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Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition
Calcification: The Disease Culprit!
By: Monroe Burton, D.C.
WHAT IS CALCIFICATION?
Calcification is a build-up of insoluble calcium salts in different parts of the body where they interfere with normal functioning. These deposits are most noticeable in and around the joints, but are also found in the arteries, kidneys, heart valves, nerve sheaths, gall bladder (as stones), glands, the middle ear, and even the brain. These salts can be deposited anywhere in the body, but are most likely to be noticed where they cause trouble or are observed on X-rays.
ARTHRITIS: the most common illness caused by CALCIFICATION:
It results from calcium deposits settling in and around the joints. Calcium salts sticking to the synovial membranes or moving surfaces of a joint rougher than these highly sensitive surfaces cause the joint to become inflamed and make movements very painful. As the build-up progresses, mobility of the joint decreases until finally the deposits on the two joint surfaces come together to fuse the joint. This process of fusion is called ankylosis. At this stage, there will no longer be pain since there is no more movement in the joint.
For calcium build-up to take place in the arteries, the inner arterial surfaces are first roughened by uric acid crystals sticking to them. The uric acid comes from meat-eating, since animal cells contain a high concentration of nucleic acid (DSA and RNA) which break down first into purines and then into uric acid. The next step, which is the breakdown of uric acid into allantsin, which can pass through the kidneys, requires the enzyme uricase. Humans do not have uricase; only carnivorous animals, such as cats, dogs, and omnivorous animals, such as hogs and rats (the scavenger animals) have it. Uric acid passes through the kidneys at a very slow rate, causing it to build up in the blood stream and stick in crystal form to the arteries and veins, and also form stones in the kidneys.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE:
Once the uric acid crystals provide a roughened surface, a combination of calcium salts and cholesterol will stick to it, forming the artherosclerotic plaque that clogs the artery like boiler scale in a wter pipe. In advanced cases, the arterial wall weakens and deteriorates, and calcium deposits reinforce it but make the artery stiff and brittle. Before this stage is reached, narrowing of arterial opening causes high blood pressure as the heart pumps more strongly to move blood through the system.
VARICOUSE VEINS & PHLEBITIS:
Calcium deposits also occur in the veins, mainly in the valves of the veins that prevent backflow of blood to the feet when the person is in a standing position. This shows up as varicose veins and swelling in the legs, and is also part of the pathology of phlebitis.
PROSTATE PROBLEMS, HEARING LOSS & SENILITY:
Calcification can also occur in the glands. The gland most apt to be noticeably effected by calcification is the prostate in middle-aged and older men. Calcium can accumulate in the middle ear, interfering with the movements of the three small bones that transmit sound impulses from the ear drum to the sound receptors in the inner ear, causing hearing loss. Calcification, or sclerosis of nerve sheaths results in neurological disorders; senile dementia is related to calcification in the brain.
Normally, in the event of injury to a bone or joint, the body will reinforce the injured part with calcium deposits which redisolve when the joint heals. But these calcium deposits can persist as chronic arthritis.
OSTEOPOROSIS & TOOTH DECAY:
As the bones become depleted of their mineral supply, osteoporosis, poro-sity of the bones results. The bones become weak and brittle with increased danger of fracture. The dentin of the teeth also becomes demineralized and prone to decay.
The connection is based on the acidity, or pH, of the blood, and the action of specialized cells called chemo-recptors in the major arteries. The pH of the blood has to be kept constant within very narrow limits in order for the body to function. Therefore, these cells are sensitive to any increase in acidity, and when activated will send nerve impulses to the parathyroid gland, which secretes parathyroid hormone into the blood stream. Parathyroid hormone acts to dissolve calcium and other alkaline minerals out of the bone into the blood stream to neutralize the excess acid. The alkaline minerals combine with the acids to form salts, which are then deposited in all parts of the body where they settle and build up, such as joints, blood vessels, or any other place. The acids enter the blood stream as end-products of the digestive process.
WHAT KINDS OF FOODS ARE ACID-FORMING?
The most strongly acid-forming foods are meat products of all kinds, including chicken and fish. Carnivorous animals hunt, pounce on and devour their prey, including the bones and blood which contains the alkaline minerals. There is no cooking, fragmenting or processing involved. These animals have the enzyme uricase to break down the uric acid. They also have the anatomical structure for this kind of seating, with short digestive tracts to reduce putrefaction, very large livers and kidneys to detoxify and eliminate waste products, high concentration of hydrochloric acid and protein digesting enzymes to dissolve bones and animal muscle fibers and high levels of mucus secretion in the stomach to protect the stomach lining against the acid and enzymes.
FOODS FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION:
The human digestive system on the other hand, is adapted for foods from plant sources. Meat products are deficient in alkaline minerals to start with, since the bones and blood are not included. Then the cooking process denatures any minerals that may be present and also coagulates the protein. The longer intestinal tract of the human system provides for a long, slow passage, without the necessary levels of hydrochloric acid and protein-splitting enzymes for digestion, resulting in a high level of putrefaction, or rotting, of the material passing through. This produces a large amount of acidity, along with toxic and irritating waste products.
OTHER MAJOR HEALTH OFFENDERS:
The next major offenders are the dairy products, even though these are promoted as the best sources of calcium, and milk is advertised as the perfect food for children to help build strong and healthy bones, teeth, hooves and horns. In cows milk, the calcium is chemically bound with the casein molecule. Casein is the milk protein used in the manufacture of white glue. Calves and bullocks have the enzyme to separate the calcium from the casein, but humans do not. Therefore, the calcium from the milk is unavailable to us. It just passes through the digestive system without change. Also, the process of pasteurization, in which the milk is heated to 160 degrees F. for a half hour, oxidizes any other alkaline minerals that may be present. What is left then, after the alkaline part is removed, is highly acid-forming. It is also possible that in goats milk and the milks of other animals, the calcium is likewise bound to some component for which we lack the enzyme to detach. Further, the high fat content of dairy foods interferes with both digestions and blood circulation.
WHAT ABOUT FATS AND OILS?
Fats and oils in the stomach cover the other foods passing through the digestive system with a slick coating that prevents the digestive enzymes from reaching them. Fat also slows down the passage of foods through the system.
The average American is: DRUNK BEFORE LUNCH:
The result is fermentation, which turns the sugars and the starches into acids and alcohol instead of useful nutrients. In fact, the result of eating a "healthy breakfast" in the morning is that it supplies the body with alcohol for most of the day. Fats in the blood stream cause red blood cells to clump together and clog the microscopic-sized passages through the capillaries, reducing the blood supply to the cells of the body and raising blood pressure.
What About Cooked Food:
All cooked foods are acid-forming since the heat of cooking oxidizes the alkaline minerals, and cooked foods, especially starches, have a greater tendency to ferment. Alkaline-forming foods are fruits, vegetables and sprouted seeds in an unheated and unprocessed form.
WHAT KIND OF DIET IS RECOMMENDED?
The foods that provide alkaline minerals are raw fruits and vegetables. Sprouts should be added as a winter vegetable when fresh produce is less likely to be available. Sweet fruits, such as unsulphured raisins and dates are especially good when combined with green, leafy vegetables. Steamed vegetables can be added to the diet, if desired, with a raw vegetable salad. Fats, oils, salt, sharp spices and condiments, vinegar and alcohol are to be avoided since they are irritants and interfere with the digestive process.
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