Calcium Please - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-11-2013, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Hi guys. This morning I just thought of asking you for some advise... Ever since I was a child I really don't like milk. I really don't drink milk at all and I have no interest in dairy product, for me they are awful. So just because I don't support calcium rich products I am frequently suffering back pain, I easily get tired and not allowed to carry heavy things. To make the story short, I have scoliosis. It's very minimal curvature and not obvious at all but having weak bones really doesn't help me at all.


Doctor advised me to drink milk twice a day but for me it's just like taking dozens of bitter medicines :cry:​. Can you help me please? Do you know any veggies and recipes that are rich in calcium? :confused: 

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#2 Old 11-11-2013, 10:25 PM
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Many good vegetable sources of calcium exist, including seaweeds such as kelpwakame and hijiki; nuts and seeds like almondshazelnutssesame, and pistachio; blackstrapmolassesbeans (especially soy beans); figsquinoaokrarutabagabroccolidandelion leaves; and kale. In addition, for some drinks (like soy milk or orange juice[citation needed]) it is typical to be fortified with calcium.

Numerous vegetables, notably spinachchard and rhubarb have a high calcium content, but they may also contain varying amounts of oxalic acid that binds calcium and reduces its absorption. The same problem may to a degree affect the absorption of calcium from amaranthcollard greens, and chicory greens. This process may also be related to the generation ofcalcium oxalate.




The calcium content of most foods can be found in the USDA National Nutrient Database.[35]


Source : Wikipedia


Note that some studies show that the acidity of milk forces the body to use phosphorus to counter it, which it finds only in our bone, potentially creating osteoporosis. 


This is linked to the fact that some of the countries with the higher amount of milk intake also have high amounts of osteoporosis.


Vegans who take care of themselves on the other hand have strong bones. ( different study )

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#3 Old 11-12-2013, 05:22 AM
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I can speak as someone who does have osteoporosis (and has already fractured).  It was acquired as an omnivore.  I was tested via dxa scan in 2006 a year after having a total hysterectomy and loss of both ovaries.  I was shocked to find out I already had severe osteoporosis in my spine (T score -3.2).  I drank milk a lot as a child and teen but developed some kind of dairy intolerance as an adult (around the same time I was afflicted with severe endometriosis).  Milk and cheese products gave me horrible painful cramps and diarrhea so I avoided them like the plague, but I could tolerate some yogurts and ate a lot of that.  Sometimes I consumed lactose free milk.  After I had my hysterectomy and involuntary loss of ovaries (a trauma that has caused a whole host of problems for me even eight years later), I was put on hormone replacement and it slowed the osteoporosis but has not reversed it.


I was really worried when I went vegan in 2011 that I was going to have far worse osteoporosis due to cutting out dairy and all other animal products.  But the ethics of it were far more important to me.  I did however make an effort and still do to consume a lot of low oxalate leafy greens (bok Choy, collards, broccoli, kale).  I also drink several servings of fortified plant milks daily, and take a vegan calcium and vegan D supplement daily.  Sometimes I include blackstrap molasses in foods (another good source of calcium).  Sesame seeds and some beans are good too.  I get enough magnesium and other minerals from eating a mostly whole foods plant diet so I am not worried about the need to supplement those.


I do weight bearing and weight lifting activities three to four days a week.  But I do struggle with being underweight for various reasons which doesn't help (I have managed to put on ten lbs since March though), and I have a thyroid disorder that also works against me (and is one of the reasons I also suspect I acquired osteoporosis at a young age due to years and years of thyroid meds and fluctuating hormone levels, not to mention the toxic treatments I was put on such as Lupron for endometriosis).  I had started running a lot in 2011 and 2012 and ended up with stress fractures in my pelvic area and feet and had to stop that but I still bike and walk.  I really don't know what I will do if I have to start taking some osteoporosis med.  I did take calcitonin (salmon derived) prescribed when I was first diagnosed as an omnivore, but stopped it due to sinus issues as it was a spray.  I am trying to avoid the osteoporosis meds like the plague because of the horrible long term effects of them.  But my bones are getting worse as mentioned by a radiologist last November when I had my back x-rayed for the pelvic stress fracture.  He said in the report my bones were alarmingly bad for someone my age of 41.


I have not had a dxa since 2010 (I became vegan in 2011) so I should probably get one again.  My insurance covers it every two years due to my postmenopausal status.  My condition did improve as an omnivore (from dxa in 2006 of -3.2 spine to dxa 2007 -3.0 and 2006 hip -1.8 to 2007 hip -1.4) because I had added the weight bearing exercise, calcium and D supplements religiously, and had forced myself to gain a good amount of weight.  I had also finally found a hormone replacement my hormone depleted post surgical menopausal body could absorb and I am sure that helped too, as well as the calcitonin.  However, my scores were slightly worse in 2010 after several years of anorexia nervosa (spine stayed at -3.0 but hip went down to -1.6).


I guess diet alone is not the only factor in osteoporosis and bone health one should look at.  Weight, hormones, genetics, and lifestyle are all important to note.  Do you get enough exercise, especially weight bearing activity?  Do you smoke?  What kinds of meds might you be on that can cause bone loss as a side effect (such as acid inhibitors, some birth control, a lot of anti depressants, steroids)?  Are you a normal healthy weight?  Do you eat enough and eat a healthy variety of whole foods?  Vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, vitamin K, boron, and manganese are also important in bone breakdown and buildup.  Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen as well as testosterone are important too, and major weight loss and other factors can affect those levels.  Not exercising enough, or too much without replacing needed nutrients lost, can have an effect too.


I also have scoliosis but years of daily exercise and building up back muscles have helped keep the back pain away, even despite my osteoporosis (I do not build muscle easy at all but have still gained a lot of strength from weight training).  I did see a physical and also occupational med therapist some years ago for exercises specific to the back to combat the osteoporosis and help build muscle that will hold the bones and tendons in place better and improve posture etc.  I wish I had more good news and can say my vegan diet has miraculously reversed my osteoporosis but that has not been the case despite eating very healthy compared to a lot of people.  It is hard work to rebuild bone and becomes much harder the more you age.  I know a lot of people, my mother in law for one, who consumed loads of dairy and still ended up with osteoporosis.  As I said it is more than diet that matters.  I hope this helps!  You are not alone!

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel

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