was that “The difference between real, experiential knowledge and nutritional folklore is quite large”.

    To many people rely on what they read instead of finding out for themselves. They will argue that they have enough Vitamin D, or other vitamin, even though they have never been tested. They ‘know’ because they read it somewhere.

    I love your approach to health. Finding out for yourself what’s really going on is the only thing that gives you a true understanding of your own health.

  8. Lisa Fothergill says:

    You made reference to your raw chocolate experiment. Can you tell us more about this or direct me to where I find your blog about it. Thanks.

  9. To Ann Marie (post #5): The spelling of his last name is Ehret, and the Mucusless Diet Healing System is the book. He argues that for optimal health, we should avoid what he calls “mucus-forming” foods, eat a very cleansing diet, and do periodic fasting. My understanding of the basis for his “mucus” argument is that the body creates mucus as a means of encapsulating and safely eliminating something unwanted – so, for example, when we have a cold, we create mucus to carry the germs out of our body. Mucus also forms in the digestive tract as a protective barrier when we eat foods that have things in them that the body recognizes as foreign substance that should not be absorbed and that need to be escorted out, and so the body creates mucus in response to such foods, since the mucus can 1) engulf & absorb stuff the body wants to eliminate, and 2) the mucus serves as a lubricant to help ease the passage of things out of the body. So if our body creates mucus in response to something, then Ehret would argue that it’s because that thing contains something the body doesn’t want; and Ehret believes mucus is undesirable since it is clogging, reduces absorption of nutrients, and reduces the flow of energy. He also believes that a mucus-less diet is optimal for spiritual advancement, as it clears up the energy fields and chakras (I’m paraphrasing – he did not use those terms) and brings us closer to being able to experience a sense of communing with the divine.

    Ehret says that all meat, milk and eggs are mucus-forming. Ehret is a proponent of a diet that is high in fruit and non-starchy vegetables, particularly green vegetables, and relatively low in fat and protein – although it would be possible to adjust the diet Ehret favors and create a diet that is high in protein and fat but still “mucus-less” (even by Ehret’s stringent standards) by consuming the heavier “mucus-less” foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. In the Health Debates, Frederic Patenaude is the one whose diet comes the closest to Ehret’s actual diet. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, David Wolfe, and Dr. Robert Young are advocating diets that come very close to being “mucus-less” based on Ehret’s system, but their diets are heavier than Ehret’s diet in terms of fat content, and they might allow some foods that Ehret would be against, since Ehret is against all starches, even potatoes, rice, or raw soaked buckwheat, quinoa or oats. Dr. David Jubb (who is not part of the Health Debate) also advocates a mucus-less diet in his books, although he doesn’t really use that term.

    This is just based on my interpretation of Ehret’s book. The text itself is a bit obscure – it was written in the early 1900s. It has some interesting insights, but his diet has been largely discredited as being impractical and suboptimal because it is too low in protein and fat for the vast majority of people, since he advocates not only no meat, milk or eggs but also transitioning towards minimal consumption of nuts and seeds, although he acknowledges that nuts and seeds are “mucusless” so they are not bad in the mucus-forming sense, he just thinks we should get almost all our calories from fruit, which doesn’t work for most of us (except Frederic Patenaude comes close).

  10. Hi Kevin,

    You were talking about testing a hair sample. Do you send this in and have it tested? If so how do you know who to trust to do this for you?
    Thank you. I do enjoy reading your blog. My husband and I have been making smoothies with our Vitamix for about 10 years now.

  11. Julie Deisenroth says:

    How aand where do you get tested?

  12. Niraja Golightly says:

    Good comprehensive answer and clues as to why people in sunnier climates may still be low in Vit. D. I love that you are the consummate researcher like I am! It helps in conversations with doctors when necessary (I have breast cancer), and I’m lucky in that I have access to my University of Montana library’s database, so I can print out the whole article if need be…

  13. Laura says:

    Isn’t it that we need to take magnesium supplements because the agriculturail soil nowadays is magnesium depleted, so greens are also low in magnesium?

  14. Leslie Moss says:

    Chiropractors, Naturopathic MDs and Health Care Providers do hair analysis, but you have to shop for one who understands this and your goals. It could be that you can send it yourself, but the comprehension of the test requires skill (Chemistry, etc).
    There are often other tests that this may indicate for back-up, as your hair provides a recent past history,taken close to the scalp.

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