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  • Calcium sources and supplementation

    I need to think of more calcium sources. As a 52 year old woman without a reproductive system or thyroid I am tracking micro-nutrients right now at CRON-O-Meter to see how I am doing as a Primal newcomer.

    According to the tracking website, I seem to be doing quite well at getting enough of everything, and a whole lot of many micronutrients. Of course vitamin D is an issue - but sunshine is the best way to get that anyway. My calcium intake is pretty low at 40% (499.4 mg) of the recommended. I am trying to avoid supplementation but if I can't figure this out then I will need to do that.

    My magnesium intake appears to be fine, today it was 97% (308.9 mg) and I understand that this is as important as the calcium.

    I eat a lot of Bok Choy and kale - I know that those are two good dietary sources of calcium. I've been making both chicken and beef bone broth and having some daily as much as possible - but of course there isn't any way I can track those minerals.

    Should I give up on trying to meet my calcium requirements from my diet and find a good supplement, or are there other good sources. I do understand that there is some debate over how useful calcium supplements are, at least for younger women. We have to be able to absorb what we do get and that is at least part of the problem.

    Hopefully we can't overdose on Vitamin K or A because I seem to be getting massive amounts of that in my diet

  • #2
    The fiber in vegetables makes it very hard to absorb nutrients. We do not have then the enzymes to break down plant cellulose (cell walls). Maybe think about some raw dairy and if you cant find it the next best sources would be yogurt or cheese as these have enzymes added back in. I remember reading in "The Fat of the Land", the Eskimos were getting it from eating softer bones and bone broth.
    Paleo since November 2011 - Carnivore since June 2012
    Before and after pics
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65846.html
    Primal Sucess Story
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65400.html
    Primal Journal
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...tml#post955444

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
      I need to think of more calcium sources. As a 52 year old woman without a reproductive system or thyroid I am tracking micro-nutrients right now at CRON-O-Meter to see how I am doing as a Primal newcomer.

      According to the tracking website, I seem to be doing quite well at getting enough of everything, and a whole lot of many micronutrients. Of course vitamin D is an issue - but sunshine is the best way to get that anyway. My calcium intake is pretty low at 40% (499.4 mg) of the recommended. I am trying to avoid supplementation but if I can't figure this out then I will need to do that.
      The recommended daily intake of calcium is based on the poorly absorbed calcium carbonate. So the researchers figured if people simply took higher doses that it would simply force the body to absorb more. Taking pre-acidified forms of calcium such as calcium citrate, or naturally chelated forms increases calcium absorption.

      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
      My magnesium intake appears to be fine, today it was 97% (308.9 mg) and I understand that this is as important as the calcium.
      Magnesium is the balance to calcium, but is also essential to bone health. But calcium is not the most important nutrient there is for bones. Silica is the most important. But there are numerous other nutrients involved in bone health other than silica, calcium and magnesium. There is also boron, phosphorus, strontium, natural fluoride, sulfur, manganese, copper, zinc, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, as well as fatty acids and the amino acids lysine, proline and glycine. Simply taking calcium and magnesium does not mean someone will have strong or healthy bones.

      Sufficient magnesium is essential to balance out calcium though for things other than bones. For example, magnesium helps to counter calcium induced hypertension or calcium induced muscle cramping/spasms.

      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
      I eat a lot of Bok Choy and kale - I know that those are two good dietary sources of calcium.
      I have not looked in to the chemistry of bok choy, but kale is not a good source of calcium. There is a misconception that if a food is high in calcium it therefore must be a good source of calcium. The problem with kale is that it is also high in oxalic acid, which binds calcium preventing its absorption by the body.

      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
      Should I give up on trying to meet my calcium requirements from my diet and find a good supplement, or are there other good sources. I do understand that there is some debate over how useful calcium supplements are, at least for younger women. We have to be able to absorb what we do get and that is at least part of the problem.
      Some supplements are poorly absorbed such as calcium carbonate (oyster shell, coral, dolomite) and calcium oxide. And if the supplement is in a coated tablet form this could further interfere with the absorption depending on the coating. As people age their ability to absorb the calcium declines further in large part due to the lack of stomach acid. The use of antacids, acid blockers and various alkalizers can further inhibit calcium absorption as can a lack of intestinal flora. Again, using pre-acidified forms of calcium bypass these problems.

      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
      Hopefully we can't overdose on Vitamin K or A because I seem to be getting massive amounts of that in my diet
      Vitamin A is damaging to the bones at 100IU or higher and can damage the liver generally above 25,000IU daily.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BennettC View Post
        The fiber in vegetables makes it very hard to absorb nutrients. We do not have then the enzymes to break down plant cellulose (cell walls).
        The fibers in food actually help increase mineral absorption indirectly. Our flora do produce cellulase to break down cellulose in fibers. But the mineral absorption is actually enhanced by the beneficial acids produced by the fermentation of the fibers by our flora.

        Originally posted by BennettC View Post
        Maybe think about some raw dairy and if you cant find it the next best sources would be yogurt or cheese as these have enzymes added back in. I remember reading in "The Fat of the Land", the Eskimos were getting it from eating softer bones and bone broth.
        Dairy is the worst thing you can do for your bones. The protein in dairy blocks calcium absorption, which is why synthetic and inactive D2 is added in an attempt to counter protein's calcium blocking action.

        The phosphorus is not blocked though. As the serum phosphorus levels increase though from the ingestion of excess dairy this actually stimulates the release of parathyroid hormone leading to a breakdown of bone tissue. This is why the two highest dairy consumers in the world, the U.S. and Finland have the highest rates of bone diseases.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JamesS View Post
          Dairy is the worst thing you can do for your bones. The protein in dairy blocks calcium absorption, which is why synthetic and inactive D2 is added in an attempt to counter protein's calcium blocking action.
          Where else are you going to get good dietary sources of menatetrenone, though?
          Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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          • #6
            also most of the research done is on pasteurized dairy, not raw. and majority of the people are drinking pasteurized skim or reduced fat milk, not whole. When I'm in the grocery store its rare to see someone in the checkout line with whole milk
            Paleo since November 2011 - Carnivore since June 2012
            Before and after pics
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65846.html
            Primal Sucess Story
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65400.html
            Primal Journal
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...tml#post955444

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BennettC View Post
              also most of the research done is on pasteurized dairy, not raw. and majority of the people are drinking pasteurized skim or reduced fat milk, not whole. When I'm in the grocery store its rare to see someone in the checkout line with whole milk
              From what I've read, the homogenization process may be one of the bigger health issues with milk these days. Hmm. Here's a secondary source.

              That said, I don't drink much milk these days - only in my tea or (terrible but free) coffee at work. Cream, on the other hand...
              Argue not with idiots, lest they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sceptic View Post
                Where else are you going to get good dietary sources of menatetrenone, though?
                Dark green leafy vegetables provide vitamin K as do the flora that inhabit our bodies and our bodies generate its own.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BennettC View Post
                  also most of the research done is on pasteurized dairy, not raw. and majority of the people are drinking pasteurized skim or reduced fat milk, not whole. When I'm in the grocery store its rare to see someone in the checkout line with whole milk
                  And?..... Raw or pasteurized milk are both protein rich, which is what blocks the calcium absorption, not the fat. And both raw and pasteurized milk contain high levels of phosphorus that promote bone loss.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sceptic View Post
                    From what I've read, the homogenization process may be one of the bigger health issues with milk these days. Hmm. Here's a secondary source.
                    Xanthine oxidase has been considered a major risk factor for heart disease for a long time. But raw milk is not free of or low in xanthine oxidase:

                    Elsevier

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                    • #11
                      I can see that I need to do more reading on calcium and bone health, and I appreciate the comments. So if a significant amount of protein is consumed at the same time as the calcium it blocks calcium absorption? This is good to know, I do know I can't take calcium close to when I take my thyroid replacement (it was removed 30 years ago) for the calcium will block THAT from being absorbed properly.

                      I've read that good bone broth has a significant amount of calcium, but of course there isn't any way to quantify that. As far as the other micronutrients are concerned that CRON-o-meter tracks I was in good shape - 97% and up, outside of Vitamin D of course.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Catrin View Post
                        I can see that I need to do more reading on calcium and bone health ...
                        You might start with the video from Dr. Rosedale, a sometime contributor to Mark's guest column slot here, that someone was kind enough to post here recently:

                        KGNU Calcium and Heart Disease 2010.mp4 - YouTube

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lewis View Post
                          You might start with the video from Dr. Rosedale, a sometime contributor to Mark's guest column slot here, that someone was kind enough to post here recently:

                          KGNU Calcium and Heart Disease 2010.mp4 - YouTube
                          Good information, but I wish he would have gone more in to the rest of the story such as the role of magnesium in controlling calcium and prevention of calcium deposition as well as the role of silica in making sure calcium goes where it is supposed to go.

                          The problem is not really that calcium supplements are dangerous. The problem is that it is dangerous by itself since there are other regulatory nutrients that are required to prevent problems.

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                          • #14
                            I am slowly adding whole fat fermented dairy back into my diet, or at least experimenting with it. Part of it is for the calcium, and would love to know if anyone has seen new research on calcium and the best sources. Personally I suspect the BEST source is bone broth - and I am trying to get back to making it regularly from pastured bones and drinking a cup of it most days of the week (quite yummy with salt and pepper).

                            I cannot always afford pastured protein sources however, so am still working on the best way to get enough of calcium in a bio-available form. I seem to be getting enough magnesium from my die

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                            • #15
                              add seaweeds and tinned, small fish, like sardines, that still contain the bones, to your menu a few times per week.

                              plenty of cultures eat very little dairy and have lower rates of osteoporosis than does the u.s.
                              As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                              Ernest Hemingway

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