Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Hats Off to Maple Syrup For Its Many Health Benefits

by Heather Dale    SEPTEMBER 2, 2011

When you need a sweetener, what do you turn to? Honey, agave nectar, or maybe just plane ole sugar? I’m far from being this “freaky” eater, but my sweetener of choice is organic, Grade A maple syrup. Aside from smothering pancakes and waffles in this delicious brown syrup, maple syrup is a very versatile sweetener. I like adding it to yogurt, oatmeal, or apple sauce, but you can also use it in dressings for salads, in fish or chicken dishes, or in a granola parfait, or roast some almonds in maple syrup and spicy cinnamon for a light, healthy snack. These maple syrup recipe ideas are sure to inspire you.

Pure maple syrup tastes great, and it offers a myriad of health benefits. Here are just a few:

It’s an antioxidant powerhouse. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may help prevent several chronic and inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. It also comes packed with phenolics — the beneficial antioxidant compounds in maple syrup — that may help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels balanced since phenolics inhibit the enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar.


Here are more reasons why it’s good for us.

It settles digestion issues. Try swapping out sugar in baked-good recipes for maple syrup, and you may find that the usual gas and bloating you normally experience after consuming processed sweeteners is no longer an issue. If you do replace sugar with maple syrup, just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid the recipe calls for by about a half-cup.

It helps with muscle recovery. Real maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, which helps repair muscle and cell damage; it also keeps bones strong and blood sugar levels normal.

It is filled with important nutrients. Maple syrup contains essential nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. Zinc not only supports reproductive health, but it also helps to keep your white blood cells up, which assist in the protection against colds and viruses.

As sweet as all of this sounds, keep in mind that at the end of the day, maple syrup is still just liquid sugar. Too much sugar intake can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, unhealthy blood levels of fat and cholesterol, and high blood pressure, so regardless of its health benefits, be sure to use maple syrup in moderation.


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25+ Vegan Sources of Calcium

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati    September 24, 2013

We have all been taught that calcium is an essential nutrient for maintaining bone health (although it has many other uses, including balancing body pH.) There are also a number of other factors that influence bone health, such as an individual’s level of physical activity.

What I want to talk about today though is the myth that animal milks (especially cheeses) are the optimal source of calcium.

As explained by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM):

“Although many people think of calcium in the diet as good protection for their bones, this is not at all the whole story. In fact, in a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who drank milk three times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk. Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption.”

Calcium is an essential nutrient in our diet. But as you can see, not all calcium is equal. Did you know that although animal milks have calcium in them, they also leach calcium from the bones? (This helps explain the outcomes of the studies mentioned above). In fact, all animal proteins leach calcium from our bones!

“Animal protein tends to leach calcium from the bones, leading to its excretion in the urine. Animal proteins are high in sulfur-containing amino acids, especially cystine and methionine. Sulfur is converted to sulfate, which tends to acidify the blood. During the process of neutralizing this acid, bone dissolves into the bloodstream and filters through the kidneys into the urine. Meats and eggs contain two to five times more of these sulfur-containing amino acids than are found in plant foods” – PCRM

Other factors that influence calcium loss and bone health are:

–       Genetics
–       Possibly caffeine
–       Salt
–       Tobacco use
–       Physical inactivity
–       Lack of sun exposure

Another important note to make is about the amount of calcium we actually need on a daily basis:
“The World Health Organization recommends 400-500 milligrams of calcium per day for adults. American standards are higher, at 800 milligrams per day or even more, partly because the meat, salt, tobacco, and physical inactivity of American life leads to rapid calcium loss.” ~ PCRM

So the question remains: How do we get calcium in our diet without leaching calcium from our bones at the same time?
Plants!

There are plenty of calcium-rich plants to get this essential nutrient from. On the next page, I’ve provided a list of plant-based foods to start you off. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good mix of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains that are packed with calcium, demonstrating that it’s easy to reach a daily calcium intake anywhere from 400mg to 1000mg (depending on your calcium needs) solely using plant sources.


Whole Food Sources:
Plant (Serving Size, mg of Calcium)

–       Collard greens, cooked (1 cup, 357)
–       Figs, dried (10 medium, 269)*
–       Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt (1 cup, 261)
–       Turnip greens, cooked (1 cup, 249)
–       Tempeh (1 cup, 184)
–       Kale, cooked (1 cup, 179)
–       Bok choy, cooked (1 cup, 158)
–       Mustard greens, cooked (1 cup, 152)
–       Okra, cooked (1 cup, 135)
–       Navy beans, cooked (1 cup, 126)
–       Almonds, whole (1/4 cup, 94)
–       Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt (1 cup, 80)
–       Oranges, All commercial varieties (1 cup sections, 72)
–       Broccoli, cooked (1 cup, 62)
–       Papayas, raw (1 cup mashed, 46)

Fortified or Packaged:
(Food, Serving Size, mg of Calcium)

–   Tofu, raw, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate. (1/2 cup, 861)
–   Blackstrap molasses (2 Tbsp, 400)
–   Oatmeal, instant (2 packets, 326)
–   Tofu, soft-regular processed with nigari (4 oz, 130-400)
–   Tofu, soft-regular processed with calcium sulfate* (4 oz, 200-420)
–   Soy or rice milk, commercial, calcium-fortified, plain     (8 oz, 200-300)
–   Other plant milks, calcium-fortified (8 oz, 300-500)
–   Calcium-fortified orange juice (8 oz 350)
–   Commercial soy yogurt, plain (6 oz, 300)
–   Tahini (2 Tbsp, 128)
–   Almond butter (2 Tbsp, 111)

Sources:
USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, 2011 and manufacturers’ information.
*J.A.T. Pennington, Bowes and Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1994.)
Vegan SocietyHuffington PostNIH – Calcium Quick FactsT Colin Campbell T Colin Campbell

source: care2.com


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Why Calcium In Milk And Most Calcium Supplements Are A Huge Detriment To Your Health

by MARCO TORRES     August 21, 2013

Most people are unaware that pasteurized milk actually causes osteoporosis because there is a process the body must commit to due to milk’s calcium content being unabsorbed. The majority of calcium supplements on the market also contain inferior forms of the mineral which are also not absorbable and actually decrease the digestibility of other nutrients. 

The belief that calcium is what builds strong bones is absolutely ingrained in our society, but has no basis in reality-calcium is but ONE of the many minerals your body needs for building strong bones. Conventional calcium supplements have demonstrated little benefit, and they may increase your risk for a cardiovascular event. 

If you take too much Calcium (and to a slightly lesser degree, Magnesium) at once, it will cause your body pH to rise, which might try to change your blood pH, but your blood pH WILL NOT change because even a small change will kill you instantly! The body is quick to dump calcium & other minerals to check the rise in alkalinity, but where does the calcium go? 

A 2004 study showed that people with excess calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17-fold higher risk of heart attacks than do those with lower arterial calcium levels; researchers concluded that the two most definitive indicators of heart attack were LDL levels and calcium build-up.

A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has more favorable effects on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal women (Am J Clin Nutr 2007).

A 2008 study found calcium supplements are associated with a greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women (BMJ 2008) 

A 2010 meta-analysis showed calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with increased risk for heart attack (BMJ 2010) 

A recent randomised controlled study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, analysed the effect of calcium on joint symptoms in postmenopausal women – finding that intake of a supplement had no significant effect on the severity of joint symptoms.

Dr. Eldon Dahl has explained the importance in the following PreventDisease.com interview of sourcing supplements with formulations that contain ingredients that complement each other. 

Most supplements on the supplement market today contain calcium carbonate which is an inferior form of calcium and manufacturers attach a simple chelating agent like citric acid to make it more absorbable, however the end product is inferior to other calcium supplements such as calcium orotate, which is the only known form of calcium which can effectively penetrate the membranes of cells. 

Calcium and all minerals actually, are inorganic. Consequently, they are not easily absorbed. It’s required they be bound to some other substance (preferably organic) in order to be utilized at all. The inorganic salt, carbonate, neutralizes a required stomach acid. Among many key physiological requirements and ratios, stomach acid is desperately needed for absorption of ALL minerals.

With the support of medical research, the market has been flooded with calcium supplements, many which fail to take into consideration calcium metabolism. You have all heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” In light of today’s food supplies, it may be more apropos to say “You are what you absorb.” A mineral that is not absorbed cannot get into the bones; it just floats in the blood stream and then forms deposits in the joints. The amount absorbed is more important than the quantity consumed.

The type of minerals in the formula determines the absorption levels: Opti-Cal/Mag with Vitamin K2 is a co-enzyme complex, heat-stabled molecules that must be associated with another enzyme for them to perform their function in the body. It is necessary in the utilization of vitamins and minerals for proper delivery to the cell nucleus. One study found that Opti-Cal/Mag complex is 8.79 times more absorbed into the blood than calcium carbonate and 2.97 times more than calcium gluconate. 

Another interesting study found that calcium from bone meal/powder is absorbed 1.13 times more than calcium carbonate, the variety found in most supplements. Clinical reports consistently confirm that dietary/food calcium in its more absorbable form benefits in the management of lowering blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Other health concerns from calcium deficiencies can contribute to muscle cramps, insomnia, mood/behavioral/nerve problems, hypertension, growth problems, kidney stones, and colon cancer. More recent research indicates that calcium also plays a role in preventing cancer by detoxifying potentially cancer-causing compounds in the bowel.


Dairy – One of The WORST Foods for Calcium Absorption 

Another fact most people are unaware of is the myth promoted by the dairy industry that consuming pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases calcium levels. This is totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process ACTUALLY CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS. Milk definitively does not do a body good if it’s pasteurized.

Dairy contains too little magnesium needed at the proper ratio to absorb the calcium. Most would agree that a minimum amount of Mag in the Cal. to Mag Ratio is 2 to 1 and preferably 1 to 1. So milk, at a Cal/Mag ratio of 10 to 1, has a problem. You may put 1200 mg of dairy calcium in your mouth, but you will be lucky to actually absorb a third of it into your system

Consider, why is it that the elderly bent over double with osteoporosis even after they ate plenty of dairy and took the doctor recommended calcium supplements most of their adult life? Could it be that pharmaceutical conglomerates know that dairy (and most doctor recommended calcium supplements) are not a good source of calcium, but they tell you they are because they don’t really want the “calcium” to stave off osteoporosis…they would much rather sell you Fosamax instead.

6 WAYS TO MAXIMIZE CALCIUM ABSORPTION

1. Eat calcium rich foods
Eat foods high in calcium. The best food sources are non-pasteurized raw dairy sources such as raw milk/yogurt, as well as bony fish, such as sardines. Leafy green veg such as kale, broccoli and spinach are also rich in calcium. Dried herbs and dried fruits such as figs and currants are also good choices. Seeds such as sesame, chia and flax are also rich sources of calcium. Also, enjoy foods that contain sulfur such as garlic and onions.

2. Food selections/combinations are critical
Try not to eat whole grains and calcium-rich foods at the same time. Whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and prevents proper absorption. Some foods that contain compounds such as oxalic or phytic acids, such as sweet potatoes, beans, rhubarb, celery and beets, can also decrease the amount of calcium that’s absorbed when eaten at the same time as calcium-rich foods.

3. Avoid the causes of mineral excretion
Pass on phosphate-containing foods such as soft drinks. Phosphorus causes the body to excrete calcium. Limit or avoid high-protein animal foods. A diet high in protein causes calcium to be excreted from your body. Decrease caffeine consumption. People who smoke have significantly lower bone density, while drinking alcohol can also prevent your bones from absorbing the maximum nutrients from your food.

4. Get more Sunlight and Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Although some is found in oily fish, our main source comes from the effect of sunlight on your skin. It’s estimated that half of us have a deficiency because we don’t get outside enough or because we always use sunblock. It is especially important to maximize sun exposure between May and September to keep vitamin D levels topped up. Just 10 minutes of sunlight a day on bare arms and your face can cut your risk of bone fractures by a third. A half hour exposing your torso is equivalent to roughly 10,000 units of Vitamin D.

5. The right exercise
Another vital way to boost your bones is weight-bearing exercise –basically anything that has you upright and using your body weight. Good choices include squatting, rope skipping, aerobics, plyometrics, dancing or brisk walking. “Research shows that if you don’t exercise you end up weeing out all the calcium you take in instead of storing it in your bones,” warns Professor Dawn Skelton, an aging and health specialist at Glasgow Caledonian University. “Ideally we should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. “Put simply, the more hours we spend on our feet, the fewer bone breakages we should have in later life.”

6. Avoid Medications and Medical Therapies
Acid-blocking medications used for heartburn and other gastrointestinal conditions can block the absorption of calcium through the stomach walls. Stomach acids break down food during the digestive process, allowing the nutrients to become absorbed into your body. Medications designed to stop acid production or decrease the amount of acids present in your stomach can have a negative effect on calcium. 

Sources:
drbenkim.com  
life-choice.net  
health.gov  

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.


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The 5 Most Prominent Minerals In The Body and Their Use

by Fiora Stevens on August 5, 2013

Health conscious people often talk about getting enough vitamins and minerals, but do you know which minerals your body requires in the greatest amounts? And do you know what they do, and how they keep your body working in tip top shape? Let’s take a look at the five most prominent minerals in the human body, and how they lend themselves to health and proper function.

1. Calcium
If you see calcium and think “strong bones,” you’re certainly on the right track – but that’s not all calcium does! In addition to helping build and maintain the strength and structure of bones and teeth, calcium also plays a significant role in blood clotting, sending signals in the nervous system, regulating blood pressure, hormone secretion, and enzyme function.

Calcium also works with countless other vitamins and minerals to ensure that they can do their jobs to the fullest effect. Plus, calcium helps the body to excrete any lead that it takes in, aiding in the avoidance of lead poisoning.

2. Sodium
Often, not taking in too much sodium is the focus of many healthy eating plans. But although too much sodium can be harmful, this mineral is very much a necessity for the human body. One of the most important uses of sodium is to ensure that the body’s fluid balance stays in check, and that each individual cell has just the right amount of fluid inside it to function properly. Sodium is also a key factor in sending signals from one nerve to another, as well as helping muscles to contract and release.

3. Chloride
Chloride is absolutely crucial to the human body, yet, it’s not a mineral we hear much about. Acting in concert with sodium, chloride is a key factor in preserving fluid balance throughout the body and helping fluids to move in and out of cells and tissues. Chloride is also incredibly important in ensuring that the body’s pH level stays within a safe range. Finally, chloride ions work to send electrical impulses down nerve pathways.

 


4. Potassium
Like sodium and chloride, potassium is an electrolyte that regulates the body’s fluid levels, as well as the transportation of those fluids. And like sodium and chloride, potassium plays a major role in nerve signal transmission due to its electrical charge.
The contraction, flexing, and releasing of muscles is also reliant on potassium working in tandem with sodium. In addition, potassium can help prevent kidney stones, and levels of potassium that are too low have been tied to high blood pressure.

5. Phosphorus
This all-important mineral is found in every single cell. Phosphorus is a key component of the underlying structure of DNA, and also helps form the cell membranes that control what can and cannot enter an individual cell. Like calcium, phosphorus lends its strength to teeth and bones. Phosphorus also helps individual cells to convert food into energy, and is also a major player in the systems that maintain a balanced pH within the body.

Sources:
http://web.mit.edu/athletics/sportsmedicine/wcrminerals.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/minerals-and-their-functions-and-sources
http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/glossary=chlorideion
http://www.mayoclinic.org/mcitems/mc5100-mc5199/mc5129-0709-sp-rpt.pdf


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The Dangers Of Dairy

BY DR. AMY MYERS      APRIL 10, 2013 
All those “Got Milk?” ads from the last decade or so would have us believe that dairy is a cornerstone of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients, fortifying our bones, and knocking out osteoporosis left and right. But… is this true? Is consuming dairy necessary or even healthy for most people?

The truth is, dairy can lead to countless health issues and, for many, can cause more harm than good, here’s why. 
It’s highly inflammatory. 
Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten. It causes inflammation in a large percentage of the population, resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms including acne, and a stronger presentation of autistic behaviors. 
What is it about dairy that causes an inflammatory response? Is everyone with a dairy sensitivity lactose intolerant? There are two components of dairy that tend to cause issues for people: (1) the sugar and (2) the proteins. 
People who are lactose intolerant don’t produce the lactase enzyme, which is required to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk, causing digestive issues whenever they consume dairy products. People who do produce the lactase enzyme but still react poorly to milk are responding to the two proteins found in milk, casein and whey. Casein is a protein with a very similar molecular structure to gluten and 50% of people who are gluten intolerant are casein intolerant as well.
It’s acid-forming. 
Our bodies like to maintain a neutral pH balance: not too much acidity, not too much alkalinity. Milk, like most animal products, is an acid forming food, meaning whenever you consume dairy, your body must compensate for the increased acidity in order to restore a neutral pH balance.
It does this by pulling from the alkaline “reserves” it keeps on hand in the form of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, that are stored in your bones. Pulling from these reserves weakens your bones, leaving them more susceptible to fractures and breaks, meaning milk might not be such a great preventative tool against osteoporosis as we’re told. In fact, research has shown that countries with the highest rate of dairy consumption also have the highest rate of osteoporosis.


It’s often full of hormones and antibiotics
Many times when people drink milk they’re consuming far more than just milk. American dairy farmers have long been injecting cows with a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. This forced increase in milk production often leads to an udder infection in cows called mastitis, which is then treated with courses of antibiotics, which can make their way into your dairy products.
All of these concerns about the health benefits and safety of dairy can lead to even more questions. Is all dairy bad, are alternative sources of dairy any better? Where will I get my calcium if not from dairy? Let’s take a look at these: 
What about goat’s milk and sheep’s milk?
Some people who choose to eliminate cow’s milk from their diet still enjoy goat’s or sheep’s milk, as they find it much easier to tolerate. Although these have a similar lactose content to cow’s milk (meaning if you are lactose intolerant, they will not be any easier to digest) they do have a different type of casein protein, which makes them easier for casein-sensitive people to handle.
Casein exists in two variants, A1 beta-casein and A2 beta-casein, which are differentiated only by a single amino acid in their protein chains. A2 is considered the original beta-casein because A1 only appeared a few thousand years ago after a mutation occurred in European cow herds, and people react poorly to the A1 beta-casein. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk lack the A1 beta-casein, which is what makes them more tolerable, but because the A1 and A2 proteins are so similar, these milks can still cause problems for some.
What about organic or raw milk?
If you aren’t casein sensitive, and still want to consume cow’s milk, a healthier and less-chemical laden route to go can be organic or raw milk. These kinds of milk typically come from cows that have not been injected with rGBH and have not been treated with antibiotics, which eliminates the concern that these chemicals will find their way into your milk.
Raw milk, although contentiously debated, does have many health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. The pasteurizing process, which is intended to kill harmful bacteria, kills many of the helpful enzymes that occur naturally in milk as well. In fact, one of the enzymes present in raw milk that is missing in pasteurized milk is the lactase enzyme, meaning people who are lactose intolerant are actually able to drink raw milk because it contains the enzyme needed to break down lactose their body is unable to produce.
What should you do if you think you’re sensitive to dairy? 
Ultimately the decision of whether or not to consume dairy rests with you. Try eliminating 100% of dairy from your diet for 30 days and pay attention to how your body reacts. Then try reintroducing dairy in its different forms and sources and notice how you respond.
If you do decide to eliminate dairy, fear not, there are plenty of other natural sources of calcium you can incorporate into your diet!
10 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
  1. Almonds
  2. Kale
  3. Oranges
  4. Collard Greens
  5. Broccoli
  6. Figs
  7. Spinach
  8. Enriched rice, almond, hemp and coconut milks
  9. Sesame seeds
  10. Tofu


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Prostate cancer linked to high intake of protein and calcium from dairy

Monday, April 29, 2013   by: PF Louis

  
(NaturalNews) The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPICN) is a multicenter meta-epidemiological (broad statistical survey) study designed to assess cancer risks by investigating past and current relationships between diet, lifestyle, environmental factors and cancer among a large population of different EU nations.

EPICN had a pool of 500,000 men and women recruited from 28 centers in 10 European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK) for several studies involving different cancers and groups with different lifestyles and diets.

A UK sub-study isolated 142,251 men from this vast pool, excluding Norway and France. Both of those nations had only women in the study. The men were recruited between 1989 and 2004 with a median age of 52, mostly white Europeans from the eight nations that had men in the EPICN cohort (group of similar types).

During recruitment, this male group taken from the EPICN required consentual access to medical records, no history or diagnosis of cancer proven by medical records, and were able to complete questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle and medical history.

Men in the top one percent and bottom one percent of the institutionally recommended caloric intake were excluded from this study in order to remove wide variances from their statistical analysis.

The UK study

The UK study, “Animal foods, protein, calcium and prostate cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition” study was completed in March 2007 and its paper was published in the British Journal of Cancer in April 2008.

Animal foods for those in the study included total meat and meat products with their subcategories, fish and shellfish with their subcategories, and dairy products, including milk, yoghurt, cheese, and eggs. Food amounts were measured in grams.

It had already been hypothesized that a high intake of animal protein enhanced growth hormone activity to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Some non-clinical studies showed a strong correlation with milk to higher incidents of prostate cancer with the hypothesis that high calcium intake from dairy products inhibits the synthesis of vitamin D.

After an average of 8.7 years of follow-up, 2,727 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer among the 142,520 participants. The UK did not find a direct association with milk alone to prostate cancer, as other studies seemed to have suggested.

But they determined that protein from milk products, cheese, yoghurt, and others was a strong factor among those whose daily consumption exceeded the recommended daily amount by 35 grams (1.2 ounces) daily.

Calcium from dairy products was associated with prostate cancer risk as well, but not calcium from other foods. In the researchers’ opinion, their results support the hypothesis that a high intake of protein or calcium from dairy products may increase the risk for prostate cancer.

Opinion Despite statistical machinations to offset extraneous factors and with just under a 2 percent prostate cancer outcome among 142,500 men over several years of monitoring, one wonders how this can be so conclusive.

One may question if dairy products, especially dairy products from raw milk, increase the risk of prostate cancer. Raw milk dairy product intake was not considered in this study.

One thing is for certain, this study kept several researchers busily employed for a few years.

Sources for this study includes:


source: NaturalNews


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Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

Diana Herrington    May 29, 2013

We all grew up hearing that calcium and milk products were essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Now, one in two women over the age of fifty will break a bone because of osteoporosis! It’s only reasonable to wonder: Am I getting enough calcium?

Discover the benefits of calcium, the symptoms of calcium deficiency, how to get calcium into your body from typical and vegetarian sources and how to keep it in.

Benefits and Facts of Calcium

  • It is the most abundant mineral in the body.
  • 99 percent of your calcium is in your bones. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
  • Your body uses your bones as a calcium storehouse, withdrawing it through your bloodstream when it’s needed for other parts of the body.
  • Other parts of the body that use calcium include nerves, brain, muscles and heart.
  • Calcium is necessary for specific hormone functions.
  • Calcium is a co-enzyme necessary for clotting.
  • Many plants have more calcium per gram than any animal product – including milk.
  • Even fruits like the common orange and kiwi, along with their many health benefits, contain calcium.

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

  • Muscle cramping–-especially at night.
  • Dry skin and brittle nails.
  • Increased PMS symptoms.
  • Bone fracture or breakage. This is a severe symptom, but unfortunately, for many people, it is the first way they find out that they have weak or thin bones.

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

Government recommendations are 1,000 mg per day for women 19-50, 1,300 for boys and girls 9-18 and 1,200 for older men and women.
Growing children certainly do have higher needs for calcium, but before you go rushing out to buy calcium supplements or a jug of milk, consider these facts:

  • In China, where for thousands of years they didn’t even have a word for osteoporosis, the average peasant farmer lives a very healthy life with just 250 mgs/day of calcium.
  • Northern countries that have the highest levels of calcium consumption from dairy products have the highest levels of osteoporosis.
  • One Harvard study tracking 78,000 nurses found that nurses who drank 2 or more glasses of milk per day had 46% higher chance of hip fracture than those who drank one glass or less.
  • Standard calcium supplements (from elemental sources like limestone) have been linked with higher rates of heart attacks.
  • Many studies have shown that taking calcium supplements has no effect on fracture occurrence.
  • Individuals whose protein is mostly animal based have twenty times or more hip fractures as individuals who consume a more plant based protein.

So How Do I Get Healthy Bones?

1. Consume a plant based diet of calcium-rich food.

Plant based diets have vitamin K and other nutrients necessary for calcium absorption.
Leafy vegetables that contain vitamin K, like kale, spinach, broccoli and cabbage also contain calcium!

This is a list the Top Dairy-Free Calcium-Rich Foods.

2.  Consume a diet that is balanced for Acid/alkaline.

The reason northern populations who eat more meat have poor bone health is because animal protein is much more acidic than plant proteins. Generally, their whole their diet is too acidic.

An acidic body will rob the alkaline mineral calcium from the bones in order to balance the acid in the blood and tissues.

The body is therefore slowly leaching away its own calcium and weakening the bones even though there might be plenty of calcium in the diet.

3. You Don’t Have to Eat Dairy Products

Cheeses, although they have the highest levels of calcium foods (see list) are also some of the most acid forming foods.

Our food sensitivity testing over 20 years with over 20,000 tests indicates that most individuals experienced decreased energy levels when consuming milk products. This decrease in vitality shows is eventually linked to a number of health concerns, including bone health.

Many health experts question the quality of our homogenized and commercially produced milk. We are now wondering whether adults should even be drinking milk at all.

4. Go For Walks or Runs in The Big Outdoors

Vitamin D from sunshine is essential for calcium absorption.

Regular weight-training exercise gives signals to the bones that they need to be stronger. The body is smart and responds!

Exercise has been shown to decrease every degenerative disease, as long as it is not too strenuous.

5. Don’t Smoke.

Smoking along with destroying almost every aspect of your body also happens to be in the top 10 risk factors for osteoporosis.

6.  Avoid Junk Food–Especially Sodas

Almost all junk foods are acidic–particularly soft drinks that contain phosphoric acid.
Teenage girls who consume the most soda have five times the fractures of those who consume the least.

Junk foods contain excessive amounts of sodium which has been shown to reduce calcium levels in the body.

7. Eat more vegetables and fewer grains.

38 percent of the average North American’s acidic load comes from grains, and most of that comes from wheat. Until you master the skills of choosing grains and proteins that are more alkaline-–a simple solution is to reduce wheat and increase vegetables.

In our testing we almost never find wheat is healthy for an individual.

Many individuals find that by reducing gluten grains from their diet, their overall health improves. When the whole body is functioning more smoothly,  it is better able to manage bone health.

8. Skip the Calcium Supplements

If a supplement is not whole food-based, and very carefully processed, it will not be digested by the body and may even cause imbalance.

Calcium supplements have been linked to increased risk for heart attacks and little reduction in fractures.

source: care2.com