Calcium – What the experts say

Calcium – what the experts say:

“Hip fractures and osteoporosis are more frequent in populations in which dairy products are commonly consumed and calcium intakes are commonly high.” Joel Fuhrman, MD

“A multicountry analysis of hip-fracture incidence and dairy product consumption found that milk consumption has a high statistical association with higher rates of hip fractures.” Joel Fuhrman, MD

“. . . you need some calcium in your diet, but it should come from healthful sources, namely green leafy vegetables and beans.  While there is somewhat less calcium in broccoli than in milk, the absorption fraction – the percentage that your body can actually use – is higher for broccoli and nearly all other greens than for milk.” Neal D. Barnard, MD

“Any healthy diet containing a reasonable amount of unrefined plant foods will have sufficient calcium without milk.  Fruits and vegetable strengthen bones.” Joel Fuhrman, MD

“Research has proven that the bioavailability of cow-milk calcium is inferior to that found in kale and other greens.” Kerrie Saunders, PhD

“Although high-calcium intakes have long been recommended to prevent osteoporosis, there is little evidence that milk, dairy foods, and calcium supplements prevent fractures.” D.M. Hegsted, PhD  Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 2001

“. . . in clinical, longitudinal, retrospective, and cross-sectional studies, neither increased consumption of dairy products, specifically, nor total dietary calcium consumption has shown even a modestly consistent benefit for child or young adult bone health.” Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Pediatrics 2005 Mar; 115(3): 736-43.

“Data indicate that frequent milk consumption and higher dietary calcium intakes in middle aged women do not provide protection against hip or forearm fractures. [Furthermore], women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had significantly increased risks of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.” (from a Harvard study of over 70,000 women) Feskanich, Diane, et al. American Journal of Public Health, June 1997, Vol 87, No.6, pp 992-7.

“Milk and dairy foods are high in animal protein but low in alkaline nutrients.  They flood the bloodstream with amino acids but don’t buffer them.  To neutralize those acids, the body must draw calcium compounds from bone.  As a result, we would not expect milk and dairy foods to prevent fractures – and they don’t.” Amy Lanou, PhD

“People in many countries around the world consume only five hundred milligrams of calcium a day, half of what American health authorities recommend, or less, yet have fracture rates only a small fraction of ours.  Not as much calcium flows in through the faucet, but even less drains away.” Amy Lanou, PhD

“A diet based on fruits and vegetables, with some legumes and grains, contains more than enough calcium from strong bones and more than enough protein for good health.” Amy Lanou, PhD

“Calcium is a mineral found in the earth.  Plants absorb calcium (and all minerals) through their roots.  Animals, eating these calcium rich plants, are then able to absorb the mineral and store it in their bones.” Matthew Lederman, MD and Alona Pulde, MD

“Contrary to the catchy milk-mustache campaign, dairy products aren’t the best way to get plenty of calcium.” Walter Willett, MD, MPH, DrPH , Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

“Take a moment and ask yourself a simple question: Does it really make sense that humans must ‘nurse’ from cows for their entire lives to fulfill their calcium needs?” Joseph Keon, PhD

“Dairy products shouldn’t occupy a prominent place in our diet, nor should they be the centerpiece of the national strategy to prevent osteoporosis.” Walter Willett, MD, MPH, DrPH , Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

“ . . . the accumulated data indicate that the adverse effect of protein, in particular animal (but not vegetable) protein, might outweigh the positive effect of calcium intake on calcium balance.” The World Health Organization

“The correlation between animal protein [intake] and fracture rates in different societies is as strong as that between lung cancer and smoking.” T. Colin Campbell, PhD

“First, most green leafy vegetables and beans have a form of calcium that is absorbed as well or even a bit better than that in milk. They also have iron, vitamins, complex carbohydrate, and fiber which are generally lacking in milk.” Benjamin Spock, MD

“Millions of people the world over maintain fracture-resistant bones into their seventh and even eighth decade of life by consuming calcium largely from plant sources. The calcium we need may be easily obtained from leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes and some nuts and seeds.” Joseph Keon, PhD

“About 70 percent of the world population has difficulty digesting dairy products due to a condition called lactose intolerance.  Humans aren’t genetically programmed to consume dairy.  We’re the only species that drinks the mild of another species, consuming milk after weaning.” Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT

“Dairy increases growth hormones in your blood.  Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) helps a baby calf double its birth weight in less than 2 months – more than three times faster than a human infant does.  In humans, IGF-1 causes undesirable growth, and a high level of IGF-1 is a known risk factor for cancer.” Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT

“Our deeply-rooted beliefs about the wholesomeness of milk and dairy products should be reconsidered under careful scientific evaluation.” Bodo C. Melnik, JDDG 2009 7:364-370

“Milk developed over the course of mammalian evolution as a highly complex, biologically active carrier of signals which was intended only to be consumed during infancy.  The consumption of cow’s milk interferes with the sensitive endocrine regulatory network from the fetal period into old age.” Bodo C. Melnik, JDDG 2009 7:364-370

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