Calcium, Ca

The main function of calcium in human body is structural. The skeleton of a young adult male contains about 1.2 kg of calcium. There is continuous movement of calcium between the skeleton and blood and other parts of the body. This is finely controlled by hormones.

Calcium also plays a role in cell biology. Calcium can bind to a wide range of proteins altering their biological activity. This is important in nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction. Calcium is also needed for blood clotting, activating clotting factors.

Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet. A deficit can affect bone and tooth formation, while over retention can cause kidney stones. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, vegans can get it through sunbathing. Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are a well-known source of calcium. However, some individuals are allergic to dairy products and even more people, particularly those of non-European descent, are lactose-intolerant, leaving them unable to consume dairy products. Fortunately, many other good sources of calcium exist. These include: seaweeds such as kelp, wakame and hijiki; nuts and seeds (like almonds and sesame); blackstrap molasses; beans; oranges; amaranth; collard greens; okra; rutabaga; broccoli; dandelion leaves; kale; and fortified products such as orange juice and soy milk.

Calcium is essential for the normal growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, and calcium requirements must be met throughout life. Long-term calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, in which the bone deteriorates and there is an increased risk of fractures. Calcium has also been found to assist in the production of lymphatic fluids.

Recommended Adequate Intake by the IOM for Calcium:

Age Calcium (mg/day) 0 to 6 months 210 7 - 12 months 270 1 to 3 years 500 4 to 8 years 800 9 to 18 years 1300 19 to 50 years 1000 51+ years 1200

Protein & Calcium

A high protein diet, especially derived from animal foods, causes calcium loss in the body. The higher sulphur-to-calcium ratio of meat increases calcium excretion, and a diet rich in meat can cause bone demineralisation. A report published in 1988 comparing the amounts of calcium excreted in the urine of 15 subjects showed that the animal-protein diet caused greater loss of bone calcium in the urine (150mg/day) than the all-vegetable protein diet (103mg/day). These findings suggest that diets providing vegetable rather than animal protein may actually protect against bone loss and hence osteoporosis. In one study adults on a low-protein diet were in calcium balance regardless of whether calcium intake was 500mg, 800mg or 1400mg a day. Interestingly The American Dietetic Association, in its 1993 policy statement on vegetable diets, pointed out that the calcium intakes recommended in the USA were increased specifically to offset calcium losses caused by the typically high protein consumption in that country.

Calcium Absorption

Only 20-30% of calcium in the average diet is absorbed. Calcium absorption can be reduced because it binds to fibre, phytate or oxalate in the intestine. Vegan diets contain more than average of these substances. Fibre is no longer thought to limit the availability of calcium from food. Phytate or phytic acid is found in grains, nuts and seeds and can bind with calcium making it less absorbable. However, the body does adapt to lower levels of available calcium and the American Dietetic Association and the UK’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Foods as well as the Department of Health believe that fibre, phytate and oxalate do not have a significant effect on calcium intake overall.

Although the calcium intake of adult vegans tends to be lower than the recommended optimum, it is close to the Estimated Average Requirement. There have been no reports of calcium deficiency in adult vegans.

The Estimated Average Requirement (UK) of a nutrient in the diet is an estimate of the average needs of a group of people. About half may need more, and half may need less.

[size=150]Raw Vegan Products Rich in Calcium[/size]

Calcium on wikipedia

Calcium on

Calcium on

A while back I started to get painful joints, white bits on my fingernails, etc. Since my GP is spectacularly unhelpful, I asked the lady at the healthfood shop. She thought I had calcium deficiency, even though I was drinking soy milk with calcium added every day.

Her reasoning was that I wasn’t getting any magnesium, which is needed to absorb calcium. However, I haven’t read this anywhere on the web: can anyone confirm?

She recommended eating Brazil nuts, kemp, etc., instead of relying on soy milk. I also took some ‘joint formula’ supplements to build my levels back up. I have to say, it seems to have cured the problem.

I had concussion of the brain once.
The cure consists mainly of magnesium injections. So i had studied a lot about magnesium and I remember something about it helping to absorb calcium.
Ok I found the link:

Hm I just found on wikipedia, that too much of magnesium may make it difficult for the body to absorb calcium.

?!?! :astonished: Oh well, better stick to chocolate brazils and vegetable sushi!

Why chocolate brazils and vegetable sushi? :unamused:
Actually what is chocolate brazils? :smiley:

Sushi is a tasy way of eating seaweed. And chocolate brazils are just Brazil nuts covered in plain chocolate. I guess you don’t need the chocolate, but, well,… :wink:

Seaweed is a good source of magnesium?
Didn’t know…
I thought it’s a good source of Iodine.

I’d read in’ the idiot’s guide ro vegan living’, that the world health organization recommends 400-500 mg calcium daily, instead of the typically advocated 1200 mg. Perhaps the latter requirement is inflated. I hope so.
I do drink soy milk and eat a lot of greens.
I got truly sick of taking calcium supplements. I once used those chews. Recently, I lost an old filling to one of those things. I needed it replaced. No big deal, but I get sooo sick of choking down supplements. I enjoy my chewable vita c. And I can handle opening capsules of magnesium and also chewing vt d as it is a small pill. I don’t swallow pills at all well, so I have ro chew everything.

Anyway, I do hope that I get enough calcium thru diet alone. I do find it annoying that drs tell you to obtain the above higher amount of this nutrient. I get sick of being scared and worrying quite possibly unnecessarily.

The best fruit and vegetable sources of calcium are:

Cooked collards contain 168 mg per 1/2 cup

Cooked kale contains 103 mg per 1/2 cup

Cooked spinach contains 84 mg per 1/2 cup

Cooked broccoli contains 68 mg per 1/2 cup

1 medium raw carrot contains 27 mg

1 medium orange contains 60 mg

1/2 cup of chopped dates contains 26 mg

1/2 cup of raisins contains 22 mg

We can always get the nutrients we needed in a day with our diets… Hope this list might help us to obtain our calcium intake… Personally I am not so into taking supplements but I have to because the doctor recommended… Slowly I am trying to lessen the intake of my supplement and trying to depend on fruits and vegetables only…

try to eat lots of leafy green vegetable and legumes.
also, eat nuts for magnesium, which enchances the absorption of calcium.

Per my experience I would say that it is important not to exaggerate with calcium supplements as they form kidney stones.
Calcium must be taken in natural form together with other substances so the body can absorb it. Greens and apricot are very high in calcium.

High Calcium Vegetables … tables.php

High Calcium Fruits … fruits.php