Calcium is an abundant mineral. In the human body, it’s found almost entirely in bones and teeth. Only a tiny amount should be in cellular fluid, blood or muscles.
Yet sometimes it will accumulate elsewhere, for any number of reasons. Calcifications in the breasts can be caused by injury, inflammation, radiation therapy or just improper assimilation of calcium.
Calcium deposits in breast tissue can be detected with mammography. Appearing as little white dots, they’re usually considered harmless. But such microcalcifications, appearing irregular and clustered, are often found in areas of rapidly dividing cells. Because of this, they’re checked more closely for cancer.
Some women have calcifications surgically removed, but if the underlying cause of the problem isn’t addressed, they can return. What this typically signals is a mineral imbalance in your body.
In general, women are especially encouraged to get more calcium. “Drink plenty of milk,” we’re told. “Take supplements.” But according to research conducted by German doctors Paul Gerhardt Seeger and Johanna Budwig, unless this is balanced with magnesium, calcium levels become too high and magnesium levels can remain low in the extra-cellular fluid. Your cells are then challenged to pump the calcium back out. When they can’t do this efficiently, the mitochondria in the cells can calcify.
Additionally, low magnesium has been linked to cancer, while higher levels have been shown to prevent cancer and heal precancerous conditions. When levels are low, calcium migrates out of your bones and into other tissues. When levels are high, calcium moves back into the bones.
Healthy cells have high magnesium and low calcium levels.
If improper assimilation of calcium can cause it to cluster in tissue, it makes sense to consume absorbable calcium and magnesium to maintain balance between the two. Some of the best sources of absorbable calcium are kale, swiss chard, collard, mustard, dandelion, and turnip greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts and bok choy.
Most people don’t eat many of these vegetables – if any at all. Instead, they turn to calcium sources such as dairy products. I don’t believe this is the best source, despite what we’ve been told. After all, if we could effectively absorb the calcium from dairy foods, we’d likely have much lower rates of osteoporosis in the US. Americans consume a lot of dairy. Our osteoporosis rate is particularly high.
If you’ve been told you have calcifications in your breast tissue, your doctor might recommend that you wait 6 months and have them checked again. This means another mammogram, or x-ray, of your breasts, which in itself is a problem.
Instead of waiting passively, there are things you can do to help yourself heal, starting with getting your magnesium levels checked. (On a side note, it’s interesting that chocolate cravings can be correlated to low levels of magnesium. Higher levels of magnesium reduce these cravings.)
Get movement through your breast tissue with self-breast massage, the use of castor oil packs, exercise and making sure your bras are not limiting your circulation. I recommend you discontinue the use of popular deodorants and antiperspirants, as it’s been theorized that the chemicals in these contribute to breast calcifications.
If you take a supplement, find one that’s made from whole foods, not synthetic elements. Be sure it is correctly balanced with magnesium.
Finally, nature has provided what we need: Eat lots of calcium rich vegetables, which your body already knows how to assimilate.
– Christina Grant, PhD