10:40 AM | 27-03-2019

My uncle dropped dairy & says his calcium went really low because of that. How do I explain him?

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4 Answers

12:30 PM | 28-03-2019

Well! It is strange but true that calcium is most commonly associated with milk/dairy intake. Hence, the conclusion that calcium level low is because of quitting dairy. I have two children and hence the issue of milk and its impact on calcium levels is of particular interest to me. Over a period of time, I have understood that getting the right nutrition, is a gradual step-by-step process. Similarly, depletion of a particular nutrient also happens gradually, over a period of time. More often than not there could be multiple factors contributing to the same. Refined sugar, for instance, is a big culprit for leaching calcium from our body. The point that I am trying to make here is that in your uncle's case, you must evaluate other possible causes of calcium levels dropping down.

Also, there are ample non-dairy options to get your calcium from, like nuts and seeds, veggies like broccoli and many others. You may want to suggest your uncle to include these in his diet on a regular basis. In general, if we ensure to eat a good amount of whole plant-based foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes etc., we should not have to worry about isolated nutritional components. Natural foods surely have all that our body requires.

09:54 AM | 29-03-2019

We have been conditioned to believe the link between calcium and milk.

When assessing any nutrient we need to understand the difference between NUTRIENT DENSITY VS ASSIMILATION.

We assume that if any food is having a particular nutrient our body is absorbing it. In reality, it is a body assimilation capacity which plays a role of nutrient absorption.

Milk is highly acidic food plus it lacks fibre. When we drink milk body has to put in extra effort to maintain alkaline balance in the blood. 

How does it do it? Two ways sodium than calcium. Sodium is highly alkalising mineral and body first uses its reserves. Once sodium reserves reach a critical level then it starts using calcium reserves.

Please note milk is only one of the factor for high acidic levels.

So, contrary to our belief Milk works against calcium levels. If Milk and Calcium link was established then many Asian countries like Japan, China where milk consumption is very less would have faced an epidemic.

You can read book THE CHINA STUDY by T. Colin Campbell for a comprehensive study on long term effect of dairy and other foods.

09:48 PM | 29-03-2019

First of all, how does he know that calcium levels went low? Is it a feeling, some symtoms or did he get a test done?

Yes, milk is high in calcium but only 30% of it gets absorbed and used by the body. There are better sources of calcium from the plant world like greens and seeds like sesame.

Besides good exposure to sunlight is needed for calcium absorption.

So tell him not to worry. There are many of us including children who do not take dairy. Please also ask him to read up about many plant based athletes like Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier, Rich Roll and our own Kunta Joisher (Mount Everest climber) who are strong and fit without animal products.

05:13 PM | 28-03-2019

Hi. You should explain him about milk using this blog - Is dairy a habit or a need?

There are people who regularly have milk for calcium, yet they get bone diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis, spondylitis. You can request your uncle to look around & verify this himself, he'll surely know such people, all of us do!!

I for one haven't been taking milk since the last 5 years, but my calcium is fine.

Calcium going really low is ofcourse an imbalance in the body & imbalance results from wrongful food choices, stress, lack of sleep, lack of sun, etc. If you don't spend time in sun, calcium absorption from foods can be a problem. Difficult to point out what was relevant in your uncle's case, but building or losing health is a step by step process. 

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