Sodium, potassium, magnesium ... and calcium?

(Doing a Protein Sparing Modified Fast) #1

I have just started an extended fast (ideally 5 days, let us see if I can make it), water only, plus coffee and tea, plus minerals.

When I was losing weight, my doctor recommended me some minerals, including magnesium, sodium and calcium (but no potassium).

Now, I read some recommendations for extended fast, and I see that usually magnesium and salt (sodium) are recommended always, and potassium sometimes. But I never see calcium discussed.

I have salt and potassium-salt at home, and also good quality magnesium (several sources of magnesium). Am I set up with these? Or should I have some calcium, too?


Wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve never once supplemented calcium and used to always do long multi day fasts, my calcium levels were always good when tested. Doctors have some serious issues with understanding Potassium it seems.

(Squiggler) #3

If you are feeling faint/dizzy, especially when getting up in the morning, or from the sofa/sitting position, then from what I have read & seen, electrolyte supplements may well help. Otherwise, you may not need them.

I have also heard doctors recommend a B-complex vitamin supplement while fasting.
I have been getting faint/dizzy recently (and in the past) and have fallen down in the past too. So I have recently added an electrolyte supplement, B-Vitamin supplement, sea salt and Vitamin D3.

Dr Eric Berg has some useful information in his fasting videos on YT.

If you are mineral deficient before fasting, this may show up when you start re-feeding as Re-feeding syndrome, which in the worst case scenario leads to death.
If you can get a blood test done to show your mineral levels, that would be a good idea.

(Utility Muffin Research Kitchen) #4

Calcium is iffy. There are reports of brittle bones, where the body will take calcium from the bones to keep the blood level up. That is, calcium levels in the blood would drop only if you’re critically deficient in other places.

OTOH, my personal theory is that calcium is mainly depleted by oxalates. If you stick to low-oxalate keto (no almonds, chocolate etc.) or carnivore, your calcium levels should be fine even with extended fasts. If no oxalates come in, no calcium is used up.

I go with home made bone broth, some essential amino acids, magnesium citrate and potassium citrate for my fasts. Plus some vitamins.

(Michael Wallace Ellwood) #5

Interestingly, I have been thinking about the same question, from another perspective.

For quite some time (independently of any fasting ), I’ve been taking vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin K2,magnesium, zinc & selenium, for general, and some specific health benefits.

I also take Lugol’s solution (iodine dissolved in potassium iodide), so I get some potassium from that.

And I get plenty of sea salt, so sodium isn’t a problem.

Now, I’ve never taken a calcium supplement (except when I went through a phase of grinding up eggshells and dissolving them in lemon juice), but I stopped doing that ages ago.

If you’ve heard of Dr Thomas Levy, he’s 100% against calcium supplements, and has written a whole book condemning them. He reckons most people already get far too much calcium in their diet. This always sounds like a pretty big assumption to me. How does he know? If you don’t consume any milk (which people tend not to while fasting or on VLC), or cream (which I personally don’t consume while fasting or on VLC), or cheese or yoghurt (which I certainly don’t consume while fasting), then where is all this calcium coming from?

True, if you live in a hard water area, you’d be getting calcium carbonate in your water, but personally, I try to drink mostly mineral water, and I doubt if I’d be getting very much calcium out of it.

True also, that you might be getting it from bone broth, but I’ve read that you don’t actually get much. And personally, I discontinued bone broth after the 2nd week of fasting (although I might resume it occasionally later).

But the different perspective I mentioned was by reading “The Miraculous Results of Vitamin D3” by Jeff Bowles, which I have mentioned in another thread. In short, JB recommends higher than normally recommended doses of D3 together with (most important) sufficient doses of K2. (he recommends 1 capsule of LEF “Super K” for each 10,000 IU of D3; this is 1000 mcg of vitamin K2 MK-4).

Let’s not get into whether high doses of D3 are good or bad here. What’s important is that nowadays vitamin D experts agree that if you take significant doses of D3, you must also take K2, as it helps to make sure your calcium goes into or stays in your bones, where it belongs, and not in your soft tissue, where it doesn’t.

But interestingly he talks about some users of K2 having too low blood levels of calcium, because the K2 has put it all into their bones; too much of a good thing. How do you know if you are taking too much K2? I’m not sure, and I can’t find the right place in the book just now. He recommends that if people have problems, they back off the K2 a little.

My thought was: why not add a calcium supplement?

I looked for what might be a good one, and found it was possible to get calcium ascorbate in powder form, quite cheaply, and ordered some; it happened to arrive today.

Since I like to take vitamin C anyway, the ascorbate form is perfect. The Ca and the ascorbate ions should disassociate, and go off separately and do their own good things.

I’m going to look up what is supposed to be the correct daily intake of calcium, then look on the Calcium ascorbate packet to work out how much of that I need to take to get the “official” dose of calcium, and work from there.

Sorry, that probably doesn’t really answer your question, but I thought you might be interested.