Calcitonin is a hormone which increases calcium in the bones and keeps it from being absorbed into the soft tissues. Magnesium increases calcitonin production and therefore increases calcium in the bones while drawing it out from the soft tissues. A magnesium-rich diet of whole foods is generally the cure for most forms of calcium deficiencies.
The food groups in order of their magnesium content are:
- Dried seaweed (dulse, arame, wakame, kombu, kelp, hijiki and most others)
- Beans including mung, aduki, black and lima beans and lentils
- Whole grains, particularly buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, barley, rye and rice (brown and wild)*
- Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, cashews, filberts and sesame seeds
- High chlorophyll foods such as wheat and barley grass products
- Micro-algae including spirulina and chlorella (beneficial for calcium utilization)
Note: Beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight to eliminate phytates and increase magnesium and calcium absorption.
Regtop, H. Is magnesium the grossly neglected mineral? International Nutrition Review? International Clinical Nutrition Review 3: pp 18-19, July 1983
Levine, B. and Coburn, J. Magnesium: the mimic/antagonist of calcium. New England Journal of Medicine 310: pp 1253-1255, May 10, 1984
Pitchford, P. Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (ed 3). Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002