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Health and Diet



That regular reminder we all remember; to increase our daily intake of the important Vitamins D and C- perhaps this idea has become commonplace as soon as someone gets depressed or tired during the winter months.
It is a reminder that we have often witnessed upon health-oriented ads on television, or in free health magazines from the health food store or sent in the flyers bundle.
We all take some of this advice to heart, and it is also important for our hearts to have these vitamins regularly, during any season of the year.

During the winter months, though, we are reminded by health authorities that we might be suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In more northern climes, where the sky is often grey with impending snow or ice rain, and also because the sunshine hours of the day are much shorter, people might have less chance of the natural source vitamin D.
For a vegan, Vitamin D is even less easy to take in, since Vitamin D sources are very few, and mostly from fish sources like pink salmon and Cod Liver.

This month, I thought that researching bone or spine health, and also your hearts' needs, would be reasonably appropriate. February is of course, heart month, but here in January, the idea of checking ones' calcium intake, and also the necessary Vitamin D, comes easily to mind as well.I am not too old, but a slip on the ice for someone elderly can have catastrophic consequences, so, as well as reminding people to take a seniors' arm in order to assist them on slippery patches, or to make sure that ones' own boots have solid grip upon ice and snow, might help prevent some bone breaks, this winter.

When I started researching dietary calcium, I had no idea how many avenues of approach I could take. There is a great deal of health information on the Internet, and this varies according to your own dietary needs.
To begin to annotate sites relevant to Calcium absorption, a good start was to see how much children need, daily. Not only is there a guide to the actual and realistic portions that children need, but also, an immediate reminder from one of the sites that calcium may come from a non-lactose source or two. Children or adults who suffer from lactose intolerance might also lose out on enough daily calcium, so they might find the following pages handy.


Go to, and you will find a non-dairy source list of calcium-rich foods.


soya beverage,fortified cereals, spinach, white beans,tofu,sardines, pink salmon, collards, molasses, green soybeans, turnip greens, ocean perch, oatmeal, cowpeas, kale, okra, blue crab, beet greens, bak-choi, clams, dandelion greens, trout.
see also, more info about sources: carob, pulses, miso ,seeds, sea vegetables and parsley
Others not so high in calcium sources can be: broccoli, sweet potatoes and oranges
Also mentioned is a caramel flavoured tootsie-roll pop type vitamin supplement that kids like, called 'non-dairy kids Scooby Doo Calcium Chews (500 mg of calcium daily)perhaps a good solution for children who balk at lots of different foods.

"Even though most parents understand the importance of their children getting enough calcium, only about 1/2 of younger children and even fewer teens get enough calcium in their diet." How to read food labels for calcium contenta good example is to be able to understand which orange juice brands are rich in calcium: "a 7 year old whose main source of calcium is orange juice, would have to drink about 20 glasses of OJ that only has 4% calcium, vs just 2-3 glasses of OJ with 35% calcium. "

The above is a quotation from the sites' calcium page. The same site lists Minimum daily requirements age-wise, for toddlers to teens. Link here to :calcium for children.

Upon the same subject, Dr. Stephen Walsh, PhD, "Diet and Bone Health", warns the consumer to be aware of the percentage value of calcium present in Tahini, since the amount of calcium in the sesame butter can fluctuate, per brand.


Starting Finger Foods - Baby Foods and Infant Nutrition

Infant Finger Foods


Soy Protein

"Last October, the Food and Drug Administration gave food manufacturers permission to put labels on products high in soy protein indicating that these foods may help lower heart disease risk."

Children and Soya

American Soybean Association, articles, trade, nutrition, energy, farming, crop protection, conservation (policies)

Calcium in Fish

Calcium and Spine Health


OK, slaves of Industry, why do you think all those peasants, the slaves of Egypt survived? It was figs! Pliny the Elder noted that a slaves' diet was comprised of figs, by more than 50%!! And the Pharoahs probably threw their turnip greens away,a long with the White Plantation owners in the US. Everyone knows that African Americans ate their wheaties, the Slave owners having been too choosy to eat what they considered to be pigs' swill. Foo on them for that!

Spine Health and Food Reference

Calcium With Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a true necessity which allows the body to absorb calcium.

Hard to find vitamin D helps Calcium digest so that it is delivered properly for nerves, bones, organs, skin, teeth and blood, however, it only occurs in high units, naturally, in a few foods like egg yolks, sardines and butter fat, or, unnaturally, in D-fortified cereals and milk.
Sunshine offers vitamin D in abundance. I have just read in one article that one should soak in some sun while wearing a good sunscreen. In another article, the advice is offered that people with darker pigmentation do not absorb vitamin D through the skin so readily, hence the use of a sunscreen also inhibits the absorption of D. I do not know what percentage of validity there exists for each of these statements. If you are a researcher, you might feel free to evaluate any claims as to heredity and D absorption factors. Please, don't quote me!

What is Damaging to Bone?

According to nutritionists, carbonated beverages (commercial pop) have a deleterious affect on calcium digestion:
to quote:
"recent research has pointed to phosphorus and carbonated beverages (which contain phosphoric acid) as having a negative impact on bone density".

"Use of glucocorticoids (steroids) to treat diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, especially the oral form of these medications (at higher doses and over longer periods of time e.g., more than 2 months), can be particularly damaging to bone."

"Even though our bones feel solid and seem permanent, they're just like any other body tissue; they're constantly being broken down and formed again. In an adult 20 percent of bone calcium is withdrawn from bones and replaced each year. Thus, every five years the bones are renewed. Calcium is found in the extra cellular fluids and soft tissues of the body, where it is vital to normal cell functioning. Much of the calcium in soft tissues is concentrated in muscle, although it is contained in the membrane and cytoplasm of every cell. The role of calcium is so vital in these fluids and tissues that, if it's supply runs low, the body will actually leach calcium from its own bones."

If you are interested in a good article upon bone health, link here to a section on osteoporosis in:


THINGS YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT FIBRE AND TUMS. -um, do you care, actually?

About that fibre-rich diet?
I am amazed to find that there is a contra-indication in the ingestion of too much bran and other high fibre foods. Personally, I stopped taking high fibre psyllium because of messiness,and, because I found out that too much psyllium can bloat the stomach, but I di not know that taking too much bran or psyllium husks can rob the body of some of its necessary calcium!

"There is no apparent difference between eating calcium-fortified foods and eating foods that are naturally rich in calcium. However, calcium-fortified cereals may also contain phytate, which can interfere with calcium absorption. In addition, high-fiber diets – although healthy – contribute to low calcium levels because the presence of a lot of fiber in the intestines reduces the absorption of many nutrients, including calcium. The fiber “rushes” the food through the intestines so fast that maximum absorption of nutrients may not occur.

While many foods contain calcium, dairy products are the most significant source. Milk, yogurt, cheese and buttermilk contain about 300mg of calcium per serving.
(You will find a section on these pitfalls in Spine-Healt
h, too.)


Another thing that I did not think of was that I regularly take Tums, for mild indigestion. I have been taking a calcium supplement in the same pill, I discovered!

Tums (or other calcium-rich digestives) can help to prevent osteopenia, which is a problem with less than normal bone mass.

Calcium Equivalents List

In the Calcium Equivalents List, one Tum equals 300mg of Calcium. Your recommended intake is from between 1,000 mg to 2,000 milligrams, depending upon how much calcium loss there is due to dietary and other factors.

link to hints about enriching your diet: Some examples are to have latte instead of reg coffee, to use skim milk instead of water in reconstituting soup (I recently used sour cream with canned vegetable soup -rich!) eat bananas, brown rice,whole almonds, or yoghurt. Try adding yoghurt instead of mayonnaise in salads or sandwiches.

MINE: I bake apple crumble with almonds (oats and almonds). Apples are baked with a crumb topping of mostly oats, some flour, brown sugar, margarine and I add a whole packet of shaved blanched almonds. The flavourful thin nut slices combine with other calcium rich facors: margarine, Demerara or brown sugar,and oats. I sprinkle crumble with nuts over my apple layer, and then I place fresh pineapple slices over the first crumble layer. Then I add almond slices onto the top of the next crumble layer. I tried this first with tinned cherry pie-filling, which is a giant man-magnet, let me tell you! At least, if you don't preach, kids and your man will love this, not knowing there is good - for - them calcium inside the munchiness and sweet sinfulness of this dessert! Being British, ( a mite plump, too) I love to serve something terribly sweet like this dessert with real, freshly whipped heavy cream.

How we really eat, and how much you will Calcium find in it!

So, you eat nice healthy things like, say....cheese pizza, or take-out Chinese food?


The page link here, above, will tell you how much of your daily need is filled by foods like slices of pizza, or of bread, honest!

The Chinese Cabbage in Chinese food, "bok choy", has 80 mg calcium, in half a cup.
I love frozen yoghurt! 1/2 a cup will give me 105 mg of calcium.
....White bread (ugh?) some 70 mg calcium in 2 slices. Find out more on this page:

"Girls aged 9 to 18 should aim for 1,300 milligrams or 130% of the daily value (DV) every day.*... adults need or should have 1,000 mg calcium daily."

Reaching 1,300 milligrams

Mmmmm rice and soya beverages! I really love these. Soya beverages will give 250 to 300 mg cal per cup, rice 150- 300.

an example of three foods in a day, which offer 850 mg

GOOD LIST of reg foods and calcium amounts each.

Kidney Stone Problems and Calcium

(I looked on the net for half an hour, and did not see anything specific about kidney stones and dietary calcium, except that diet should have to be less acidic, therefore the stomachs' acid less readily digests regular calcium rich foods. So, take a safe supplement that your Doctor recommends.

When someone in my family had listened to my advice, as a younger person, to take antibiotics Vitamin C and Dolomite, we both found that taking too much C and with Dolomite Calcium, can be a painful experience for the kidneys. I thought that it was OK to suck away on flavoured vitamin C pills, instead of candies, and hadn't a clue about how much a person could readily take along with other supplements. So, a Doctor having straightened us out, avoid high dose Dolomite with high dose vitamin c yourself, since this can cause painful kidney stone like symptoms! Just a thought!

References about Calcium and Kidney Stones

"About Adam"- adam.about.comRead about Kidney Stones

Bonespur solutions:

Cached letter about kidney stones and calcium supplements on Google blogspot:

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body but may also be the most deficient.
"The amount of calcium that we absorb from our food varies widely. Our age is one factor; An adolescent may absorb up to 75% of the calcium obtained from foods while in adults the maximum absorption rate ranges from 20% to 30%"

Bonespur dot com warns of a coral calcium source that has poisons, so check your source for a pure supplement,should you suffer from either kidney stones or from Bone Spurs.

Natural Source supplemental: Calcium and Kidney stones

LINK TO: Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) HERE.

Phyllantus pumilus, Phyllantus kirganelia, Phyllantus carolinensis, Phyllantus asperculata, Phyllantus lathyroides, Phyllantus microphyllus, Phyllantus urinary, Phyllantus amarus or Phyllantus niruri var. Amarus.


Chanca piedra, Quebra Pedra, Pitirishi, Stone Breaker, seed in the leaf, urinary filante, poor man(s quinine, girl's herb, niruri (Indian), pernilla del pasto (Puerto Rico), Holy Friday (Colombia), gale of wind (Florida and English Carib), erva pombinha (Brazil), Creole quinine, arrebentapedra, Paraparaim̀ (Paraguay), Santa Maria, San Pedro (Philippians), herb of San Pablo, sampasampalkan (Philippians), sacha foster.

Chanca piedra is so-called because the name means stone-breaker, or shatter-stone. It is a traditional remedy of the Rainforests, but grows, literally, everywhere.

Chanca Piedra is from the Euphorbiaceae family.
The generic name Phyllantus has more than 600 species, and it means "leaf and flower" because the flower, as well as the fruit, seem to become one with the leaf.
Its' scientific name, niruri name is from Hindi.

I was really interested in pursuing facts about health difficulties and calcium in the diet. That is when I discovered this herb remedy. I had not heard of this before researching Calcium and kidney problems.

This remedy is well-known for "its effect on liver disease (antihepatotoxic) reducing cholesterol in liver cholesterol production, increasing faecal bile acid secretion (will help to absorb Calcium in digestion)"

A study evoked the knowledge that it is of benefit toward Hepatitis B.(clinical research performed by Dixit and Achar in 1983 and by Syamasundar and co. 1985*"
In 1992 a Japanese group discovered that a simple water extract of chanca piedra contained a compound able to inhibit an enzyme called reverse transcriptase."
Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme involved in the process of virus replication."

supportive studies and recommended uses:

Kidney stones treatment
Anti inflamatory
Anti hepatotoxic
Inmuno stimulant.

Chanca piedra was also shown in a 1995 human study to have significant diuretic and hypotensive properties, and to reduce and helped normalize blood glucose in diabetic patients."


CFSN dot com

Amazon Herbs

Sorry to sites Amazon Herb and to CFSN dot com, for making verbatim quotes, but I did not want to leave out items of relevance.

Available remedies:  sources are  Raintree Herbs, Amazon Herbs, and CFS nutrition.

FAQs and How much can you absorb, per meal?

Calcium absorption requires a fairly acidic stomach.

Women need 2 to 3 grams of calcium, their average absorption is about 20% of this.

Why you need copper, too:

We need a lot of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Your heart rate and its' good health are co-dependent upon not just basics like calcium, but upon minerals like copper. A clear article indicates that few of us have much sophistication with regard to what we think is childs play..."simply drink milk, and..."

Most people with thyroid disease find that they have to supplement calcium and magnesium. During hyperthyroidism, magnesium is low and calcium is high. This imbalance is the result of other mineral imbalances (copper, zinc, iron, etc.), but the effects on the heart rate are direct effects of a calcium/magnesium imbalance...persons with hypothyroidism, because they need a higher calcium to magnesium ratio.
The key to understanding the effects of calcium and magnesium on the heart is this: Calcium is needed for muscles to contract and magnesium is needed for muscles to relax.
The heart muscles are like all muscles. Calcium causes heart contraction; magnesium causes heart relaxation. .....
The key to the insight that it was calcium that was deficient was the observation that the heart rate was weak. A weak heart rate means that calcium is deficient and the contraction phase is weak and short. This results in an increase in heart rate and also an irregular heart rate because some contractions are missed entirely. Contrast this to a magnesium deficiency where the heart rate is irregular because some of the relaxations are missed." There is a quite complex essay as listed above, under FAQs, on how Calcium and other minerals work for your heart and thyroid health, and it is worth reading, and understanding.

Read Research upon minerals for health. Heart rate, hyperthyroidism and Calcium

How Calcium Gets Lost

"In people following typical North American and European diets, calcium loss is driven with approximately equal importance by high sodium (salt) intakes, high protein intakes and low potassium intakes." quoted from:

Calcium Loss

Ideal foods for bone health are : green leafy vegetables, dairy foods:

Some rare advice:

" Foods such as meat, fish and eggs, which are low in calcium but cause high losses, have a strong adverse effect; low calcium foods which reduce losses, such as peppers, bananas and oranges,"

fruit and vegetables rich in potassium reduce calcium losses.

"100 g each of red peppers, bananas, oranges, kale and spring greens will boost retained calcium by about 40 mg per day."
a low calorie intake results in less protein intake, making person high risk for calcium losses. provide everyone with a modest boost.


rates of absorption: vitamin D and calcium per type of metabolism:

Googles' list of abstracts from studies on D intake:

Interrelationship among vitamin D metabolism, true calcium absorption, parathyroid function, and age in women: evidence of an age-related intestinal resistance to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D action.

related science article abstract:

Recommended vit D intake

61 to 70 years, 400 to 600 IU daily.

  • Milk       1 cup       100 IU
  • Fortified rice or soy beverage       1 cup       100 IU
  • Fortified margarine       2 tsp       53 IU
  • Salmon, canned, pink       3 oz       530 IU
  • Tuna, canned, light       3 oz 200 IU

I of course, asked the impossible: "How many IU (International Units) in sunshine per hour?"

Could Contributions of vitamin D intake and seasonal sunlight exposure to plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration in elderly women help?

What every family needs to know about vitamin D

A typical, one-a-day vitamin and mineral supplement contains 400 IU of vitamin D, the current recommended daily requirement for adults

sources of vitamin D: salmon, canned tuna and sar-dines, eggs, beef liver, and cheese

Tips on fruit and vegetable juices diet:

vegan diet, the senior years, and vitamin/mineral sources

Good bone health also needs: vit K, C and magnesium:
K: broccoli and other greens, also Omega 3 fatty acids.
As usual, kids, eat less salt.
No, Speedy, you can't get away with it! As usual,drink less caffeine

"Increased calcium and vitamin D appears to reduce risk of colorectal cancer and may also reduce risk of breast cancer. Increased vitamin D may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer and auto-immune diseases."

other recommendations:

Diet and Bone Health
Stephen Walsh, PhD
Copyright © The Vegan Society 2002 - 2003
Floral Source Calcium for the Esoteric

daily (they estimate this is at :10%) there is a calcium source (94 mg) in Swedish Pollen Extract.

Hypoallergenic Calcium Source:

Terminalia Arjuna has naturally occurring calcium from a traditional botanical source. It is a hypoallergenic, and organic, supplement.

Hoping all this reading and each new idea gives you some healthy" spring" to your bones, and some tranquil joy to your demeanour!

Bye for now, Sue


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