- Introduction to Vegan Cooking
- How to stock your pantry
- Removing the Mystery Behind Disease - Recipes
- Healthy from Inside Out - Recipes
- 305C - Recipes
- Beans and Legumes
- Dips, Dressings, and Sauces
- Drinks, Shakes, and Juices
- Meat Substitutes and Tofu
- Soups and Stews
- Vegetable Dishes
- Natural Remedies
- 15.07.14 - Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts
- 15.06.15 - Using Hand Sanitizer Can Increase Skin's Absorption of Dangerous Chemicals
- 15.06.26 - GMOs Not Tolerated in Russia
- 15.05.15 - World Population-Food Supply Balance Becoming Increasingly Unstable
- 15.05.11 - In September, the UN Launches a Major Sustainable Development Agenda for the Entire Planet
- 08.04.03 - Identical Twins' Genes Are Not Identical
- 13.06.24 - Identical Twin Studies Prove Homosexuality is Not Genetic
- 14.12.09 - Are Weather Warfare Assaults Devastating Noncompliant Countries Around the Globe?
- 14.01.28 - USA Today Columnist: Jail "anti-vac" Parents
- 14.03.10 - The Many Concerns of Using Antibiotics in Meat
- 16.01.29 - North America Bathed in Radiation from Fukushima, Levels now 1000x Above Normal for Alpha Particles
- Health Seminar Coming to Langley, BC
- 16.11.15 - Share this Breaking Story about Monsanto
- 14.02.20 - Global Food Supply Deliberately Engineered to End Life, Not Nourish It
- 13.08.10 - Scientists Discover That Plants Communicate via Symbiotic Root Fungi
- 15.05.22 - France to Force Supermarkets to Give Unsold Food to Charities
- Contact Us
Publish date: Jun 3, 2009
Summary: Why is osteoporosis such a big issue in North America if we consume more calcium than most of the world?
|Share with others:||
There is a lot of hype these days about getting enough calcium. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium in the US is 1,200 mg per day. Americans consume huge quantities of calcium compared with most of the world. However, the United States has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world. How are we consuming so much calcium, but still losing calcium from our bones?
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis comes from the words osteo, which means "bone," and poros, which means "pore" or "passage."i This disease is the gradual thinning of bone tissue and reduction of bone density.
People with osteoporosis have brittle bones and can often suffer poor posture, neck and back pain, and unhealthy weight loss. Approximately 1 in 5 American women over 50 suffer from osteoporosis.ii
Osteoporosis occurs when the body does not have enough calcium and phosphate for normal bone formation. Often, the body needs the calcium for other uses and pulls it back to of the bones, causing the bone density loss which leads to osteoporosis. It is therefore essential to maintain healthy calcium levels in the body. But what is a healthy calcium level? Why are North Americans so affected by this disease?
Animal Proteins are the Culprit
In countries with plant-based diets, people consume little calcium and dairy. Still, osteoporosis levels are low in those nations.iii
Researchers have discovered that a lack of calcium isn’t the problem. Rather, it’s the high amount of animal proteins we eat and drink. When we digest animal proteins, our bodies produce sulfuric acid, which must be buffered with calcium. This calcium is lost in urine along with the acid.iv
The best way to stop calcium loss is to eat fewer animal proteins, including those in dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheese. The American Dairy Council would have us believe that we must get calcium from dairy products in order to maintain strong bones. Yet “in one study (sponsored by the Dairy Council) women consuming three 8-ounce glasses of cow’s milk per day still lost calcium from their bodies, and remained in negative calcium balance, even after a year of consuming almost 1,500 mg of calcium daily.”v
The good news is that the effects of osteoporosis can be prevented and reversed. We must simply adopt a diet low in animal proteins and get our calcium from plant sources. A 1981 study of calcium and protein levels showed that consuming 95 g of protein per day from animal sources and 1,400 mg of calcium supplements caused a net loss of nearly 30 mg of calcium from the bones everyday. However, a diet of only 48 g of animal proteins and 1,400 mg of calcium supplements caused a daily gain of 20 mg of calcium.vi But unlike animal protein, vegetable protein is not related to osteoporosis.vii
The US RDA is 56 g for protein and 1,200 mg for calcium, because of calcium loss due to animal protein intake. The World Health Organization recommends “a more modest protein intake, 29 grams versus 56, and only 500 milligrams of calcium per day.”viii
The World Health Organization has also observed that “calcium deficiency has never been documented anywhere in the world, even with calcium intakes of as little as 300 mg/day.”ix It isn’t the lack of calcium in the diet that causes osteoporosis, but rather eating too much animal protein.
Even though milk contains lots of calcium, humans only absorb 20-40% of that calcium. Humans absorb as much or more calcium from plant products than from milk.x However, some plants contain compounds that block calcium absorption, like phytic acid in wheat bran cereal and oxalic acid in spinach.xi
The best calcium sources contain little phosphorus. Green leafy vegetables like kale, turnip greens, and mustard greens are excellent calcium sources and have three to five times more calcium than they have phosphorus.
Beef, pork, and fish have lots of phosphorus and hardly any calcium. Sesame seeds and tofu have nearly equal amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Carbonated beverages typically have 41 mg of phosphorus and no calcium.xii Pepsi has 53 mg of phosphorus in a 12 oz can.xiii Such drinks do not help our bodies benefit from the calcium in our food.
How to Get Enough Calcium
Do We Really Need Calcium Supplements?
“If calcium supplements are used, be sure they are not made from bone meal or oyster shell. These substances are often contaminated with arsenic, lead, or mercury, that accumulates in the bones and shells of these animals.”xiv
Nutritionists recommend that calcium be obtained from whole plant sources rather than from supplements.xv Chemists have discovered how to make vitamin and mineral supplements more absorbable. But why pay high prices for bioengineered vitamins and minerals when God has already provided them in wholesome, natural plants? Calcium is waiting for you in the produce section of your grocery store, in the local farmer’s market, and in your own garden.
Calcium-rich Plant Foods
Here’s a list of foods that can provide plenty of calcium. Remember, on a low-protein diet of 30 g or less per day, especially protein from plant sources, daily calcium needs are only 500 mg.
- Lambsquarters (1 cup = 464 mg calcium)
- Collard greens (1 cup = 356 mg)
- Amaranth grain (1 cup = 298 mg)
- Figs, dried (10 = 269 mg)
- Green soybeans (1 cup = 261 mg)
- Tofu, firm (½ cup = 258 mg)
- Turnip greens (1 cup = 249 mg)
- Kale (1 cup = 179 mg)
- Sesame seeds, dried (2 tbsp = 176 mg)
- Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp = 172 mg)
- Okra, boiled (1 cup = 154 mg)
- Baked beans (1 cup = 154 mg)
- Mustard greens (1 cup = 152 mg)
- Dandelion greens (1 cup = 146 mg)
- Artichoke, boiled (1 medium = 135 mg)
- Quinoa grain (1 cup = 102 mg)
Blackstrap molasses contains the highest amount of calcium. Carob powder, parsley, almonds, watercress, Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, and broccoli are also high in calcium. Sunflowers seeds, dried apricots, buckwheat, walnuts, and peanuts contain low to medium amounts of calcium as well.
There are delicious, healthy ways to fight osteoporosis without using dairy or fish. All it takes is education and a varied diet.
iii. Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, Becoming Vegan (Summertown: Book Publishing, 2000): 35. Also, Neil Nedley, Proof Positive (Nedley Publishing, 1999): 153.
iv. Proof Positive: 152-156.
v. Michael Klaper, MD, Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple (Book Publishing, 1999): 28.
vi. Proof Positive: 152.
vii. Ibid: 154-5.
viii. Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple: 38.
ix. Aileen Ludington, MD, and Hans Diehl, DrHsc, MPH, Health Power, Health by Choice Not Chance (Review & Herald Publishing, 2001): 57.
x. Proof Positive: 155.
xii. Proof Positive: 156; Becoming Vegan: 94.
xiii. Jean Pennington, Bowes & Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used 17th Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1998): 7.
xiv. Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple: 39.
xv. Ibid: 28.
Healthy Living Resources
Spirituality and Health
What's the right kind of Water for my Health?
Learn the eight laws of health that lead to an abundant life.
Dr. Rainda gives good advice on balanced living.
Why is building your blood important? What does it mean to cleanse your blood? The answers to these questions could prove instrumental in guiding you to better health.
Read about four important parenting tips from Ellen White to help develop a healthy family unit.
Moderate, monitored fasting can be part of a healthy detox regime.
Starting the day right involves a hearty, healthy breakfast.
How to Achieve a Perfect Combination
Learn what young coconut kefir is, in addition to all the wonderful benefits you will reap when consuming this ever so fabulous health tonic.
Everyone experiences stress. We cannot heal from stress without understanding it first, and learning to deal with it head on.
What is Candida? Candida is the short name used to describe yeast overgrowth in the body. The technical term is Candidiasis. Like their &...
Every private home should have charcoal on hand as a ready antidote for poisoning, and as a cleansing agent in infectious and various metabolic disturbances.
A healthy heart is crucial for a healthy life. So why don't we take better care of our hearts?
We keep our muscles strong and effective in the same way that we exercise our spiritual gifts and "prayer muscles" to keep them free from atrophy.
From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help.
Written in 1936 and still used as an essential reference today. Book Review.
Melons are more than just a sweet, juicy treat.
Learn the importance of iron in the diet and how to get enough iron the vegetarian way.
Learn why you should make chia seeds a part of your diet.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. Added to bath water, it has been used to relieve colds, back pain, ease muscle tension and treat certain skin conditions.
A simple green algae food, chlorella, can help with dozens of health conditions.
Learn how to take care of your biggest organ: your skin.
Several charts show best time to plant vegetables in accordance with blooming time of perennials.
A helpful chart for those wanting to grow their own garden vegetables.
Chart showing how to space your vegetables in the garden and how to care for your plants.
Is soy a smart food to include in a healthy diet?
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
Can plants really communicate? Ask Dr. Mercola.
Carrageenan, a food additive made from seaweed, could be harmful.
Mammogram screening is becoming increasingly popular in North America. But is it the safest way to screen for breast cancer?
Jean Handwerk explains the connection between modern wheat and many averse health effects.
Is chocolate really that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
It has been shown that a vegan diet can provide all the body’s needs and can be followed without fear.
Does Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo align with Scripture and science?
Even if you don’t feel sick, your digestion may be poor enough to slowly poison your system. No, this isn’t simply a theory, but the conclusion from years of laboratory testing and clinical experience. Autointoxication is real.
The fever is perhaps the most overtreated health symptom of all.
Tony de Morais explains the wide spectrum of uses for clay.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
Can anything be done to prevent common illnesses?
Don't let dentists put this poison in your mouth!
A look at the health benefits of potatoes.
Dr. Roy Swank found that the diets of those with Multiple Sclerosis can make a difference in their prognosis.
Take a closer look at the safety of midwife-assisted home births versus hospital births.
When you open the fridge to grab a snack, consider simple, healthy alternatives to sugar-filled munchies and beverages.
A quick reference list of healthful, dairy-free ways to get your calcium.
Find information on the products that Jeanie Davis recommends in Healthy from Inside Out
Learn the best, natural mixture to use when cleaning fresh veggies and fruit.
When shopping for groceries, check the labels for carrageenan, a thickening agent scientists are blaming for various gastrointestinal illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an air quality model to show that more than 9 in 10 people live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution.
Food borne illness is on the increase worldwide. In most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.
Health is about more than just diet or exercise.
Inject some fun into your food routine with these healthy meal ideas.
Pain pills aren't always the best way to deal with aches and soreness. Various therapies—including vibrational therapy—can have you on the road to recovery.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be eaten together, as they can react and cause digestive issues.
Have you considered carob as an alternative to chocolate? See for yourself the impact chocolate can have on your health.
Learn about the acidity or alkalinity of your favorite foods.
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction.
Is consuming alcohol ever a good idea?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year.
Maybe vegetarianism is the best option after all...
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Diabetes is spreading across North America. Is there anything we can do to stop this killer disease?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
There are now over 3,000 additives in our foods. Incredibly, only 7% have any nutritional value.
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Vaccination began 200 years ago as an experimental life-saving medical tool. While it originally had some merit, today it has become perhaps the leading cause of death and disability among our children.
Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
Plant medicine safety pale in comparison to the promotional and safety practices of the mainstream drug industry.
If God made the world, and our bodies, then the Creation story can give us clues about how we should live for optimum health. But how did what God called "good" transform into a dog-eat-dog world of carnivores, thorns, parasites, and other ugly aspects of Creation?
If God made everything so good, why are there so many problems? Are thorns and weeds evolved adaptations or changes in Creation?
This article uses pieces of nature, such as the genome, the cell, and even the eye, as evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
It seems clear that organisms change over time. But why? Is it evolution?
Some call it cacophony and are driven to madness; others find it the most beautiful event in all of creation—the dawn chorus of the birds.
There are many types of water available today. Some are better for your health than others.
Learn why drinking at least 2.5L of water per day is vital to your body's health at any age.
Fluoride in drinking water has been linked to decline in IQ and may cause health issues.