Where do you get your calcium from? Part I

I am often asked this question as my diet is mainly vegan.

Calcium, that’s an interesting one because it is not just its gain we need to concentrate on but the reasons for its abnormally high loss we need to be aware of.

The following information highlights some of the key things that need to be considered regards calcium:-

  • Guard the calcium and other minerals in your bones
  • The acid alkaline balance
  • Mineral rich foods for healthy bones
  • Sunlight
  • Exercise
  • The ovaries
  • The para-thyroid gland
  • Birthing children
  • Remain a stress free zone

1) Guard the calcium and other minerals in your bones

Well I start of with the habit of not throwing away my existing calcium 😉  This calcium loss occurs through certain foods. For example when one eats excessive amounts of protein. Excessive protein in the diet causes a leaching of calcium from the bones. Osteoporosis (extreme loss of calcium) is most rife in the countries with the highest protein and milk intake (for example USA and Finland). Many scientific studies reported in many medical journals point to this fact.

Dr John McDougall, a leading medical authority on dietary association in the US stated

“I would like to emphasize that the calcium losing effect of protein on the human body is not an area of controversy in scientific circles. The many studies done over the past 55 years consistently show that the most important dietary change that we can make if we want to create a positive calcium balance that will keep our bones solid is to decrease the amount of proteins we eat each day. The important change is not to increase the amount of calcium we take in.”

In March 1983, the Journal of clinical Nutrition reported the results of the largest study of this kind ever undertaken. Researchers at Michigan State and other universities found that, by the age of 65 in the United States:

Male vegetarians had an average measurable bone loss of 3%

Male meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 7%

Female vegetarians had an average measurable bone loss of 18%

Female meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 35%

The above is an extract from the book “A Diet For A New America”

In order to absorb calcium, the body needs comparable amounts of another mineral element, magnesium. Milk and dairy products contain only small amounts of magnesium. Magnesium is the center atom of chlorophyll. What the iron atom is to human blood, the magnesium atom is to plant chlorophyll.

Intake of magnesium through diet and supplements is positively associated with bone density throughout the whole body, particularly in older white adults according to research published in the:

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“Osteoporosis is caused by a number of things, one of the most important being too much dietary protein.”

Science 1986;233(4763)

“Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis, such as the United States, England, and Sweden, consume the most milk. China and Japan, where people eat much less protein and dairy food, have low rates of osteoporosis.”

Nutrition Action Healthletter, June, 1993

“What appears to be important in bone metabolism is not calcium intake, but calcium balance. The loss of bone integrity among many post menopausal white women probably results from genetics and from diet and lifestyle factors. Research shows that calcium losses are increased by the use of animal protein, salt, caffeine, and tobacco, and by physical inactivity.”

Neal Barnard, M.D., Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, Understanding Health, December, 1999

“Dietary protein increases production of acid in the blood which can be neutralized by calcium mobilized from the skeleton.”

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995; 61 (4)

“About 50,000 Americans die each year of problems related in some way to osteoporosis.”

Osteoporosis International 1993;3(3)

“Even when eating, 400 mg of calcium daily, one can lose up to 4% of his or her bone mass each year while consuming a high-protein diet.”

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1979;32(4

“Increasing one’s protein intake by 100% may cause calcium loss to double.”

Journal of Nutrition, 1981; 111 (3)

“The average man in the US eats 175% more protein than the recommended daily allowance and the average woman eats 144% more.”

Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health, 1988

The above percentages were written in the days when the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of protein was 100g a day. In the recent past we have been told RDA has been changed to RNI and the new protein allowance is 50g a day. But most people are not aware of this as the scientifically outdated but still heavily marketed mantra by the governments, food industry and education system still preach the old myth. So the consumption of excessive protein is still the “nutritional truth” in much of humanities psyche.

2) The acid alkaline balance

The pH of pure water is neutral. The human body is approximately 75% water. Most of the cells of the body at large work best in a neutral pH. The metabolism of excessive protein produces uric acid. Uric acid is one of the metabolites that acidify the blood. The blood compensates this state by drawing out the alkaline calcium from the bones to neutralise the acidic blood back to a neutral state. This is the basic mechanics of osteoporosis as far as dietary implication is concerned.

3) Mineral rich foods for healthy bones

I eat mineral rich foods that the human body can assimilate easily, unlike the calcium in cow’s milk. Cow’s milk although rich in calcium is also rich in phosphorous. Scientists have found that the human body by design is unable to assimilate calcium  from  foods low in their calcium/phosphorous ratios. These foods include cow’s  milk and flesh foods.

The human body assimilates maximum calcium from foods with the highest calcium/phosphorous ratios and magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetable, sprouted seeds, nut milks, fruits and vegetables. For example sesame seeds and almonds are very rich in calcium. I balance that with silicon rich foods such as cucumber and raw corgette (zuchinni). Horsetail infusions are excellent as an addition as horsetail is one of thee most richest sources of silicon. Silicon’s benefits to health seem to have been underplayed. My own experience with this is amazing. Fortunately for me I have loads of horsetail growing by the river on my land and I have harvested much of it this year!

While on the subject of food:

Caffeine tends to promote calcium excretion in urine.

4) Sunlight

Sunbathe daily to give the body the opportunity to make its own adequate supply of vitamin D.

5) Exercise

Exercise helps to keep bones strong. For those that are not very mobile or need extra protection I suggest a daily 10 minute body massage with a vibrator. NASA-funded scientists have done preliminary studies that suggest that astronauts up in space might prevent bone loss by standing on a lightly vibrating plate for 10 to 20 minutes each day. Held down with the aid of elastic straps, the astronauts could keep working on other tasks while they vibrate.

The same therapy, they say, might eventually be used to treat some of the millions of people who suffer from bone loss, called osteoporosis, here on Earth!


6) Your ovaries

Surgical removal of the ovaries is a cause of bone loss and eventual osteoporosis in many unfortunate women.

Why are so many women advised to have hysterectomies with the additional removal of the ovaries? My mother was a victim of this 24 years ago and for the last 15 years approx has had dowagers back, which has got progressively worst, despite having a vegetarian diet rich in dairy foods.

7) Your Para-thyroid gland. The main known purpose of the para thyroid gland is maintaining calcium levels. Attention to its health is imperative.

8) Bearing children is known to protect women from osteoporosis.

9) Remain a stress free zone

In Chinese medicine, osteoporosis is considered a physical manifestation of not feeling supported in life.

A happy positive attitude whatever your circumstances will impact your health positively.

In the days when I was to a large degree, ignorant to the importance of live foods, positive mental attitude to health etc I lived an extremely ill, stressful life. Any extra stress would send me reeling onto my knees and I coined a phrase:

“I have gone acid”.

My whole body would feel like it was filled with a burning acid. I don’t know how many times I repeated these words to my husband. He took it in quietly.

However, after 16 years of seeing my constant suffering he presented me with raw live food knowledge and the raw challenge and like my true hero joined me and our children on the raw challenge even though he had no outward symptoms (healthy). I am forever indebted to his quiet spiritual powerhouse stance that saved us from so much wretched misery.

2 Comments on “Where do you get your calcium from? Part I”

  1. Interesting post. I think my readers will be itnerested in this topic so I’m going to link your blog to mine at http://chairtaichi.wordpress.com

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