A Healthy Conversation–How Did You Sleep Last Night?

How Did You Sleep Last Night?

Are you taking the right calcium?


JOHN:                  How’d you sleep last night?


DONNA:             So last night was one of those nights that I woke up in the middle of the night. But, you know, as always works, I got up in the middle of the night and I came out here and reached into the vitamin cupboard over there. I pulled out the concoction that we have created, you know calcium and Relora and melatonin and did my Sleepy Time tea bag and it was good. I was back out. You know, we talk about calcium a lot. I thought about this in the middle of the night when I reached for the little, you know, combination that we put together. I dig a lot. You tell me things and. . .


JOHN:                  Why? Why? Why?


DONNA:             I challenge you and I ask, because I want to understand. And once you close me and sell me on why something works, okay I can tell you that I don’t even remember necessarily why it works after that, I just take it because you told me to and I know it works. But last night, when I reached up into the vitamin cupboard, and I grabbed the calcium, I remembered what it does and why I’m taking. And I realized that something, well, we’re inviting you into a healthy conversation in John and Donna’s home at our kitchen counter.

They don’t know. It’s a basic that you teach people about all the time. But people don’t know about calcium. And I thought, you know, as I was reaching for that bottle, we need to talk about that. So, I’m just going to ask you again; so just tell me what it does.


JOHN:                  Well the primary thing that calcium is noted for is building your bones, making your bones strong. So many people have Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, that’s the primary thing that we pretty much take it for.  But what people don’t realize is that calcium, as well as magnesium are just very, very nice calming agents. They really calm down your central nervous system.


DONNA:             So that’s why it works when, you know, you’ve told me “Take a couple of them at night before you go to sleep”.


JOHN:                  Exactly.


DONNA:             Because it calms the central nervous system. So we all know it works on bones and it calms the central nervous system, those are big pluses. But there’s some magic, and not to use that word, but there’s a reason that it works, or what makes it work?


JOHN:                  Well, it’s funny because I always like to go back to the old times. You talk to the old health care professional and what they used to do. My grandmother and grandfather came over from the old country and I remember going over there as a little boy and them drinking a big glass of milk before they went to bed and they slept like babies. And that’s where they had that calming agent coming into effect. So, you know, a lot of times we go back to the old things and I think we can really learn from some of the things they used to do before.


DONNA:             Yeah right, my mom too.


JOHN:                  Yeah.


DONNA:             So there’s something in that milk that made them sleep.


JOHN:                  Well, that’s the milk that we used to drink about sixty or seventy years ago. Not so much anymore because the big problem. . .we all get plenty of calcium. We’re all drinking all kinds of milk, doing a lot of different dairy products. But we’re not really getting absorption from the calcium. That’s the big issue.


DONNA:             So what makes is absorb?


JOHN:                  Well, calcium is calcium is calcium. It’s all kind of the same mineral. But the problem is you have to put certain things with it to make is absorbable. Now, we’ve talked about this before, any time you take calcium, you always want to make sure you take magnesium with it because the magnesium keeps it mobile in y our body.


DONNA:             So a person. . .I don’t need to take a calcium and a magnesium, I can get calcium with magnesium and that’s going to make it absorb, that’s key. Here’s the thing that fascinated me years ago: there are different forms, and they’re really not different forms, I thought it different forms of calcium. You said it’s not different forms of calcium, it’s all the same calcium. But there are different forms, levels, types, whatever you want to call it.


JOHN:                  Absorption rates.


DONNA:             Okay. And people will go to the store and they will buy something that says calcium and they’re like “Oh, good I got calcium.” Right? You said “No”. Like oyster shell is the lowest absorption.


JOHN:                  Well, like you said, if you buy a calcium and it says 1,000 milligrams, you think well I’m getting 1,000 milligrams. Well if you take something that has, like an oyster shell calcium, that has about a 20% absorption rate to it, so  you’re really only netting out at about 200 milligrams.


DONNNA:           So I’m going to call that the lowest level.


JOHN:                  Lowest level.


DONNA:             Then there are middle levels.


JOHN:                  You can go up the calcium chelates, the calcium carbonates, those are kind of mid-range. Those are about 45% to about 60% absorption rate.


DONNA:             So what’s the best one?


JOHN:                  The best one, I mean there are a lot of different best ones, but the best one that I think, the body likes an acidic environment, so calcium citrate.


DONNA:             citrate.


JOHN:                  Those have about and 80% to an 85% absorption rate.


DONNA:             I just realized something, I can remember citrate because of citrus, orange, right?


JOHN:                  Right.


DONNA:             And acidic is what the body likes to absorb.


JOHN:                  Likes to absorb minerals.


DONNA:             What’s the absorption rate probably on that one?


JOHN:                  80% to 85% right up there. So you’re getting. . .world of difference between 20% and 85%.


DONNA:             So we want a calcium with magnesium, right?


JOHN:                  Never take calcium unless you have magnesium with it.


DONNA:             Magnesium. And we want a citrate, that’s the best kind. Right?


JOHN:                  Right.


DONNA:             And how many units did you say?


JOHN:                  Well, you want to take about 1,000 milligrams of calcium, 500 milligrams of magnesium and you always want to put some Vitamin D in there as well. At least a couple thousand units.

DONNA:             Okay, so um, here’s to, as she does cheers with her coffee, here’s to sleeping better tonight. See this was good. You’re good. I love you.

Beth Hammond

Beth Hammond

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