Truth about calcium absorption

Truth about calcium absorption 

Strong bones are our good friends because they allow us to remain mobile and active.But like in many health recommendations here we have controversial information too.

Calcium is a good example of that.Milk industry spend millions of dollars to convince us that milk is healthy for our bones.It is
true that calcium is essential for our bones, but there is another side of this story too.One is that calcium needs other minerals and vitamins for its absorbtion.There are some infromations that calcium from milk is not really absorbing like it should in our body and because of that it is not best choice.

We also have big pharmaceutical companies that sell drugs for osteoporosis.But often this drugs have side effects like blurred vision,disintegration of the jaw bone and others.Are these not more than conservative “side effects”?

Let’s start with some of the key facts about health of the bones.Firstly that we should note is that bones are living tissue.The elements that make up our bones are constantly being regenerating,which means that old bone is regenerated with the
new bone.But in order this to be possible body needs certain nutrients but there are also some nutrtients that can weaken our bones.Also our bones need physical activity to stay active and strong.

What about test of bone density?

Often doctors recommend us to make tests of bone density so we can check our bone health.But these tests sometimes can actually
be a false sign for diagnose osteoporosis because this test don’t distinguish small and big bones in individuals.

If it is like that how than we should check if we have osteoporosis?
Some symptoms that you should consider are cramps in the legs or feet during the night,if you start slowly to lose height,gum disease,loose teeth and constant pain in the lower back.Make sure you do not immediately panic if you have any of these symptoms.Cramps in the legs and feet may be also sing on
dehydration or lack of potassium.If you decreases in height, then I would recommend that you should visit doctor.Lets see now what we can do to make our bones healthier.

Portability is extremely important

This means walking, running, yoga, tai chi, training with weights are good.We can’t include cycling and swimming because your weight is supported by the bike or the water.Regular physical activity is a sign that body should start with deployment of minerals in the bones, especially in the hips, spine and feet where minerals can be utilized to strengthen bones.Inactive physical life increase the risk of osteoporosis, just like smoking, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption.

How drinking affects the health of bones

When it comes to bones what you drink also can make difference.Maybe you have hear that soft drinks are bad for your bones.This is absolutely true![1]

These drinks contain phosphates,which reduce the absorption of calcium in your bones.So drinking soda should certainly be reduced.
Fresh filtered water is a much better choice.The fluoridated water from the tap can aslo be harmful for our bones.Atleast that are the results of some studies.I have research this topic a little bit and I found very controversial informations about it.So there are studies that show that fluoridated water is harmful.[2,3]

but there are also some that show that is not[4,5,6,7]

Also, there are studies that indicate that fluoride can be even harmful in toothpastes but I will write article about this also.This is also controversial topic,but I dont mind that couse I use homemade tooth paste,lol.Now I feel like real nerd.

What about milk and calcium absorption

calcium absorption

Is milk good source of calcium?


When we think about calcium first that we have on our mind is milk because that is what we taught in the school and advertisements for milk are all around us.It contains calcium,it must be good for us?Although milk contains a lot of calcium it is not in the form which the body can absrob it with high rate.That is reflected in the research that show that countries with highest consumption of milk like Finland and United States have highest rates of people that have osteoporosis.

Also we need to mention that cow milk is acidic food.For our body to be healthy we need to have a neutral or positive pH balance.Concept which is supported by vegans, vegetarians and people diet is that the body is “taking away minerals from our
body” so it can return to normal pH balance.One of those minerals is calcium too.Milk is considered acidic food because it contains phosphate.But like you can see there are many contervrsial information about these too,which is confirmed by this study which
say that phosphates even increase calcium retention and there are no evidence that calcium phosphates are reducing absorbtion of calcium in our bones.[8]

I thinked that I am only weird here,but seems like nutrition science is weird too,lol.There is one more thing about absorbtion of calcium from milk and that is an essential amino acid methionine and we over consume it it becomes a poison for our body.More on this can be found at the following links [9,10]

Also the potential problem can also be that todays cows are kept indoors and they are eating grains and they are treated with antibiotics and many type of hormones.So it is better to consume the milk of cows that are grass fed,although this milk will not improve the absorbtion of calcium.And of course, there are alternative sources of calcium for those who are allergic to milk or milk sugar (lactose).

What is then good source of calcium?

calcium absorption

Dark leafy vegetables are
good source of calcium too

My opinion is that the best source of calcium is leafy vegetables such as broccoli, turnip,kale, chard, sardines.On the following link you can see a list of foods containing calcium,beside milk.But spinach and swiss chard contain oxalic acid, which together with calcium form calcium oxalate that is chemical salt which prevents the absorption of calcium.Otherwise,this study show that kale have better absorbtion of calcim then milk.[11]


Vegetables and calcium

Chard, swiss, raw 36 grama 8.4mg 2%
Kale 67 grama 90.5mg 9%
Turnip 130 grama 39.0mg 4%
Broccoli 91 grama 42.8mg 4%
Sardines 89 grama 569mg 57%

Also, do not consume more than 2 000 ml of calcium because the analysis that is done by Hardvard Univeristy concluded that man who consume at least 2,000 milligrams of calcium a day have nearly a double risk of developing prostate cancer,unlike those who consumed a minimum recommended intake of 500 milliliters a day [12]

Calcium supplements

You can notice that there are different types of calcium supplements.Although many manumanufacturers claim that certain form is better absorbed than other there is not enough studies that confirm this,at least I have not found that informations.If you have information about this, please leave them in a comment.

If you use supplements of calcium, it shall be combined with vitamin D3, because too large a quantity of calcium is associated with a higher risk of fracture. [13] Also too high quantity of calcium can be associated with heart problems too.[14] But calcium alone can not do the work.If you want to provide your body with material for building strong bones you will need to consume following nutrients too.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is produced in our bodies when we are under sun exposure.White people need only 15 minutes under the sun
so their body can produce the recommended dosage of vitamin D, while people with darker skin require approximately one hour.
This vitamin improves absorbtion of calcium from food and reduces the discharge of calcium in urine.Most Americans (especially those who live in the northern regions) have the drawback of this vitamin.But for required dose it is best to do test in order to know what dose is right for you.Foods rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil,fish,oysters,caviar,eggs,mushrums and fortfied foods.


Consume protein, but not too much.Body needs proteins to build healthy bones.When body digest proteins it also releases acids into the bloodstream.Excessive protein intake could be damage your bones.Nurses’ Health study show that woman who consumed more than 95% of protein per day had a 20% higher chance to have broked wrist in next 12 months unlike the woman who consumed the recommended daily instake of 68 grams daily.But I also must note that those studies are rare and results are often contraversial.[15] You should consume 1gram of protein per pound of your body weight,but if you are physically active person this amount could be higher which means 1.5grams.Foods rich in protein are eggs,fish,meat,chicken,milk.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K3 is a vitamin that is studied alot lately because it is belived that it plays an important role in regulation of calcium and bone tissue.Low quantity of this vitamin is are associated with lower bone density and supplementation of this vitamin shows improving in bone health.[14]

Data from the Framingham Heart Study showed that consumption of vitamin K may reduce the risk of hip fracture in men and women.[15,16]

Foods rich in vitamin K is Spinach, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Fresh Parsley, spring onions, russels Sprouts.


Magnesium also helps calcium to build healthier and stronger bones.People that eat standard american diet most probably have
magnesium deficiency according to researches which can increase the risk of osteoporosis as well as health problems with heart.Foods rich in magnesium is nuts,seeds,dark leafy greens,avocados,fish,bananas,figs,dark chocolate.



Truth about calcium absorption
1.3 (26.67%) 3 votes
  • Дарко Рунчев

    Very nice article, does calcium also play a role in the process of healing when a bone is broken? 😛

    • Yes Darko,calcium plays imprtant role in process of healing when bone is broken.

  • Johanna

    Thanks for this! I’m sharing with my health & wellness communities.

  • Belinda Whelan

    Milk totally messes with my skin and causes my eczema to flare up so I stick with a Calcium tablet fortified with vit d and plenty of leafy greens.

    • Yeah there are many cases that show us that milk is not made for humans,but opinions on this topic are very controversial 😉 Belinda I would also recommend you other good source of calcium and that is sesame seeds 😉