2

votes

Please help: Calcium issue

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 09, 2012 at 12:33 PM

My mom is getting on my nerves lately with her concern in my way of eating. Being a conventional doctor, she thinks I dont get enough calcium because I don't eat dairy. She wants me to take supplements and frankly I think that is stupid. What are your opinions? What paleo foods are calcium-rich and what can I tell her to convince her I am okay?!

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Cool - good stuff =)

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Where do I attain this? What exactly are nettles?

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Thank you!! This is awesome. I'm addition, I already supplement with magnesium because it really makes me feel better!

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:16 PM

Yes Roth you have it right. I choose not to eat dairy because it doesn't sit well with my digestive tract.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:14 PM

No actually she doesn't mind that strangely- I think because she has seen how fit I've gotten! But, my doctor thought I had some serious issues and had to see a nutritionist and may have an eating disorder. In addition, since my cholesterol was so high (but she failed to see my HDL at 100!!) she thought my WOE was causing me harm and not providing adequate carbs :( yeesh

5f20e69b9609d29fea926e95bfbddd35

(237)

on May 09, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Obviously it's going to completely depend on how much bone is used to make the broth, as well as how long it is simmered for, though adding some acid to it helps increase the amount of calcium put into solution. The more the better, obviously, but if you're ratio of water to bone is too for on the water side it's not going to have a ton. Same for if you've only cooked it for a couple hours or something. That said, bone broth has tons of other good things in it, too (gelatins, joint-building compounds, etc)... the way to tell if it's "good" in terms of mineral content is how much it gels.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on May 09, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Almond milk is supplemented with calcium. OP may as well take a supplement.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on May 09, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Wrong, not very calcium-rich and mineral content varies greatly. Leafy greens have more calcium than bone-broth.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Cooking does neutralize oxalates to some extent.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Just curious...asking honestly, and without snark: Does she ask about all the things you might be missing out on because of dropping "healthy whole grains?"

F00e022ce184879578d0829d8d09a85d

(169)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I just wanted to add that I to am skeptical of doctors that's healthy and reasonable. I listen to what they have to say because of their training and understanding of the human system. Its good to be skeptical and to question, I do think their is a tendency in some circles to dismiss them and look at them as corporate owned evil big pharma bought loons. Like any profession so people dependent you will always have the good and the bad, but not all can be lumped into one category.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:25 PM

what about is you cook the spinach? Does that make it more bio-available?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:24 PM

Really, how much calcium is in bone broth. I've been searching high & low and have not been able to find nutritional info about broth. Probably, because it's sooo darn variable.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:06 PM

Calcium in spinach is useless because it's bound by oxalate, but salmon is a great source of calcium + vit D. Salmon is sort of like a small pink cow swimming in the sea!

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:05 PM

"she thinks I don't get enough calcium because I don't eat dairy." Did it ever occur that perhaps YoungPaleoLover might be willingly avoiding dairy? Besides, dairy is not paleo, it's primal.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 09, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Yes! That's a fabulous article. It has really helped my mother (who just started the Paleo diet last week!) She was very concerned about letting go of milk. She's still eating her full-fat yogurt but isn't stressing about ditching most dairy now.

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13 Answers

best answer

5
4f07dd40330ade839e68169190be8eb6

(145)

on May 09, 2012
at 12:55 PM

I have the same problem - except it is my sister that is nagging me, mercilessly. I found this article very useful: http://whole9life.com/2012/02/what-about-calcium/

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 09, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Yes! That's a fabulous article. It has really helped my mother (who just started the Paleo diet last week!) She was very concerned about letting go of milk. She's still eating her full-fat yogurt but isn't stressing about ditching most dairy now.

5
B97bb053b69b8a1e404c226afced44a0

on May 09, 2012
at 12:51 PM

Spinach, canned salmon with bones, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnip greens...

Here's a link that shows foods that have 300mg of calcium (one serving of calcium) http://sunnybrook.ca/uploads/CNCalciumRichFoodList2005.pdf

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Cooking does neutralize oxalates to some extent.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:25 PM

what about is you cook the spinach? Does that make it more bio-available?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:06 PM

Calcium in spinach is useless because it's bound by oxalate, but salmon is a great source of calcium + vit D. Salmon is sort of like a small pink cow swimming in the sea!

4
149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:03 PM

First off, getting magnesium is more important than calcium - so if you are going to take any supplements, I highly recommend magnesium citrate - which, according to Robb Wolf, "has played a large role in the evolution of our genetics." He aslo recommends a Vitamin D3 supplement if you aren't getting enough sun exposure. You can get PLENTY of calcium from dark green, leafy veggies and small fish like sardines (which actually have a ton of calcium - more than dairy). Check out this WHOLE 9 article on calcium! http://whole9life.com/2012/02/what-about-calcium/ for more information. Hope this helps! ...and if she still harps on you about dairy... tell her you'll take your chances of not getting diabetes over "getting enough calcium."

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Thank you!! This is awesome. I'm addition, I already supplement with magnesium because it really makes me feel better!

149eb695f7c398511e0da3e592558fd1

(134)

on May 09, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Cool - good stuff =)

3
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Calcium is not the only thing we need for strong bones. Like someone else has pointed out, magnesium is very important, as are vitamins D3 and K2. Vitamin K2 is HUGE for bone and dental health and you rarely hear anything about it.

See, the thing is, it's not so much how much calcium we're taking in, but where it's going and what our bodies are doing with it. Think about it -- how is it that we have a society that is AWASH in calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, supplements), yet we have women (and men!) whose bones and teeth are falling apart? You can suck down calcium 'til the cows come home (no pun intended), but if you don't have the necessary cofactors and other players that tell the body what to do with it, you're going to get into serious physiological trouble. Vitamin K2 basically acts like a traffic cop. It directs calcium into the bones and teeth where we want it, and keeps it OUT of the soft tissue, where we don't want it (our blood vessels, joints, and kidneys). The two proteins that do this -- calcitonin and matrix GLA protein, both require vitamins A & D to be made, but they absolutely must have K2 to be activated. (And the modern diet is WOEFULLY low in K2...best sources are organs and fat from grass-fed ruminant animals, pastured chicken eggs, etc.)

There's some debate about the acid/alkaline issue with regard to calcium. (Some people claim if you're too acidic [blood], your body will leach calcium out of your bones and teeth to buffer it.) This might be true, but even if you're eating a fair amount of animal protein (which tends to be acidic upon digestion), I would argue that if you're consuming lots of vegetables (specifically leafy greens) you'll balance out just fine. (Never mind the fact that GRAINS are highly acidic upon digestion as well, and if you're avoiding those, you're avoiding probably the biggest acid load in the modern diet. Dropping the "hearthealthywholegrains" is probably one of the best things anyone can do to stave off osteoporosis.)

As for us "needing dairy" for calcium, ask your mom how it's possible that archeologists can dig up human/humanoid fossils that are thousands of years old, and the bones and teeth are intact, yet we have 40 and 50 year old women whose bones are full of holes... Seems like our pre-dairy ancestors had no problem maintaining their bone health.

Sorry to go on like that. You just caught me at an opportune time. I just gave a talk about this stuff, so it's fresh in my mind.

Chris Masterjohn on vitamin K2...fascinating stuff: http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/x-factor-is-vitamin-k2

P.S. I have nothing against dairy, personally. I eat it myself (full fat organic, obviously, and grass-fed when I can get it). But I know we certainly don't need it for bone health.

3
5f20e69b9609d29fea926e95bfbddd35

(237)

on May 09, 2012
at 12:52 PM

BONE BROTH!! Very calcium rich :) Beyond that, kale and broccoli, I believe? Even on here, dark leafy greens and sardines are both good sources: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-calcium-rich-foods

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:24 PM

Really, how much calcium is in bone broth. I've been searching high & low and have not been able to find nutritional info about broth. Probably, because it's sooo darn variable.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on May 09, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Wrong, not very calcium-rich and mineral content varies greatly. Leafy greens have more calcium than bone-broth.

5f20e69b9609d29fea926e95bfbddd35

(237)

on May 09, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Obviously it's going to completely depend on how much bone is used to make the broth, as well as how long it is simmered for, though adding some acid to it helps increase the amount of calcium put into solution. The more the better, obviously, but if you're ratio of water to bone is too for on the water side it's not going to have a ton. Same for if you've only cooked it for a couple hours or something. That said, bone broth has tons of other good things in it, too (gelatins, joint-building compounds, etc)... the way to tell if it's "good" in terms of mineral content is how much it gels.

2
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:24 PM

Nettles are really high in calcium too. 1 cup has 428mg of calcium.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Where do I attain this? What exactly are nettles?

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on May 09, 2012
at 12:53 PM

You could take advantage of the progress we made in the past 10,000 years and just eat dairy.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:05 PM

"she thinks I don't get enough calcium because I don't eat dairy." Did it ever occur that perhaps YoungPaleoLover might be willingly avoiding dairy? Besides, dairy is not paleo, it's primal.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on May 09, 2012
at 05:16 PM

Yes Roth you have it right. I choose not to eat dairy because it doesn't sit well with my digestive tract.

1
628d1732781750460043353cfc9b3183

on November 04, 2012
at 08:56 PM

You should listen to your mom. Adequate calcium level is extremely important for your overall health, not just for your bones. You can also get a blood test for ionized calcium. Please note it has to be ionized calcium because the total calcium level is not a good indicator.

1
Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

on May 09, 2012
at 03:37 PM

Well, of course a personal anecdote is not evidence, but I'm gonna tell you my story, anyway, mostly cuz I just had a bone density test done yesterday, and I'm still super excited about it!

I've been strict Paleo for 6 months. No dairy at all, not even in "cheats".

I just got my bone density test done, and I was off the charts for bone density. The tech said that she rarely sees those numbers. She was so surprised that she quizzed me on what I'm doing.

Now, it's possible that I always had high bone density, but I don't think so, cuz I drank a lot of Diet Coke, rarely got sun, didn't do weight bearing exercise, hated greens, and didn't even eat much dairy.

I also recently found out that I have a casein intolerance, and probably won't be able to eat dairy for the rest of my life, so I was feeling worried about osteoporosis (foolishly, because there are lots of healthy populations in the world who don't eat dairy), so finding out that I have awesome bone density was a huge relief.

1
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on May 09, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Calcium supplementation is linked to greater cardiovascular incidents.

http://www.theheart.org/article/1108009.do

There is some argument that Vitamin D is the key factor. Also, it is much more about the balance between calcium and magnesium that could cause many of the "low calcium" issues.

0
F00e022ce184879578d0829d8d09a85d

(169)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:23 PM

Supplements can be helpful to health, obviously eating what you need is the best way, but that isn't always possible. The type of supplements and quality are the most important factors when choosing one. For example, I wanted to get a magnesium supplement and went to a site I have bought stuff from in the past. The best selling magnesium one was cheap and fulfilled the recommended daily allowance, but it was magnesium oxide. Very little gets absorbed into the body and if I had bought that supplement I would have been wasting my money and getting no health benefit.

To make the water murkier some supplements work better if you take them with another. For example vitamin D is essential for helping your body process calcium.

Even if you are skeptical of doctors remember they have 8+ years of schooling and training. They understand the human body to a degree that the layman doesn't. If she is concerned about your calcium intake I would listen, she knows the role it plays in our body and why we need it. Although it is harder to take when its a parent talking, I think we can all attest to that.:)

I use this site a lot when looking up info on vitamins and minerals: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/

Here are a couple of sites listing calcium laden foods: http://calciumrichfoods.net/ http://pediatrics.about.com/od/calcium/a/06_calcium_food.htm1

I hope this helps.

F00e022ce184879578d0829d8d09a85d

(169)

on May 09, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I just wanted to add that I to am skeptical of doctors that's healthy and reasonable. I listen to what they have to say because of their training and understanding of the human system. Its good to be skeptical and to question, I do think their is a tendency in some circles to dismiss them and look at them as corporate owned evil big pharma bought loons. Like any profession so people dependent you will always have the good and the bad, but not all can be lumped into one category.

0
B28cd04903ea8804f4222335860f9cbc

on May 09, 2012
at 02:00 PM

My family drinks Almond milk. 1 cup has 45% of your daily recommended intake. And like Jenna said, Kale and Broccoli are great sources of calcium. Good luck with your mom! :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on May 09, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Almond milk is supplemented with calcium. OP may as well take a supplement.

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