Skip to content

Vivian Answers Day #7

Question & Answer #1

I take a calcified seaweed supplement. Now I am wondering – is this organic calcium or is it calcium adhering to the seaweed?

Many thanks,

-Christine C.

Dear Christine,

Calcified seaweed is plant-derived from the seaweed called Lithothamnium Calcareum, and is therefore organic. However, certain brands combine it with other forms of calcium, typically amino acid chelated calcium such as calcium citrate, malate, and gluconate. So if you only wish to take 100% organic calcium, make sure you read the labels carefully.

Keep asking good questions,


Question & Answer #2

My GP has sent me for X-rays and told me my lower back and leg pain is due to wear and tear, apart from painkillers what can I do to help this? I feel some days I am going to end up in a wheelchair. Would be grateful for any advice. Thanks.

-Janette D.

Dear Janette,

What your doctor is basically telling you is that you may have some damage in certain areas of your lower spine, thus causing the pain that irradiates down to your leg. You should request the X-ray report so you can read it and show it to a physical therapist, who can help you strengthen the muscles that support the lower back to reduce the pain. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix, and pain killers simply mask the problem.

Wishing you a speedy recovery,


Question & Answer #3

Hi Vivian: I’ve been following the news about the latest study on linking calcium with increased risk of cardiovascular events, and have discussed it with my pharmacist. As well as reading and showing him your last article,I received some literature from him which stressed the importance of taking Vitamin D with the calcium. You have stated in your last article that calcium derived from coral or shell sources is considered inorganic, yet the pharmacy community considers them organic. I have found some organic calcium at my health food store which comes from algae and I’m going to give that a try. But I will also speak to my doctor, since I like to get information from as many sources as possible. My question is: why is there a difference of opinion about what is organic/inorganic, and what is not? Thanks!

-Carol-Lynn R.

Dear Carol-Lynn,

Excellent question, especially as it relates to coral calcium, which often causes confusion because coral is considered a living organism, and is therefore organic. However, the type of calcium found in coral is the inorganic calcium carbonate, even though it is “made” by coral. A good example is the egg shell, which is made by “organic” chickens, yet the egg shell is inorganic calcium carbonate. And the same can be said about mollusks, whose shells are made of inorganic calcium carbonate.

Remember, it’s good to be curious!


Question & Answer #4

Where I live the soil is very acidic, and my tap water has a pH of 4.0. You mentioned somewhere that you recommend distilled water for drinking and cooking. I would like to understand better the effect of water and its pH on my body, as it is such a basic part of what I ingest. Thank you!


Dear Brenda,

As I explain in great detail in The Missing Link, which is one of the components of the Save Our Bones Program, I don’t recommend drinking tap water, not because of its pH but rather due to the toxic chemicals that are added by municipalities and that leach from outdated pipes. Also, many toxic chemicals both dumped by industry and environmental, find their way into the water reservoirs; even prescription drugs have been found lurking in municipal waters.

Unlike foods that have either an acid or alkaline pH or ash residue after they are digested, water doesn’t go through the digestive process. Therefore, the main issue with drinking water is its purity – not its pH – as well as its ionic charge.

Distilled water, and to a slightly lesser degree water purified by reverse osmosis, is negatively charged. Remember that pure water is made of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule, thus its formula H2O. Since opposites attract in nature, the negatively charged water drags out the positively charged toxins in the body that would acidify your pH – among other things – if they were to remain circulating in it. And adding a few drops of lemon juice to the drinking water further ionizes it.

In good health,


Question & Answer #5

I am always looking for more weight bearing exercises to do other than just walking—–I was wondering if bike riding counted as one, I have an old fashioned bike with no gears to keep it from making it easier on hills, etc. If you could send along other exercises for this I would appreciate it, as I am attempting to treat my diagnosis of osteopenia with more exercising and diet. Thanks much. I enjoy all your information.

-Judith H.

Dear Judith,

While bike riding is lots of fun and a great aerobic and leg muscle strengthening sport, it is not considered a weight bearing exercise. In the Save Our Bones Program I devote a section to density exercises, which are especially designed to build bones. And you can check the blog post titled “Osteoporosis Exercises: Build Your Bones While You Sit” at this website.

Wishing you a “smooth ride”,


Question & Answer #6

A friend recommended acupuncture as a help for osteoporosis. My kidneys are excreting too much calcium. She said some of the Chinese herbs for the kidneys given in tandem with the acupuncture might help. Is this a possibility?


Dear Jann,

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) makes the direct connection between kidney function and bone health. According to TCM, the kidneys somehow control bone marrow production. For that reason, TCM utilizes acupuncture and certain herbs to support the kidneys. However, I have not researched TCM and its effectiveness on bone health as of yet, so I can’t formulate an opinion on this topic. In the Save Our Bones Program you’ll find very effective and easy-to-apply nutritional ways to reduce calcium excretion to keep the calcium where most of it belongs: in your bones.

To your bone strength!


Question & Answer #7

How much calcium do you need a day and is taking Fosamax a good choice?

-Mary W.

Dear Mary,

As is the case with every mineral, quantity, quality, and balance with other minerals in the body is one of the essential components of bone health. For that reason I devote several chapters in the Save Our Bones Program to Foundation Supplements and Foundation Foods. You can read all about the recommended quantities for the bone-healthy supplements, and the explanation on how they act in our bodies and interact with each other.

So to answer your question, my calcium recommendation in supplemental form is based on the current RDA, which is from 800 to 1,200 mg per day. And remember that the maximum we can absorb at one time is 500 mg, so make sure you spread your calcium intake during meals throughout the day.

And about your question on Fosamax, it all boils down to a very simple choice: would you prefer to have strong and healthy bones naturally, or by taking a synthetic drug that has a long list of very detrimental – and sometimes life-changing – side effects? The Save Our Bones Program gives you the complete information to make this important decision.

Now more than ever, knowledge is power!


Question & Answer #8

I just recently saw my gyn and he strongly recommends 1500 mg of calcium a day, which I do take. However, your article says differently. I do exercise and eat a lot of fruit, green leafy vegetables, not much meat, take Omega 3. I also lost 1/2″ in height. I am concerned that I should be doing something else. My age is 66.

-Kathleen R.

Dear Kathleen,

You are on the right track, and I understand your concerns. Bone health is very important to your quality- and ultimately – quantity of life. When you get the Save Our Bones Program, you have access to all the information you need to build your bones naturally. For my dosage recommendation on calcium, see my answer to Mary.

From easy nutritional adjustments to simple lifestyle changes and density-building exercises, the Save Our Bones Program is the road map to your natural bone health, so you can get the strong bones and the worry-free life you deserve.

So don’t be concerned… be informed… and take action to “save YOUR bones”!

Wishing you great success with the Program,


Question & Answer #9

Specifically, why is strontium support II (from citrate) not good for bones? Highly regarded Dr. Jonathon Wright’s patients have had good results with this. He writes about this, periodically, in his monthly newsletter, Nutrition and Healing.

-Mary Ellen F.

Dear Mary Ellen,

There is a big difference between thick bones and strong bones. Just like dried-up thick tree branches, thick bones are more prone to fracture than healthy and renewed bones that have good levels of tensile strength. What is tensile strength? Quoting from the Save Our Bones Program:

“Tensile strength is the ability of a material or member to resist stretching and pulling, and is different from compressive strength. The latter means that a material or member has the ability to resist compression or crushing… Bone compressive strength is always much greater than tensile strength; tensile strength must therefore be of primary concern.”

Strontium in all its forms, as studies reveal, contributes to bone thickening rather than to the quality of bone mineral. In other words, the outer cortical bone becomes thicker – reducing tensile strength – and therefore, it can be logically implied that bones with a thicker outer cortex are more prone to breakage or fracture.

In the Save Our Bones Program I delve into this topic in great detail, to insure that readers clearly understand the difference between thick bones and strong bones.

Stay strong!


Question & Answer #10

What type of exercises can I do with brittle bones? I have osteoporosis in my left hip and knees & osteopenia in my back?


Dear Peggy,

As I wrote in my answer to Judy, you can check the blog post titled “Osteoporosis Exercises: Build Your Bones While You Sit” at this website. And for a complete description of density training exercises to help you dramatically increase your bone-building capacity, please refer to the exercise section in the Save Our Bones Program.

In good health,