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Calcium and Magnesium supplements


Justin
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What are some good Vegan sources/supplements of Calcium and Magnesium? I have been getting adequate amounts through mostly diet, but I am training for a bodybuilding show (Great Lakes SuperNatuals) in September and I am doing a lot more intense cardiovascular workouts.

 

I usually increased the supplementation of Calcium and Magnesium in the past, but I want to be certain that the sources are Vegan this time. Hemp seed oil and seeds has also helped me during this time for overall joint health.

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Grains, nuts, leafy greens, beans...pretty much everything has magnesium and virtually all nutritionists will recognize that vegetables provide more that animal sources...unlike calcium of course which is readily available from leafy greens, most seeds, almonds. If your looking at supplementing I think these are the last things you need to go out of your way to get extra of. If anything down a bit of creatine, glutamine, vega, spirulina, maca...don't bother with magnesium and calcium.

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Over the counter calcium supplements are horrible for you whether vegan or not.

Why do you say that?

 

Maybe he wants to point out that it is way better to eat whole foods which contain calcium rather than eating isolated minerals that are absorbed very poorly. Calcium supplements have shown to have no preventing effect on osteoporosis for example.

 

I agree to veggiemeggy about the soymilk especially if it is fortified.

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Over the counter calcium supplements are horrible for you whether vegan or not.

Why do you say that?

 

Maybe he wants to point out that it is way better to eat whole foods which contain calcium rather than eating isolated minerals that are absorbed very poorly.

Ah, ok. I agree 100% that whole foods are a FAR better route. I do want to point out though that across the board, absorption rates don't differ very much. On average, you'll get around 30% (usually slightly under) regardless of your method of ingestion. Supplements are absorbed almost exactly at the same rate rate as dairy. Absorption can be reduced in vegetable sources due to the presence of oxalic acid - emphasis on can, because it is not necessarily significant - depends on the diet.

 

To reiterate though, I'm definitely on the whole foods boat

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Sounds good, thanks for all the input, I drink a lot of Fortified Soymilk as it is..Sometimes, during increased cardio sessions like I am doing now for the Great Lakes SuperNaturals....I thought that I would develop joint and ligament problems like in the past. This time around, it is not the case. I do Yoga now and I take Hemp seed oil on a regular basis. I guess I felt like that I was missing something; however it may prove to be not that beneficial at all…..as currently I am not taking any additional through supplementation, just through diet.

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Hey Justin,

 

Thanks for posting the question here. Sorry I didn't get back to you on Myspace, but as I suggested, you'd get more info here on the forum from a variety of people rather than just me.

 

Come back and visit more often. It's competition season so you gotta check out the bodybuilding section too!

 

Glad the info was helpful and please visit us again soon.

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I do want to point out though that across the board, absorption rates don't differ very much. On average, you'll get around 30% (usually slightly under) regardless of your method of ingestion. Supplements are absorbed almost exactly at the same rate rate as dairy. Absorption can be reduced in vegetable sources due to the presence of oxalic acid - emphasis on can, because it is not necessarily significant - depends on the diet.

 

I strongly disagree with you about your statement. The fact that calcium supplements - regardsless how high the dosis is - are not able to prevent osteoporosis (look at the china study) supports my negative attitude towards calcium supplementation.

It is far more important and effective to prevent calcium loss (caused by a high-protein diet) than supplementing it. And to enhance the absorbtion of calcium: eat fruits and veggies rhich in vitamin C.

It is a myth that oxalic acid from vegetable sources reduces calcium absorbtion. When such hypothesis are tested the substances are usually given isolated although you will not ever find them isolated in nature. These studies serve only one purpose: to make people buy supplements.

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I do want to point out though that across the board, absorption rates don't differ very much. On average, you'll get around 30% (usually slightly under) regardless of your method of ingestion. Supplements are absorbed almost exactly at the same rate rate as dairy. Absorption can be reduced in vegetable sources due to the presence of oxalic acid - emphasis on can, because it is not necessarily significant - depends on the diet.

 

I strongly disagree with you about your statement. The fact that calcium supplements - regardsless how high the dosis is - are not able to prevent osteoporosis (look at the china study) supports my negative attitude towards calcium supplementation.

It is far more important and effective to prevent calcium loss (caused by a high-protein diet) than supplementing it. And to enhance the absorbtion of calcium: eat fruits and veggies rhich in vitamin C.

It is a myth that oxalic acid from vegetable sources reduces calcium absorbtion. When such hypothesis are tested the substances are usually given isolated although you will not ever find them isolated in nature. These studies serve only one purpose: to make people buy supplements.

 

I agree, I think part of this is also that those same healthy sources are good sources of potassium which I have been researching lately due to my high intake of bananas. Potassium reduces the calcium loss in the body, so you get a double whammy. Better absorption, less loss.

 

Ideal Sources for Calcium

For an individual trying to improve calcium balance, fruits and vegetables are the best foods, as they are rich in potassium, which reduces calcium loss. For example, 100 grams each of red peppers, bananas, oranges, and leafy greens will boost retained calcium by about 40 milligrams per day—enough to reverse a one percent loss of bone calcium per year. A daily pint of cow’s milk would have a similar effect for the average person, but only about half the benefit for individuals with low calcium absorption—those who are at particular risk of osteoporosis.

 

The ideal foods for bone health are those that are not only high in calcium but also reduce calcium loss. Low oxalate (oxalates are natural substances that bind strongly to calcium) and calcium-rich dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard and turnip greens, and spring greens are the best example. Some vegetables such as spinach, purslane and rhubarb are also high in oxalate, which hinders absorption of their calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables provide about 150 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams in raw weight. While many modern cultivated foods are sadly much less rich in calcium than the wild plants with which we evolved, green leafy vegetables are an exception and therefore of particular importance for modern humans.

 

Human use of dairy products is a recent and unnecessary development: a diet low in salt and rich in vegetables, fruits and root crops provides the best path to healthy bones. Dairy foods increase calcium loss as well as provide calcium. For example, cheddar cheese causes a net calcium loss in high-risk individuals, and cottage cheese causes calcium loss for most people in general. Foods such as meat, fish and eggs have a strong adverse effect because they are low in calcium and also cause high loss; foods that are low in calcium but also reduce losses, such as peppers, bananas and oranges, provide everyone with at least a modest boost.

 

Almonds, carob and molasses each provide about 250 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. While these foods are too concentrated in either calories or pungency to consume in large amounts, they can make a useful contribution. They will also provide alkali to boost blood pH.

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I do want to point out though that across the board, absorption rates don't differ very much. On average, you'll get around 30% (usually slightly under) regardless of your method of ingestion. Supplements are absorbed almost exactly at the same rate rate as dairy. Absorption can be reduced in vegetable sources due to the presence of oxalic acid - emphasis on can, because it is not necessarily significant - depends on the diet.

 

I strongly disagree with you about your statement. The fact that calcium supplements - regardsless how high the dosis is - are not able to prevent osteoporosis (look at the china study) supports my negative attitude towards calcium supplementation.

Fiber as well as phytate may decrease calcium absorption and retention...

 

Calcium absorption in the intestine may also be inhibited by the presence of oxalate which chelates the calcium and increases fecal excretion...

 

Divalent cations, along with other minerals, can compete with calcium for intestinal absorption. ..

 

Calcium absorption from calcium supplements varies depending on the calcium salt. Calcium (250mg) absorption was 39% +3% from calcium carbonate, 32% +4% from calcium lactate, 30%+ 3% from calcium citrate, and 27%+ 3% from calcium gluconate....Overall calcium absorption in adults averages about 30%, the estimate used in deriving recommendations for intakes for adults. Studies report calcium absorption in the range of 20% to 50% from the diet, with most absorption in the 20% to 35% for dairy products.

 

Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 4th ed. Belmont City, CA: Thomson and Wadworth; 2005:382-383

 

I can pull up the studies cited in the text as well, if you'd like more info. I just grabbed a few relevant bits.

 

Also - osteoporosis is by no means solely linked to calcium intake.

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I do want to point out though that across the board, absorption rates don't differ very much. On average, you'll get around 30% (usually slightly under) regardless of your method of ingestion. Supplements are absorbed almost exactly at the same rate rate as dairy. Absorption can be reduced in vegetable sources due to the presence of oxalic acid - emphasis on can, because it is not necessarily significant - depends on the diet.

 

I strongly disagree with you about your statement. The fact that calcium supplements - regardsless how high the dosis is - are not able to prevent osteoporosis (look at the china study) supports my negative attitude towards calcium supplementation.

It is far more important and effective to prevent calcium loss (caused by a high-protein diet) than supplementing it. And to enhance the absorbtion of calcium: eat fruits and veggies rhich in vitamin C.

It is a myth that oxalic acid from vegetable sources reduces calcium absorbtion. When such hypothesis are tested the substances are usually given isolated although you will not ever find them isolated in nature. These studies serve only one purpose: to make people buy supplements.

 

I agree, I think part of this is also that those same healthy sources are good sources of potassium which I have been researching lately due to my high intake of bananas. Potassium reduces the calcium loss in the body, so you get a double whammy. Better absorption, less loss.

 

Ideal Sources for Calcium

For an individual trying to improve calcium balance, fruits and vegetables are the best foods, as they are rich in potassium, which reduces calcium loss. For example, 100 grams each of red peppers, bananas, oranges, and leafy greens will boost retained calcium by about 40 milligrams per day—enough to reverse a one percent loss of bone calcium per year. A daily pint of cow’s milk would have a similar effect for the average person, but only about half the benefit for individuals with low calcium absorption—those who are at particular risk of osteoporosis.

 

The ideal foods for bone health are those that are not only high in calcium but also reduce calcium loss. Low oxalate (oxalates are natural substances that bind strongly to calcium) and calcium-rich dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard and turnip greens, and spring greens are the best example. Some vegetables such as spinach, purslane and rhubarb are also high in oxalate, which hinders absorption of their calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables provide about 150 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams in raw weight. While many modern cultivated foods are sadly much less rich in calcium than the wild plants with which we evolved, green leafy vegetables are an exception and therefore of particular importance for modern humans.

 

Human use of dairy products is a recent and unnecessary development: a diet low in salt and rich in vegetables, fruits and root crops provides the best path to healthy bones. Dairy foods increase calcium loss as well as provide calcium. For example, cheddar cheese causes a net calcium loss in high-risk individuals, and cottage cheese causes calcium loss for most people in general. Foods such as meat, fish and eggs have a strong adverse effect because they are low in calcium and also cause high loss; foods that are low in calcium but also reduce losses, such as peppers, bananas and oranges, provide everyone with at least a modest boost.

 

Almonds, carob and molasses each provide about 250 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. While these foods are too concentrated in either calories or pungency to consume in large amounts, they can make a useful contribution. They will also provide alkali to boost blood pH.

 

Source, please.

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Calcium absorption from calcium supplements varies depending on the calcium salt. Calcium (250mg) absorption was 39% +3% from calcium carbonate, 32% +4% from calcium lactate, 30%+ 3% from calcium citrate, and 27%+ 3% from calcium gluconate....Overall calcium absorption in adults averages about 30%, the estimate used in deriving recommendations for intakes for adults. Studies report calcium absorption in the range of 20% to 50% from the diet, with most absorption in the 20% to 35% for dairy products.

 

I marked the sentence that is important in red. It is scientific nonsence to test the effect of isolated nutrients/minerals/vitamins because they do not exist isolated. Of course modern science goes the way of reduction for good reasons. Life (even clearly defined parts like digestion of calcium) is just to complex to study. The problem is that people searching that studies are likely to be overwhelmed with contradicting statements.

IMHO you should take a critical look at the study design of the studies you cite and ask yourself if these studies are able to explain the complex issue of human digestion.

You should really try to look on food as a whole. Maybe calcium from milk is well absorbed (calves need calcium to build strong bones) - but for what price? It is loaded with hormons, animal protein and animal fat. It usually is highly processed.

 

Also - osteoporosis is by no means solely linked to calcium intake.

 

I never stated it is solely linked to it. As the above mentioned this also is a complex issue.

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Calcium absorption from calcium supplements varies depending on the calcium salt. Calcium (250mg) absorption was 39% +3% from calcium carbonate, 32% +4% from calcium lactate, 30%+ 3% from calcium citrate, and 27%+ 3% from calcium gluconate....Overall calcium absorption in adults averages about 30%, the estimate used in deriving recommendations for intakes for adults. Studies report calcium absorption in the range of 20% to 50% from the diet, with most absorption in the 20% to 35% for dairy products.

 

I marked the sentence that is important in red. It is scientific nonsence to test the effect of isolated nutrients/minerals/vitamins because they do not exist isolated. Of course modern science goes the way of reduction for good reasons. Life (even clearly defined parts like digestion of calcium) is just to complex to study. The problem is that people searching that studies are likely to be overwhelmed with contradicting statements.

IMHO you should take a critical look at the study design of the studies you cite and ask yourself if these studies are able to explain the complex issue of human digestion.

You should really try to look on food as a whole. Maybe calcium from milk is well absorbed (calves need calcium to build strong bones) - but for what price? It is loaded with hormons, animal protein and animal fat. It usually is highly processed.

 

Also - osteoporosis is by no means solely linked to calcium intake.

 

I never stated it is solely linked to it. As the above mentioned this also is a complex issue.

Perhaps we've lost focus here, but my purpose in posting that was to refute your statement that supplements are poorly absorbed....they're about the same as any other source of calcium. Also, that current science does indicate decreased absorption from plant sources. I am NOT arguing in favor of either supplements or dairy, but I value full disclosure. In this setting, dairy and supplements aren't popular, but that doesn't make them ineffective. Devil's advocate, if you will.

The science is as yet inconclusive, but I personally think it's likely that hormones in milk have had detrimental effects in humans, as well as all the antibiotics the cows are given. Personally, I find milk repulsive. But a good source of calcium? Yeah, it is. So are supplements.

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Perhaps we've lost focus here, but my purpose in posting that was to refute your statement that supplements are poorly absorbed....they're about the same as any other source of calcium. Also, that current science does indicate decreased absorption from plant sources.

 

I agree with you. Science has lost focus here. And so are many people who believe in scientific studies representing the truth or being able to "proof" the beneficial effects of isolated nutrients. That is why I stated that current science as you call it is not able to really study the absorbtion of calcium because of reduction.

 

I am NOT arguing in favor of either supplements or dairy, but I value full disclosure.

 

So I do.

 

In this setting, dairy and supplements aren't popular, but that doesn't make them ineffective. Devil's advocate, if you will.

 

They are not only ineffective but also unhealthy and unnecessary.

 

The science is as yet inconclusive, but I personally think it's likely that hormones in milk have had detrimental effects in humans, as well as all the antibiotics the cows are given.

 

The problem with this statement is that you still believe that calcium from milk can be good and other parts of milk are bad for humans. "Food" (even calves-food) should be consumed and studied as a whole.

 

Personally, I find milk repulsive. But a good source of calcium? Yeah, it is. So are supplements.

 

Whole foods that humans can properly digest are good sources of calcium. Milk is a good source of calcium for calves.

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Perhaps we've lost focus here, but my purpose in posting that was to refute your statement that supplements are poorly absorbed....they're about the same as any other source of calcium. Also, that current science does indicate decreased absorption from plant sources.

 

I agree with you. Science has lost focus here. And so are many people who believe in scientific studies representing the truth or being able to "proof" the beneficial effects of isolated nutrients. That is why I stated that current science as you call it is not able to really study the absorbtion of calcium because of reduction.

 

I am NOT arguing in favor of either supplements or dairy, but I value full disclosure.

 

So I do.

 

In this setting, dairy and supplements aren't popular, but that doesn't make them ineffective. Devil's advocate, if you will.

 

They are not only ineffective but also unhealthy and unnecessary.

 

The science is as yet inconclusive, but I personally think it's likely that hormones in milk have had detrimental effects in humans, as well as all the antibiotics the cows are given.

 

The problem with this statement is that you still believe that calcium from milk can be good and other parts of milk are bad for humans. "Food" (even calves-food) should be consumed and studied as a whole.

 

Personally, I find milk repulsive. But a good source of calcium? Yeah, it is. So are supplements.

 

Whole foods that humans can properly digest are good sources of calcium. Milk is a good source of calcium for calves.

 

My quoting skills are weak, so I can't break up your statements like you did, so bare with me....

I think perhaps we're down to semantics at this point. I understand where you're coming from, but I think it is unwise to make blanket statements such as "

They are not only ineffective but also unhealthy and unnecessary." is foolish. Isolated calcium salts have shown to be absorbed as well as food sources of calcium, and if you are calcium deficient, and particularly if you have a medical condition that limits your ability to eat, calcium supplements have a place. Again, I would never recommend them over whole foods to your average, healthy person, but they DO have a time and a place. Simple statements such as "Supplementation won't prevent osteoporosis" too narrowly define what the benefit of supplementation may be. Calcium has more roles than JUST bone health, and you need it in your blood stream every day.

 

Regarding milk - again, science is inconclusive if its additives are harmful, I was stating a personal hunch. I think for a healthy individual who is not lactose intolerant, hormone-free and anti-biotic free (organic) milk is a safe and easy nutrition source, of more than just calcium. If you want to talk animal rights and cruelty etc, that's a different topic, about which I am not going to disagree. BUT - unadulterated milk is a good source of nutrition, and like anything else, in moderation presents no harm.

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Maybe the science of milk being a poor calcium source in terms of absorption is biased but just look at Americans. It is a fact the American women are some of the most osteoporosis prone people...and its not because of soda because this was a problem even before soda became the new water for Americans. It is also a fact that Americans are some of the largest dairy consumers in the world...which happens to also be a rich calcium source. There has to be some explanation for this. I know people personally(a few of my mom's friends and some of my friends parents...some even male) that suffer from this that do not consume very much soda...at the same time I do know more who do consume soft drinks but whats the explanation for the others...none of them are vegans by the way.

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