Elemental Calcium with Eggshell Calcium Recipes

DIY Eggshell calcium

Unless you have been living on the moon for the last 30 years you already probably know that calcium is the most prevalent mineral in the body.  You also probably have heard that calcium supplements are the best way to get your calcium, when you aren’t drinking your milk, of course.  You’ve been told these supplements are the best way to prevent osteoporosis and pharmaceutical companies that hawk products like Osteocal and Viactive.

Calcium IS an all important element.  It does contribute to bone health. (Notice I say ‘contribute’ not ‘is the most important mineral’).  The body being an infinitely intelligent macrocosm always has calcium circulating in the blood stream.  Calcium always counterbalances with phosphorous (which is also needed for healthy bones) in the blood stream and the parathyroid releases parathyroid hormone (PTH) along with calcitonin which is released by the thyroid to control levels of both elements.

Calcium is ever important for maintaining cardiac function, blood clotting, and nerve function and since blood levels of calcium must be kept at balanced levels, when there is not enough calcium circulating in the blood stream (from lack of dietary consumption or lack of proper absorption) PTH is released signaling the body to pull calcium from bones and increase intestinal absorption in order to maintain blood and cellular levels and buffer pH in the bloodstream.

Stress is one of the biggest causes of calcium malabsorption because stress activates the sympathetic nervous system which diminishes or even halts digestion.  Because both strong digestion and calcium absorption is dependent on good secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) and stress makes reduces this secretion coupled with the fact that calcium has a tendency to neutralize stomach acid, this spells the necessity for releasing PTH and consequently losing valuable calcium from bones.  When PTH is released it perpetuates a vicious cycle of increasing stress and triggering inflammatory responses.   The trick is consuming enough calcium and having it optimally metabolized by the body.

Here’s the thing….  Calcium supplements are often not the best thing you can do for your body or your bones.

Why?

Many researchers suggest excess calcium, in the form of supplementation, isn’t absorbed by the body and into the bones rather excreted in the urine.  That means it must go through the kidneys first and according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health  some studies point to calcium supplementation upwards of 1000 mg. a day having a slightly increases risk of kidney stones.  The Nurse’s Study also acknowledged a slightly higher risk of kidney stones with the original study citing that postmenopausal women who consumed 1000 mg. a day of supplemental calcium along with 400 IU of Vitamin D showed a positive association between calcium supplementation and kidney stones.

I find some of these studies suspect because none of the studies determine whether the women in question consumed a diet high in oxalates (which are  anti-nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, some fruits such as figs, berries, and tangerines, in both wheat germ and bran, quinoa, soy,  and many other foods) which, when combined with calcium (especially supplements)  form calcium oxalate which is one of the main formations of kidney stones.  Their intake of Vitamin C was never examined (Vitamin C supplements in high doses can convert to oxalates) to determine whether that was a factor.  

The body is much more intricate that most studies acknowledge.  There can be a thousand different factors that have to be present in the body for any kind of dysfunction to appear though I do accept the fact that more people than ever before are pouring countless numbers of medications and supplements down their gullets and any or all of these supplements could be combining into a perfect storm.

I am not, for the most part,a big proponent of many dietary supplements that have to go through the digestive system in order to to be metabolized.  I believe, whenever possible, real foods are the absolute best source for highly absorbable nutrients.

Most clients of mine have impaired digestive issues due to hormonal disruption or thyroid and/or adrenal dysfunction.  Because many of these same people have either an intolerance/allergy to dairy (due to the fact that thyroid disruption leads to low levels of the lactase enzyme) or are eating substandard feedlot homogenized dairy with synthetic Vitamin D.

{Remember, Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a hormone sending a message to the intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorous, thus being greatly responsible for bone remineralization.}

So how do I recommend getting enough calcium for those who don’t consume raw dairy (which is a fantastic source of calcium)?

My favorite source of calcium is from eggshells.  Cheap, easy, and effective.  What a great way to use those eggshells that most people toss in the bin without a thought.  (Eggshells do have many uses including making your herb garden grow big and strong!)

Eggshells??

If you are shocked by the thought of grinding up eggshells and ingesting them, I’d ask you to remember that calcium needs a whole host of synergistic elements (minerals) to metabolize effectively.  Magnesium,  boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon, zinc, etc.; all in all 27 different elements exist in eggshells, very similar to the structure of our own bones and teeth.

So how in the world do you make eggshell calcium?

First, please be sure to use PASTURED eggs (not to be confused with PASTEURIZED eggs which have been super heated and are generally caged chickens) as chickens that are allowed to forage (eat bugs and grasses) have higher mineral content. If you can’t find pastured eggs at least invest in organic, soy-free eggs.

There are two ways to make eggshell calcium.  The first way creates a powder form which is predominantly calcium carbonate.  I use this form when baking brownies or making my Chocolate Power Bars.  Each medium eggshell contains about 700 to 800 milligrams of elemental calcium.  (Elemental calcium being the amount of calcium that is actually absorbable.) I recommend between 1/8 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon a day depending on your calcium needs and always start with a lower dose and work up if you suspect you have an impaired digestive system.

Ingredients::

Leftover eggshells from pastured or organic eggs.  I usually accumulate about a dozen rinsed gently but not completely and kept in the refrigerator.

Directions::

1. Rinse the eggshells under water water to remove any residue that may be left in the shells. I don’t recommend removing the membrane if you can keep it in tact because it contains nutrients important for joint health.  If it bothers you to have any “soft” part of the egg left, just rinse it thoroughly.
2. Place the eggshells in a large pot and cover with water, bring to a rapid boil , remove from heat and drain water.*
3. Place them on a cookie sheet and into a 220 F degree oven for 10 minutes until dry being careful not to “cook”.
4. Place dried eggshells in a coffee grinder or a high speed blender such as Blendtec and pulse several times until ground to a fine powder.
5. Store powdered eggshells in a covered glass jar or container, and keep it in a cool dry place.

*Some people recommend boiling for 10 minutes to kill any pathogens.  I don’t generally boil my eggshells at all because I know the source of my pastured eggs.  I don’t recommend boiling them for more than a minute or two as the calcium will leech into the water otherwise.  This is one big reason I say to use quality pastured eggs (and from a local source) so you aren’t overly concerned with having to “kill” every little microbe that may live.  The heat from the oven should sterilize the eggs enough to kill any pathogens.

The second recipe I have is for a form of calcium called calcium citrate.  This doesn’t rely on hydrochloric acid to break down in the stomach which makes it highly metabolizable.

The first way is to take the powdered eggshells you just made and a few drops of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to 1 tsp. of eggshell powder in a bowl and letting it stand at room temperature for 3- 6 hours or more, This helps break the shells down even further.

There is another way that I haven’t mastered involving taking a very fresh uncracked egg in a mason jar and covering it with lemon juice.  You agitate it gently every so often until there is nothing but membrane.  Here’s where I go wrong.  I can never get the egg out without breaking it into the mixture.  If you can master it, I suppose it’s one way of making sure you get every bit of the calcium but, frankly, it feels like a waste to me because it’s not like you can use the egg afterward.

The second way is to create a liquid calcium supplement::

Mix 4 tsp of your powdered calcium supplement with 2 cups of hot water and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cover and let cool. Strain the liquid into a glass jar and keep in the fridge. Take a teaspoon or two a day.

The best way to take calcium is with magnesium. Since magnesium is really well absorbed into the skin I like to spray some magnesium oil on my skin.  Since I carry babies all day I spray it anywhere I might have aches or pains and it relieves those complaints while increasing my magnesium stores and helping my calcium absorb.

Ah, the joys of multi-tasking!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow, I love this idea. I am going to try it. I always buy pastured organic eggs too. Thanks for this advice. Now I’ll save money on calcium supplements.

  2. says

    I can make use both egg and its shell now…
    Honestly, I love making cakes and cookies. It’s so unfortunate that I’ve just waste the eggshell until now. and I like your idea to mix it into chocolate power bars, I’d like to make one soon :)

  3. says

    We give more importance to yellow of egg and find it rich protein content but we forget that egg white is equally important and it is high in calcium. But I must say this blog is awesome from now we won’t waste egg white shell.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Actually the white of the egg or albumin is not actually that high in calcium at all. It is high in protein, mind you, but the egg shell is the calcium rich component of the egg.

  4. trina says

    and here I was just powdering them 2 feed back 2 my cknz. some1 told me it worked like oyster shell 2 improve their egg strength. seemed 2 work. I guess they will have 2 share w/ mom from now on. lol

    • thedetoxdiva says

      That’s a great idea, and I know many that feed them back to the chickens. To me, I’d definitely take a little from them!!

  5. Tati says

    I followed the recipe and now have the powder. I tried making the chocolate bar. It does taste good. Where else do you think I can use the egg shell powder? Smoothies may be. But smothies are also something I don’t have every day. Any other ideas? Thank you in advance.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Tati, I mix mine in with lemon juice and take it as a supplement sometimes, in salad dressings, baked goods, you name it, it goes in!!

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