Need Calcium? Don’t drink your milk!

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  See run by  Robert Cohen who does a great job teaching people about the toxic aspects of milk. See below for the highest sources of bioavailable calcium in foods – hint:  dairy is LOW in bioavailable calcium.


Dairy Education Board

Calcium content of foods (per 100-gram portion)
(100 grams equals around 3.5 ounces)
 1. Human Breast Milk                    33 mg (lowest!)
 2. Almonds                             234 mg
 3. Amaranth                            267 mg
 4. Apricots (dried)                     67 mg
 5. Artichokes                           51 mg
 6. Beans (can: pinto, black)           135 mg
 7. Beet greens (cooked)                 99 mg
 8. Blackeye peas                        55 mg
 9. Bran                                 70 mg
10. Broccoli (raw)                       48 mg
11. Brussel Sprouts                      36 mg
12. Buckwheat                           114 mg
13. Cabbage (raw)                        49 mg
14. Carrot (raw)                         37 mg
15. Cashew nuts                          38 mg
16. Cauliflower (cooked)                 42 mg
17. Swiss Chard (raw)                    88 mg
18. Chickpeas (garbanzos)               150 mg
19. Collards (raw leaves)               250 mg
20. Cress (raw)                          81 mg
21. Dandelion greens                    187 mg
22. Endive                               81 mg
23. Escarole                             81 mg
24. Figs (dried)                        126 mg
25. Filberts (Hazelnuts)                209 mg
26. Kale (raw leaves)                   249 mg
27. Kale (cooked leaves)                187 mg
28. Leeks                                52 mg
29. Lettuce (lt. green)                  35 mg
30. Lettuce (dark green)                 68 mg
31. Molasses (dark-213 cal.)            684 mg
32. Mustard Green (raw)                 183 mg
33. Mustard Green (cooked)              138 mg
34. Okra (raw or cooked)                 92 mg
35. Olives                               61 mg
36. Orange (Florida)                     43 mg
37. Parsley                             203 mg
38. Peanuts (roasted & salted)           74 mg
39. Peas (boiled)                        56 mg
40. Pistachio nuts                      131 mg
41. Potato Chips                         40 mg
42. Raisins                              62 mg
43. Rhubarb (cooked)                     78 mg
44. Sauerkraut                           36 mg
45. Sesame Seeds                       1160 mg
46. Squash (Butternut                    40 mg
47. Soybeans                             60 mg
48. Sugar (Brown)                        85 mg
49. Tofu                                128 mg
50. Spinach (raw)                        93 mg
51. Sunflower seeds                     120 mg
52. Sweet Potatoes (baked)               40 mg
53. Turnips (cooked)                     35 mg
54. Turnip Greens (raw)                 246 mg
55. Turnip Greens (boiled)              184 mg
56. Water Cress                         151 mg
      A study published in the January, 2001 edition of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the diets of 1,035 women,
particularly focusing on the protein intake from animal and vegetable
products.  Deborah Sellmeyer, M.D., found:
      In her study, women with a high animal-to-vegetable protein ratio
experienced an increased rate of femoral neck bone loss.  A high animal-
to-vegetable protein ratio was also associated with an increased risk of
hip fracture.
      I spoke with Dr. Sellmeyer, and here is her explaination:
      "Sulphur-containing amino acids in protein-containing foods are
metabolized to sulfuric acid.  Animal foods provide predominantly acid
precursors. Acidosis stimulates osteoclastic activity and inhibits
osteoblast activity."
      Sellmeyer's remarkable publication reveals:
      "Women with high animal-to-vegetable protein rations were heavier
and had higher intake of total protein. These women had a significantly
increased rate of bone loss than those who ate just vegetable protein.
Women consuming higher rates of animal protein had higher rates of bone
loss and hip fracture by a factor of four times."
      Milk has been called "liquid meat."  The average American eats
five ounces of animal protein each day in the form of red meat and
chicken.  At the same time, the average American consumes nearly six
times that amount (29.2 ounces) per day of milk and dairy products.
      How ironic it is that the dairy industry continues to promote the
cause of bone disease as the cure.
      Deborah Sellmeyer's brilliant work is supported by a grant from
the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Sellmeyer may be reached by EMAIL:
Original column:
      Human breast milk is Mother Nature's PERFECT FORMULA for baby
humans. Even dairy industry scientists would not be foolish enough to
debate this UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED FACT. In her wisdom, Mother Nature
included 33 milligrams of calcium in every 100 grams, or 3 1/2-ounce
portion of human breast milk.
      Adults do not drink human breast milk. At the end of this column
is a list of calcium values in the foods we eat. Each food is compared
to human breast milk as the standard. You might be surprised to learn
how many foods naturally contain an abundance of calcium. One must
wonder why Asians traditionally did not get bone-crippling osteoporosis
...that is, until they adopted the "American Diet," a diet of milk and
dairy products.
      The dairy industry owns the psychological exclusive rights to
calcium in foods found in super markets. Few food manufacturers would
dare to compete with the dairy message which infers that no other foods
contain the calcium contained in milk, and without milk and dairy
products you're certain to one day end up with bone-crippling
osteoporosis. Tropicana Orange Juice has been marketing a Fruit-Cal
orange juice which, according to the Tropicana company, contains a more
absorbable type of calcium than other calcium supplements. Each cup of
Tropicana's pure premium calcium contains 350 milligrams of calcium as
opposed to only 302 in one cup of milk and 172 in one ounce of American
cheese. Minute Maid also has a Calcium-Orange Juice product and claims
that it contains fifteen times the amount of calcium as contained in an
equivalent sample of regular orange juice. Gerber's Baby cereal sells a
box of single grain barley upon which they write, "An excellent source
of iron and a good source of calcium." The side panel of their box
reveals that their cereal contains barley flour and tri and di calcium
phosphate. Other than orange juice and baby food, no visible claim to
calcium is made by any food manufacturer. The reason, of course, is that
milk holds the monopoly. They hold title to and make claim to America's
calcium perception. Few would dare challenge that claim.
      A tour through a typical American supermarket reveals aisles
dedicated to specific food groups...There are fresh fruits and
vegetables in one section and meats and poultry in another. Rice and
grains are kept separate from beans and canned vegetables. Milk and
dairy products (which represent America's most sought after foods) are
usually placed furthest from the market's front door. Junk foods are
conjointly placed in the same aisle with cookies and potato chips. These
high calorie/low fiber snacks are stacked within walking distance of
both artificially sweetened and high sugar sodas.
      Hostess Twinkies contain calcium. Those golden sponge cakes with
creamy fillings are as much a part of our cuisine as they are a part of
our national culture. To many, Twinkies represent all that is artificial
and unhealthy about our collective fast food diet. To others they
epitomize instant snacks, a quick source of energy and mother's easy-to-
prepare dessert for her school-age child. When I was in college,
Twinkies represented one of the four major food groups (along with
French fries, alcoholic beverages and McDonald's hamburgers.) To read a
Twinkies ingredient label is to marvel at how far mankind has progressed
these past twenty-five thousand years, eating fruits and nuts and
vegetables and grains, and occasional mastodon steaks, to:
                "Enriched wheat flour, (niacin, a "B"
                vitamin), ferrous sulfate (iron), thiamin
                mononitrate (B1), riboflavin (B2), water,
                sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup,
                partially hydrogenated vegetable and/or animal
                shortening (contains one or more of: canola,
                corn, cottonseed or soybean oil, beef fat),
                eggs, dextrose. Contains 2% or less of:
                modified food starch, whey, leavenings (sodium
                and pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium
                phosphate), salt, starch, yellow corn flour,
                corn syrup solids, emulsifiers mono and
                diglycerides, lecithin, polysorbate 60,
                dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl,
                lactylate, cellulose gum, wheat gluten,
                natural and artificial flavors, caramel color,
                artificial colors (yellow 5, red 40), sorbic
                acid (to retain freshness)."
      The Dairy Industry and milk processors invest hundreds of millions
of dollars each year to guarantee that Americans will continue to drink
milk and eat dairy products, investing their money to continually let
Americans know that milk tastes good and the intake of milk and dairy
products must be continued to insure good health. Milk mustaches are
stylish. Drink milk and you're beautiful! Gorgeous models, actors,
actresses, sports heroes, even President Clinton and Bob Dole have posed
for milk advertisements. All have asserted by the milky white goo
artificially applied to their upper lip that drinking milk is healthful
and wholesome. Who would argue with such an overwhelming endorsement?
Billboards spanning America ask the question, "Got milk?" Cal Ripken of
the Baltimore Orioles broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive major
league baseball games played. Ripken, holding a baseball bat, smiles
from inside the front cover of a "GOT MILK" brochure proclaiming, "With
all the skim milk I drink, my name might as well be Calcium Ripken, Jr."
      Common knowledge of osteoporosis is based upon false assumptions.
American women have been drinking an average of two pounds of milk or
eating the equivalent milk in dairy products per day for their entire
lives. Doctors recommend calcium intake for increasing and maintaining
bone strength and bone density which they call bone mass. According to
this regimen recommended by doctors and milk industry executives,
women's bone mass would approach that of pre-historic dinosaurs. This
line of reasoning should be equally extinct. Twenty-five million
American women have osteoporosis. Drinking milk does not prevent
osteoporosis. Milk contains calcium. Bones contain calcium too. When we
are advised to add calcium to our diets we tend to drink milk or eat
dairy foods.
      In order to absorb calcium, the body needs comparable amounts of
another mineral element, magnesium. Milk and dairy products contain only
small amounts of magnesium. Without the presence of magnesium, the body
only absorbs 25 percent of the available dairy calcium content. The
remainder of the calcium spells trouble. Without magnesium, excess
calcium is utilized by the body in injurious ways. The body uses calcium
to build the mortar on arterial walls which becomes atherosclerotic
plaques. Excess calcium is converted by the kidneys into painful stones
which grow in size like pearls in oysters, blocking our urinary tracts.
Excess calcium contributes to arthritis; painful calcium buildup often
is manifested as gout. The USDA has formulated a chart of recommended
daily intakes of vitamins and minerals. The term that FDA uses is
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The RDA for calcium is 1500 mg. The
RDA for magnesium is 750 mg.
      Society stresses the importance of calcium, but rarely magnesium.
Yet, magnesium is vital to enzymatic activity. In addition to insuring
proper absorption of calcium, magnesium is critical to proper neural and
muscular function and to maintaining proper pH balance in the body.
Magnesium, along with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to dissolve calcium
phosphate stones which often accumulate from excesses of dairy intake.
Good sources of magnesium include beans, green leafy vegetables like
kale and collards, whole grains and orange juice. Non-dairy sources of
calcium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, asparagus, broccoli,
cabbage, oats, beans, parsley, sesame seeds and tofu.
      Osteoporosis is NOT a problem that should be associated with lack
of calcium intake. Osteoporosis results from calcium loss. The massive
amounts of protein in milk result in a 50 percent loss of calcium in the
urine. In other words, by doubling your protein intake there will be a
loss of 1-1.5 percent in skeletal mass per year in postmenopausal women.
The calcium contained in leafy green vegetables is more easily absorbed
than the calcium in milk, and plant proteins do not result in calcium
loss the same way as do animal proteins. If a postmenopausal woman loses
1-1.5 percent bone mass per year, what will be the effect after 20
years? When osteoporosis occurs levels of calcium (being excreted from
the bones)in the blood are high. Milk only adds to these high levels of
calcium which is excreted or used by the body to add to damaging
atherosclerosis, gout, kidney stones, etc.
      Bone mass does not increase after age 35. This is a biological
fact that is not in dispute by scientists. However, this fact is ignored
by marketing geniuses in the milk industry who make certain that women
this age and older are targeted consumers for milk and dairy products.
At least one in four women will suffer from osteoporosis with fractures
of the ribs, hip or forearm. In 1994, University of Texas researchers
published results of an experiment indicating that supplemental calcium
is ineffective in preventing bone loss. Within 5 years of the initial
onset of menopause, there is an accelerated rate of loss of bone,
particularly from the spine. During this period of time, estrogen
replacement is most effective in preventing rapid bone density loss.
Bone Mass is Genetically Determined
      In December of 1994 a study, published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, revealed that skeletal size and bone mass are
genetically programmed. Optimal skeletal size is achieved through
adequate calcium intake in an individual's youth. However, excess
calcium has an effect upon bone mass. Once enough calcium is introduced,
the excess is either excreted in the urine or absorbed by the kidneys,
arteries and liver. This excess calcium can cause great damage. The
decrease in skeletal mass associated with osteoporosis in women is
primarily caused by the age-dependent decrease in hormonal steroid
secretion by the ovaries. While optimal calcium intake in childhood and
adolescence is important for achieving proper bone density, calcium
intake in adulthood has little significance.
      An overview based upon recent findings regarding the pathogenesis
of osteoporosis was published in Germany in 1994 and translated into
English where the abstract appeared on MEDLINE, a computer service
containing scientific abstracts of research. The premise of this study
is that osteoporosis is an unavoidable consequence of aging for which no
prevention was previously possible. However, recent hormonal therapies
have slowed down the process of rapid bone loss. The lack of estrogen
and progesterone play an important role in the development of
      Human breast milk contains 33 milligrams of calcium per 100-gram
portion and potato chips contain 40 milligrams!
Find your favorite snacks on the following list and substitute them for pus-
filled, antibiotic laden, allergenic and hormonal MILK.
Related commentary:
Harvard Nurse Study
Bad Bones
For much more on the subject of calcium visit
Robert Cohen
Executive Director

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