- Plant based sources are best
- Calcium supplements dangerous
- Dairy has real health concerns
- Exercise is great for bone density
- Acidity causes bone to release calcium to maintain body pH
- Milk doesn’t actually build strong bones – Harvard study
First of all, we should be getting our calcium from natural food sources, not calcium supplements. I propose the healthiest source is raw, organic, and plant-based, which includes nutmilk and leafy greens!
“A growing body of research suggests that calcium from supplements can actually do women more harm than good.” 1
For one thing, calcium supplements are implicated in higher cardiovascular disease. This could be due to the calcification of arterial plaque. 1
What about dairy as a source of calcium? Unfortunately dairy is implicated in increased risk for prostate cancer. To make matters worse, dairy products turn out to be the biggest source of unhealthy saturated fats in the American diet. 2
Weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise 3, PLUS an alkalizing, not acidifying, diet seems to be the best bone building tonic.
One main function of our bones is to buffer/maintain our blood and tissue pH (acidity/alkalinity) by storing and releasing calcium, an alkalizing mineral which offsets acidic H+ (free hydrogen ions). Cortical bone (a.k.a. compact bone) is the hardest part and the outer shell of the bone. It is about 80% of the weight of a human skeleton and an anatomical storehouse of buffering minerals like calcium.
The body functions within a very tight range of pH. Around 7.365 mostly, which is slightly more alkaline than neutral (7.0). At 7.4 the body is triggered to release Calcium to keep the body in an alkaline state. 4 It’s safe to say having an alkaline diet is good for your bones!
All cooked and animal foods have an acidifying effect on the body. Although milk contains calcium and added vitamin D, it also may deplete the bones of calcium or end up with a neutral effect.
“The 2012 report in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine must have rattled the dairy industry. Authored by Kendrin Sonneville from Harvard University, the study tracked fracture rates in 6,712 adolescents. The results showed that active children who consumed the largest quantities of milk actually had more bone fractures than those who consumed less. In other words, milk doesn’t actually build strong bones.” 2