Calcium, Vitamin C, and the Carnivore Diet

C is for Calcium supplements, Vitamin C, and CarnivoreCalciumCalcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. It is required for vascular contraction, vasodilation, proper muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling, and hormonal activity. Our body uses itself (the bones) as a natural reservoir …


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body.  It is required for vascular contraction, vasodilation, proper muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling, and hormonal activity.  Our body uses itself (the bones) as a natural reservoir when levels are low.  It takes ONE full year for a mother’s bones to restore after giving birth due to the calcium ‘donation’ to the growing baby.

Calcium supplementation has become a billion dollar industry.

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is not the same thing as recommended supplementation. 

For decades physicians recommended routine supplementation of calcium. 

Two  forms of calcium supplementation:  Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.  Calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid, and is dependent on stomach acid for absorption.  Calcium citrate is used for those who have intestinal absorption problems.

The tides have turned with routine calcium supplementation recommendations.

Supplemental calcium has been found to have more risk than benefits.  

The body cannot process more than 500mg at a time.  The excess is deposited into artery walls.

“Multiple studies have found that there’s little to no benefit to taking calcium supplements for the prevention of hip fractures. On the other hand, recent studies have linked calcium supplements with an increased risk of colon polyps (small growths in the large intestine that can become cancerous) and kidney stones, which are hard masses usually formed in the kidneys from an accumulation of calcium and other substances. Additionally, a 2016 study by Michos and her colleagues suggested that calcium supplements may increase the risk of calcium buildup in the heart’s arteries.”   (Calcium Supplements)

In other words, get your calcium from food first and foremost.  

Put away those calcium chews you picked up at the store thinking you’re preventing osteoporosis, and pick up some sardines or cheese.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that it is not used by the body and will not be stored.

It is required for biosynthesis (making of) collagen, L-Carnitine, and some neurotransmitters.

It is involved in protein metabolism, vital in wound healing and immunity, as well as helping prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant with the best sources being citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), then other fruits and veggies.

As much as a modern man would like to think they would get a vitamin C deficiency, it’s highly unlikely. Those at risk for Vitamin C deficiency include those with GI disorders, end-stage renal disease, and smokers. Sailors were known to get scurvy while on long journeys due to a lack of vitamin C.  Once they added citrus fruits to their diets, the problem was remedied.  Scurvy will surface within 2-3 months if deficient. Small amounts of vitamin C occur naturally in slightly cooked meat and organ meats that are raw.

Too much Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.  In extreme cases, overdosing on Vitamin C can result in death. Controversy surrounds the use of mega doses and cancer.  IV tends to have better results than oral mostly because of the absorption rate and GI side effects of oral vitamin C.

Vitamin C enhances iron absorption by 67%.  If you tend to run low on iron, adding a small amount of citrus (like a small glass of OJ) to your meal of red meat will help raise blood iron levels.

Quit taking supplemental high-dose Vitamin C on a regular basis. It’s not only not needed, but can be detrimental. Save supplemented use for fighting off illnesses. Eat an orange!


Carnivore is included in this post because of the primary argument against it being healthy due to a lack of vitamin C.  Up until recently, red meat and other animal protein sources were not searched for vitamin C and therefore a score of “0%” was assigned.  Thankfully scientists have addressed this lack of knowledge and found fresh meat at between 16-25 mcg/g of vitamin C.

What about those sailors? They had meat on their ships.  The problem was with the form.  It turns out dried beef – think beef jerky – does not have a sufficient amount of vitamin C to prevent deficiency.

Carnivore is still being explored for long-term benefits and risks. When done properly it has been shown to increase the potential to heal the gut for those who have failed other options.