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April 2010 Ageless herbal newsletter

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It is the most abundant mineral in the body – weighing about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) in an adult body. Calcium is found in many of the foods we eat – like milk and milk products, beans, nuts, tofu, molasses, fruit and green vegetables, yet many people suffer from a shortage of calcium.

calcium food sources milk cheese green vegetables

Bones are composed of calcium – but some people have the misconception that once bones are formed that it is the end of the story. That however is not true – as the body can take calcium out of the bones if a deficiency exists, and can later replace it when calcium is once again available in the body. Approximately 600 mg - 700 mg of calcium enter and leave the bones each day. When calcium is continuously in short supply, the body will keep on withdrawing it from the bones – leading to porous and fragile bones, and that is where the danger lies.

When we talk about a shortage of calcium, the word osteoporosis immediately springs to mind, but that is by far not the full story. A long-term shortage of calcium in the diet can cause various other problems like:

  • Rickets
  • Osteomalacia
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Abnormal muscle contraction
  • Enzyme inactivity

Although the above is a clear indication of how important calcium is to the body, lesser known symptoms of calcium deficiency can include the risk of:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Deafness
  • Toxemia of pregnancy
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Painful and heavy periods
  • Cataracts
  • Anxiety
  • and in children can manifest in impaired growth and behavioral problems

Daily requirements of calcium calcium shortage osteoporosis fragile bone loss women supplements calcium body functions menopause

The older reference of RDA – Recommended Daily dietary Allowance – for adults is 800 mg and 1,200 for pregnant and lactating women.

In August 1997 the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS) updated national calcium recommendations for Americans and Canadians and listed the AI (Adequate Intake) as well as the UL (Upper Levels) which is the maximum you should consume daily.

The Adequate Intake of calcium is divided into age groups:

1to 3 years


4 to 8 years


9 to 18 years


19 to 50 years


51to 70 years


71+ years


The calcium UL (Upper levels) of calcium was set at 2500 mg/day for all age groups.

oystacal oyster shell calcium supplement

The Food and Nutritional Board found that an estimated 70% of Americans fail to get enough calcium.

The most serious deficiency was found amongst adolescent girls ages 11 and older - a time when the body really requires calcium to build bones. It was found that 91% of girls did not meet the AI levels, and 69% of boys were also lacking calcium.

Absorptioncalcium shortage osteoporosis fragile bone loss women supplements calcium body functions menopause

Calcium has two other minerals with which it has a love-hate relationship – as they work together, or they can work against one another if there is a huge imbalance between them. These are magnesium and phosphorus. Few people in developed countries have a deficiency of phosphorus as it is supplied more than adequately in our diets and the body easily absorbs it.

Lactose helps with calcium absorption – so taking it with milk may be of further help.

Lifestyle can also influence the absorption of calcium as a sedentary life can lead to impaired absorption. A diet that is very high in fat or protein can also impede calcium absorption and in the elderly, as well as after surgery in younger people, we find that the lack of enough stomach acid contributes to a calcium shortage.

We have listed the effect that a shortage of calcium can have in the body – but we should note that the body needs calcium for blood to clot when an injury is sustained and that it is also required for muscles to contract and relax – as they are a vital part of the biochemical mechanism which cause the proteins myosin and actin to be drawn together.

Certain enzymes in the body – like ATPase, lipase and certain proteolytic enzymes – require calcium to be activated, and a shortage prevents the normal action of these enzymes, and vitamin B12 also requires calcium to be absorbed in the small intestines.

Food sources of calcium

Although we mentioned that green vegetables contain a fair amount of calcium, it is interesting to note that spinach, chard, beet greens and rhubarb are NOT a good source of calcium as they contain oxalic acid which binds to the calcium in these vegetables, making it unavailable to the body.

Vitamin D is very important for the absorption of calcium and 10 minutes of sunshine on the body is enough to manufacture enough vitamin D for proper absorption.

Two cups of milk will supply about 576 mg of calcium and one serving of green leafy vegetables will supply about 44 mg while four slices of enriched white bread would contribute about 84 mg.

Should you have a milk-intolerance, you would have to look at taking a calcium supplement as well as riboflavin and vitamin D to ensure proper absorption.

The same is true if you follow a strict vegetarian diet, which excludes milk and milk products. This may be substituted by soymilk, or the person must ensure that their diet is very high in calcium containing green vegetables.

Calcium supplements calcium shortage osteoporosis fragile bone loss women supplements calcium body functions menopause

There are a wide variety of calcium supplements available on the market – ranging from inexpensive to very dear. The most important thing about ANY calcium supplement is to look at what amount of "elemental calcium" you derive from the capsule or pill.

oystacal oyster shell calcium supplement

The most common forms are calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium citrate malate, calcium gluconate, calcium phosphate and calcium lactate. Regardless of which form of calcium supplement you take – look to see if it states the amount of elemental calcium supplied by the supplement – as that is the important factor.

Manufacturers can source their base ingredient from various origins, but we are of the belief that calcium supplied from oyster shells is the most bio-available form of supplementation.

An interesting exercise is to take your supplement and to drop it in a small amount of vinegar – then check to see how fast the pill dissolves – the quicker the better. We have tested some supplements that did not dissolve at all, which when in the body would be difficult to absorb.

When buying a supplement made from oyster shells, you however have to ensure that it does not contain any lead, as shells harvested from certain areas could contain unacceptable levels of lead.

The amino acid Lysine is also required for proper absorption but luckily this amino acid is found in many food sources, such as cheese, milk, eggs, fish, red meat and soy products.

Females, which have gone through menopause, need more calcium, as their levels of estrogen are lower – as estrogen helps with promoting the depositing of calcium in the bones.

A diet high in fat, protein or sugar impedes the absorption of calcium while alcohol, coffee, soft drinks (high in phosphorous) junk food, white flour and heavily salted foods leads to a higher loss of calcium by the body.

Although more studies need to be done, it is thought best to take a calcium supplement about 40 minutes before retiring for the night, and since the lactose found in milk helps the utilization of calcium it may be a good idea to have your supplement with a little bit of milk.


When calcium is continuously under-supplied the bones become porous and fragile due to continuous withdrawal of calcium – and this then manifests as osteoporosis. The body absorbs calcium far better when the person is younger, yet a supplement in later years can assist to maintain bone density. This de-mineralization of the bone normally occurs later in life, and is far more common in women than men.

It may be accompanied by back pain, due to compression or fracture of the weight bearing lumbar vertebrae.

Muscle spasms

As calcium is required for muscles to contract and release, a shortage of this mineral can lead to muscles spasms.

Other benefits of calcium

It helps to limit the irritation of bile acids in the colon – and by doing that helps to reduce the incidence of colon cancer. Some research also indicates that having enough calcium may help to lower high blood pressure.

When enough calcium is present, the absorption of lead by the body is inhibited but if in short supply the body can absorb this toxic metal and deposit it in the bone.

Dangers of excess calcium

As mentioned before the Upper Levels of calcium is set at 2,500 mg per day and taking massive doses of calcium can lead to kidney stones. Excessively high intake of calcium can also prevent zinc from being absorbed by the body and could also interfere with the metabolism of vitamin K.

Closing calcium shortage osteoporosis fragile bone loss women supplements calcium body functions menopause

From all the information above we are sure that everybody can understand the importance of calcium in our daily diet, and that this very base mineral is involved in a wide range of body functions, and that a shortage could influence many areas of your general health.


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  • Undertreatment of osteoporosis in the oldest old? A nationwide study of over 700,000 older people., Johnell K, Fastbom J., Arch Osteoporos. 2009 Dec;4(1-2):17-23. Epub 2009 Mar 19.
  • Bone mineral density and fracture risk in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.,Botushanov NP, Orbetzova MM., Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2009 Oct-Dec;51(4):12-7.
  • Approach to the patient with secondary osteoporosis., Hofbauer L, Hamann C, Ebeling P., Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Mar 15.
  • Pilot case-control investigation of risk factors for hip fractures in the urban Indian population., Jha RM, Mithal A, Malhotra N, Brown EM., BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Mar 14;11(1):49.
  • Effects of intravenous pamidronate on renal function, bone mineral metabolism and bone mass in patients with severe osteoporosis., Hernández MV, Peris P, Monegal A, Reyes R, Muxi A, Gifre L, Guañabens N., Am J Med Sci. 2010 Mar;339(3):225-9.
  • [Prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis: who, when and what?], Aubry-Rozier B, Lamy O, Dudler J., Rev Med Suisse. 2010 Feb 10;6(235):307-13.
  • Back to the Future: Revisiting Parathyroid Hormone and Calcitonin Control of Bone Remodeling., de Paula FJ, Rosen CJ., Horm Metab Res. 2010 Mar 9.
  • Assessment of Bone Mineral Density and Risk Factors in Children Completing Treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia., Gunes AM, Can E, Saglam H, Ilçöl YO, Baytan B., J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2010 Mar 1.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency in Saudi Arabs., Elsammak MY, Al-Wosaibi AA, Al-Howeish A, Alsaeed J., Horm Metab Res. 2010 Mar 8.
  • Comparative effects of a novel plant-based calcium supplement with two common calcium salts on proliferation and mineralization in human osteoblast cells., Adluri RS, Zhan L, Bagchi M, Maulik N, Maulik G., Mol Cell Biochem. 2010 Mar 7.
  • Secondary prevention of osteoporosis in Australia: analysis of government-dispensed prescription data., Hollingworth SA, Gunanti I, Nissen LM, Duncan EL., Drugs Aging. 2010 Mar 1;27(3):255-64. doi: 10.2165/11318400-000000000-00000.
  • [Determination of eight metal elements in Cichorium glandulosum Boiss et Huet by microwave digestion-FAAS], Pei LP, Zhou XY, Cui J, Pang ZR, Liu HB, Ge L., Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi. 2009 Dec;29(12):3412-5.
  • Parathyroid hormone: is there a role in fracture healing?, Della Rocca GJ, Crist BD, Murtha YM., J Orthop Trauma. 2010 Mar;24 Suppl 1:S31-5.
  • Anabolics in osteoporosis: the emerging therapeutic tool., Trivedi R, Mithal A, Chattopadhyay N., Curr Mol Med. 2010 Feb 1;10(1):14-28.
  • Effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone mineral density in women aged 65-71 years: a 3-year randomized population-based trial (OSTPRE-FPS)., Kärkkäinen M, Tuppurainen M, Salovaara K, Sandini L, Rikkonen T, Sirola J, Honkanen R, Jurvelin J, Alhava E, Kröger H., Osteoporos Int. 2010 Mar 4.
  • The Effect of Prior Bisphosphonate Therapy on the Subsequent BMD and Bone Turnover Response to Strontium Ranelate., Middleton ET, Steel SA, Aye M, Doherty SM., J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Dec 11:1-37.
  • Correlates of trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density of the radius and tibia in older men: The osteoporotic fractures in men study., Barbour KE, Zmuda JM, Strotmeyer ES, Horwitz MJ, Boudreau R, Evans RW, Ensrud KE, Petit MA, Gordon CL, Cauley JA; for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group., J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jan 8.
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  • A non-secosteroidal vitamin D receptor ligand with improved therapeutic window of bone efficacy over hypercalcemia., Sato M, Lu J, Iturria S, Stayrook KR, Burris LL, Zeng QQ, Schmidt A, Barr RJ, Montrose-Rafizadeh C, Bryant HU, Ma YL., J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jan 14.
  • [Assessment and treatment of osteoporotic hip fractures.], Eiken PA, Abrahamsen B., Ugeskr Laeger. 2010 Mar 1;172(9):700-704.

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Articles of interest

Ageless herbal product range

Our Ageless herbal product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.


Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.


Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
  • Cellulite gel
    • Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.


Herbal supplements

  • Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
    • The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
  • Digest capsules
    • If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
  • Detox capsules
    • Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
  • Urinary and bladder health capsules
    • Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
  • Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
    • If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
  • Olive leaf extract capsules
    • This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
  • Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
    • Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.


Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

Herbal information

Herbal encyclopedia

Different uses of medicinal herbs

Explanation of the therapeutic properties of herbs

List of ailments and herbs that may be useful

Information on individual herbs

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Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only
and must not be used to treat or diagnose medical conditions.

All health problems must be referred to a health care professional.

Statements made regarding the products, ingredients and general information
have not been evaluated by the FDA or SAMCC and should not be seen as health claims.

All ingredients used in our products are safe and are not banned, controlled or restricted.

All products are manufactured in licensed laboratories following strict GMP and ISO standards.

Our site was last updated on 8 January 2018

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