Thursday, December 15, 2011

On Calcium

When I posted about our experience at the doctor's office earlier this week I was in a hurry and didn't have my resources at my fingertips. I don't like to throw out my thoughts without some good support and I know that the question of calcium absorption may bother some people. (I am a Midwesterner, remember; I grew up in dairy, corn, and beef country. It may be difficult to believe that our children typically do not drink milk.) We try to put our money and effort into eating as many plants as we can.

Here is an excerpt from Wendy Campbell (a nurse I enjoy learning from):

"Even calcium in milk results in only about a 30% absorption into the bloodstream and it’s questionable as to how much of that actually makes it into the bone.  The controversies over other negative aspects of dairy products i.e. the hormonal, pesticide and antibiotic content as described in books like “Don’t Drink Your Milk” by Frank A. Oski, M.D. is also an issue for many.

The highest absorption rate for calcium seems to be best achieved from green leafy vegetables at 50 –100%.  This, again, is due to the synergy of action of a variety of minerals, trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, etc. working together to help “potentiate” or “enhance” the absorption.  With this potentiation of action, less is needed of one isolated nutrient when working in combination with other nutrients."  

Here is what Carol Watson (Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Doctor) has to say:

"Doctors who study calcium now understand that the amount of calcium absorbed depends on its interaction with other dietary constituents.  In other words, the absorbability of calcium is mainly determined by the presence of food constituents. One study (taken from a research article written by Robert Theil, Ph.D., N.D.) found that whole food calcium is 8.79 times more absorbed into the blood than calcium carbonate and 2.97 times more than calcium gluconate.  Another study found that calcium in whole foods raised serum ionic calcium levels yet calcium carbonate did not raise these levels at all. When serum calcium levels drop, calcium leaves the bone—so, absorption of calcium is better for bone health. Animal products, as well as, dairy products and foods that leave an acid residue (all cooked, “dead” food) actually “leach” calcium from the bones, to neutralize this acid!  So, is milk really a good choice for calcium?  NO, the pasteurization process destroys a critical enzyme needed to assimilate calcium!!"

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