VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the VeganOutreach.com newsletter

"New Study Answers Questions about the Vegan Diet, Calcium, and Bone Health

-Jack Norris, RD

If you've been a vegan for long, you've probably heard that:

* Too much protein, especially animal protein, is the major cause of osteoporosis.

* Not only does dairy not protect against osteoporosis, it actually contributes to it.

* Calcium intake isn't very important for protecting against osteoporosis.

Finally, you might have come to the conclusion that the lower levels of protein in a vegan diet protect against osteoporosis.

For almost ten years now, Vegan Outreach has cautioned vegans that the jury was still out on these issues and that vegans should try to meet the U.S. recommended intakes for calcium. In recent years, the evidence has been mounting against the above statements. In February of 2007, a study was released, the first study of its kind, that gives us pretty good answers to these questions. (1)

The EPIC-Oxford study recruited 57,000 participants, including over 1,000 vegans and almost 10,000 lacto-ovo vegetarians (LOV), from 1993 to 2000. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to measure what they ate. About 5 years after entering the study, they were sent a follow-up questionnaire asking if they had suffered any bone fractures.

After adjusting for age alone, the vegans had a 37% higher fracture rate than meat-eaters. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass, physical activity, marital status, and births and hormone replacement therapy for women, the vegans still had a 30% higher fracture rate.

That's not good news; in fact, it's something I've feared for some time now given the vegan propaganda about animal protein, calcium, and bones which has fostered complacency among vegans about calcium and vitamin D.

Yet, there is some good news in this study. When calcium intake was adjusted for, the vegans no longer had a higher rate of fractures. And among the subjects who got 525 mg of calcium a day (only 55% of the vegans compared to about 95% of the other diet groups), vegans had the same fracture rates as the other diet groups. (And if you're wondering about how the other diet groups (meat-eaters, fish-eaters, and L-O-V) fared over all, none of them differed from each other in any of the analyses performed.)

Does this mean lower calcium intakes are the cause of the fractures? It could be that people who eat more calcium also eat more or less protein or get more vitamin D. The authors noted that fracture rates did not correlate with protein or vitamin D intake among the people in this study. For now, we should assume that calcium is what the vegans with higher fracture rates were lacking.

The study did not measure calcium intake from supplements. I'm not sure if this affected the results, but for now I would assume it did not.

The US recommended intake for calcium is 1,000 mg for most adults. The UK's recommended intake is 700 mg. You can get this much calcium by having 3 servings of high calcium foods (fortified drinks, large portion of high calcium greens, and calcium tablets) each day. I drink soymilk fortified with calcium on most days and take a 500 mg calcium pill each night before bed.

More information on calcium, vitamin D, and bones can be found at VeganHealth.org on this page: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones"

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Thanks for the information. I think this means we all need to be calcium conscious. Personally, I take a calcium supplement,although I try and get the RDA from food, I don't like taking chances as all the women in my family have gotten osteoperosis as they aged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
well yeah, that was expected

and like said, those who are vegan should make sure that they are getting the nutirents to keep the risk from happening

I am not vegan but I make sure that I eat a suffient amoutn of protein each day in the form of peanut butter, milk, whole grains, nuts, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree with you both, it is to be expected. Vegans who blindly believe that their diet is 100% healthy as is are just being ignorant.

Besides, I think the diet has more meaning if you choose to follow it even though it takes some working at to maintain healthy levels of a few vitamins and minerals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
This study is odd, as from reading "The China Study" it was shown that countries with middle to higher consumption of animal protein actually had a much higher chance of bone fractor due to the increase in the acidic level in the body. The calcium is leeched from the bones (calcium conteracts the acid), and then the bones are more prone to breaking. If you look at the stats, the countries consuming the most dairy actually are the same countries who have the worst bone problems, while the countries that consume very little dairy have a minute fraction of the same bone related problems.

An all plant based diet is clearly a much more healthy diet then one with animal protein.

I highly recommend the book entitled: The China Study.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,014 Posts
Did the China Study just look at dairy and meat intakes, or did it also take into account consumption of leafy greens and other calcium sources?

Anyway, the moral of the story is that calcium is a good thing. There are plenty of vegan sources, so there's no excuse for not getting enough. I drink fortified soy milk with most meals, and that gets me to right around 100% of the American RDA of both calcium and vitamin D almost every day. I do wish I could get more vitamin D the old fashioned way, but unfortunately, I work an office job that keeps me indoors all day on week days.

--Fromper

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,902 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vio1 View Post

This study is odd, as from reading "The China Study" it was shown that countries with middle to higher consumption of animal protein actually had a much higher chance of bone fractor due to the increase in the acidic level in the body.
Was there just a correlation that was shown, or did they also provide evidence that it was the animal protein specifically causing higher fractions?

I have read that there is a confounding variable- high animal protein countries are also much more sedentary, while low animal protein countries tend to include a lot of weight bearing labor as a part of life which is very good for the bones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia View Post

Was there just a correlation that was shown, or did they also provide evidence that it was the animal protein specifically causing higher fractions?

I have read that there is a confounding variable- high animal protein countries are also much more sedentary, while low animal protein countries tend to include a lot of weight bearing labor as a part of life which is very good for the bones.
I dont want to sound like an expert, cause i am far from it, and my responces regarding the content of that book may be errored. Read the book and come to your own conclusions. Its a VERY interesting book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
In Total Health for You and Your Family the Vegetarian Way by Virginia Messina, MPH,RD and Mark Messina PhD it says that milk is a poor source of calcium. Your body will use all the calcium in the milk you drink to digest the protein in the milk. But then there will still be protein left over, so your body has to take calcium out of your bones to digest the rest of the protein in the milk. And in countries where adults do not drink milk, osteoporosis in unheard of.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevencontinents View Post

fostered complacency among vegans about calcium and vitamin D.

Yet, there is some good news in this study. When calcium intake was adjusted for, the vegans no longer had a higher rate of fractures.
So were did the study find 1000 malnourished Vegans?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
this could be true but did they factor in all other factors? vegans are environmentally aware so would cycle more and we all know how dangerous that can be with car drivers.

how long were the vegans vegans? It can take a while for us to learn about food to get everything we need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevencontinents View Post

From the VeganOutreach.com newsletter

"New Study Answers Questions about the Vegan Diet, Calcium, and Bone Health

-Jack Norris, RD

If you've been a vegan for long, you've probably heard that:

* Too much protein, especially animal protein, is the major cause of osteoporosis.

* Not only does dairy not protect against osteoporosis, it actually contributes to it.

* Calcium intake isn't very important for protecting against osteoporosis.

Finally, you might have come to the conclusion that the lower levels of protein in a vegan diet protect against osteoporosis.

For almost ten years now, Vegan Outreach has cautioned vegans that the jury was still out on these issues and that vegans should try to meet the U.S. recommended intakes for calcium. In recent years, the evidence has been mounting against the above statements. In February of 2007, a study was released, the first study of its kind, that gives us pretty good answers to these questions. (1)

The EPIC-Oxford study recruited 57,000 participants, including over 1,000 vegans and almost 10,000 lacto-ovo vegetarians (LOV), from 1993 to 2000. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to measure what they ate. About 5 years after entering the study, they were sent a follow-up questionnaire asking if they had suffered any bone fractures.

After adjusting for age alone, the vegans had a 37% higher fracture rate than meat-eaters. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass, physical activity, marital status, and births and hormone replacement therapy for women, the vegans still had a 30% higher fracture rate.

That's not good news; in fact, it's something I've feared for some time now given the vegan propaganda about animal protein, calcium, and bones which has fostered complacency among vegans about calcium and vitamin D.

Yet, there is some good news in this study. When calcium intake was adjusted for, the vegans no longer had a higher rate of fractures. And among the subjects who got 525 mg of calcium a day (only 55% of the vegans compared to about 95% of the other diet groups), vegans had the same fracture rates as the other diet groups. (And if you're wondering about how the other diet groups (meat-eaters, fish-eaters, and L-O-V) fared over all, none of them differed from each other in any of the analyses performed.)

Does this mean lower calcium intakes are the cause of the fractures? It could be that people who eat more calcium also eat more or less protein or get more vitamin D. The authors noted that fracture rates did not correlate with protein or vitamin D intake among the people in this study. For now, we should assume that calcium is what the vegans with higher fracture rates were lacking.

The study did not measure calcium intake from supplements. I'm not sure if this affected the results, but for now I would assume it did not.

The US recommended intake for calcium is 1,000 mg for most adults. The UK's recommended intake is 700 mg. You can get this much calcium by having 3 servings of high calcium foods (fortified drinks, large portion of high calcium greens, and calcium tablets) each day. I drink soymilk fortified with calcium on most days and take a 500 mg calcium pill each night before bed.

More information on calcium, vitamin D, and bones can be found at VeganHealth.org on this page: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones"

Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels today throughout the population, and does plays an important role in bone health. My guess would be that the vegans were likely deficient in both Vitamin D and Calcium, which was a double whammy, while the others were only deficient in Vitamin D, but not Calcium. Controlling for Vitamin D wouldn't show a difference between the two groups if both were equally deficient, but this doesn't mean it didn't play a role when combined with the Calcium problem.

That said, the 500mg level of calcium was found to be a critical level at which bone health was protected. It is unfortunate that the vegans in this study were not attaining that level, as this level is easily attainable on a healthy vegan diet. It is disturbing to me to realize that the average vegan probably isn't eating enough green veggies, and is likely existing on what I would consider a junk food diet. I do not have to worry myself about calcium supplementation because I eat a whole foods diet that naturally includes a plethora of calcium-rich foods. I know that I eat plenty of greens, and that they are chock-full of calcium. Taking additional calcium in the form of a supplement would give no added value in terms of protecting my bones. According to Dr. Fuhrman (who is very well versed in this area), studies have shown that once you get over the 600mg level of calcium, there is no additional protective effect of the bones. He also agrees that 200-400mg a day of calcium is a deficient level to be getting, and that the vegans in that study had to be eating an unhealthy junk food diet in order to not be getting an acceptable level of calcium from their vegan diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,014 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganClaudia View Post

That said, the 500mg level of calcium was found to be a critical level at which bone health was protected. It is unfortunate that the vegans in this study were not attaining that level, as this level is easily attainable on a healthy vegan diet. It is disturbing to me to realize that the average vegan probably isn't eating enough green veggies, and is likely existing on what I would consider a junk food diet. I do not have to worry myself about calcium supplementation because I eat a whole foods diet that naturally includes a plethora of calcium-rich foods. I know that I eat plenty of greens, and that they are chock-full of calcium. Taking additional calcium in the form of a supplement would give no added value in terms of protecting my bones. According to Dr. Fuhrman (who is very well versed in this area), studies have shown that once you get over the 600mg level of calcium, there is no additional protective effect of the bones. He also agrees that 200-400mg a day of calcium is a deficient level to be getting, and that the vegans in that study had to be eating an unhealthy junk food diet in order to not be getting an acceptable level of calcium from their vegan diet.
You know, I'm mildly insulted by you refering to my diet as a "junk food diet", just because I don't eat enough leafy greens to get 500 mg of calcium that way every single day. I'm not vegan, but diet is fairly close to vegan (no dairy products or eggs, but I'm not a picky label reader when it comes to tiny bits of them in things).

Since going veg a couple of months ago, I am eating healthier than ever before in my life. I'm eating lots of whole grains, I eat carrots every day, and I eat some other fruits and veggies every day, getting a pretty good variety. But I don't eat a ton of leafy greens every day. Does that make my diet "junk food"?

But I do eat healthier than the vegans in this study, apparently. I make a point of drinking at least 24 oz of Silk fortified soy milk every day, which gives me plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. I agree with you that it's not difficult to get enough calcium as a vegan. But your statement that anything other than a ton of leafy greens daily is a "junk food diet" makes you sound like a raw snob.

--Fromper

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromper View Post

You know, I'm mildly insulted by you refering to my diet as a "junk food diet", just because I don't eat enough leafy greens to get 500 mg of calcium that way every single day. I'm not vegan, but diet is fairly close to vegan (no dairy products or eggs, but I'm not a picky label reader when it comes to tiny bits of them in things).

Since going veg a couple of months ago, I am eating healthier than ever before in my life. I'm eating lots of whole grains, I eat carrots every day, and I eat some other fruits and veggies every day, getting a pretty good variety. But I don't eat a ton of leafy greens every day. Does that make my diet "junk food"?

But I do eat healthier than the vegans in this study, apparently. I make a point of drinking at least 24 oz of Silk fortified soy milk every day, which gives me plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. I agree with you that it's not difficult to get enough calcium as a vegan. But your statement that anything other than a ton of leafy greens daily is a "junk food diet" makes you sound like a raw snob.

--Fromper

Well, the statement that anything other than a ton of greens is a junk food diet was not a statement that I actually made or that you quoted me on. You are putting words in my mouth, and then feeling insulted by them. What I said is that 'It is disturbing to me to realize that the average vegan probably isn't eating enough green veggies, AND is likely eating a junk food diet'. The green veggies are mentioned because they are an obvious natural form of calcium, and the people in the study weren't getting enough calcium.

The main point of course is that it really shouldn't be difficult to get calcium on a vegan diet, and in my mind if you cant get 500mg of calcium on a vegan diet, then it is quite likely that it is a junk food diet.

I do eat tons of greens myself, and I know that I'm getting enough calcium because of that, however, I never even said I was only eating raw greens. I eat plenty of cooked greens. Its actually a lot easier to eat bigger amounts of greens, and to get more calories from greens when they have been cooked down. After all, I don't have the jaws of a gorilla, who can chomp away at pounds and pounds of raw greens over the course of a day. I think its good to eat some raw greens, but I eat cooked ones too. Anyway, I don't think I qualify as a 'raw food snob'.

BTW, If you are going to make assumptions, why assume that everything said was meant in the most negative possible way? Are you having a bad day?

Claudia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerSn0ws View Post

In Total Health for You and Your Family the Vegetarian Way by Virginia Messina, MPH,RD and Mark Messina PhD it says that milk is a poor source of calcium. Your body will use all the calcium in the milk you drink to digest the protein in the milk. But then there will still be protein left over, so your body has to take calcium out of your bones to digest the rest of the protein in the milk. And in countries where adults do not drink milk, osteoporosis in unheard of.
True!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MentalLentil View Post

There is a excellent response to this study here http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/mar/defend.htm
Now this makes a lot of sense, and sheds a completely different light on things! Very interesting that there were no hip fractures at all among the vegans. Of course we would expect to see more hip fractures in an older population than a younger one, but the results of the study were 'age adjusted', so if the age-adjusted number of hip fractures was lower among vegans than meat eaters, I think that tells us something.

It looks like the study would have been better if it was able to distinguish between the type of fractures typically caused by weak bones vs. those typically resulting from traumatic injuries due to a physically active lifestyle. While age may have some correlation to level of physical activity, it is still a separate independent factor that would be more difficult, yet import to adjust for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
I agree with most of what McDougall pointed out. Also, I noticed right away that the study said it "controlled for amount of protein." I immediately thought that animal and plant protein is different, so that could have an impact too. It just looked to me like a study intended to prove that vegans aren't healthy after said book (The China Study) and others (McDougall, Esselystein, etc.) have shown otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganClaudia View Post

I never even said I was only eating raw greens. I eat plenty of cooked greens. Its actually a lot easier to eat bigger amounts of greens, and to get more calories from greens when they have been cooked down. After all, I don't have the jaws of a gorilla, who can chomp away at pounds and pounds of raw greens over the course of a day. I think its good to eat some raw greens, but I eat cooked ones too. Anyway, I don't think I qualify as a 'raw food snob'.
I eat only raw greens. 4 cups of turnip greens in the blender with an orange plus a large romaine-based salad yield about 700 mg of calcium per day.

They shrink down a lot when you blend them. There is no need to cook and oxidize the sulfur amino acids and damage the protective phytochemicals and much of the vitamin content. One probably gets significantly more cancer protection from raw leaves compared to cooked leaves, too. [ref: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Apr;13(4):567-72]

giselle, raw food snob
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top