An Australian study has found a high amount of calcium in some foods may actually be a symptom of an intolerance to it.
Key points:Researchers found that those who ate the most milk, meat and dairy products had significantly higher levels of calcium than those who rarely ate the foodsSource: Australian Research CouncilKey points:”Milk, meat, dairy, and eggs are high in calcium”Researchers from the Australian Research Corporation have found that certain foods may increase your risk of developing calcium deficiencyThe research, which was carried out on over 6,000 people, found that people who ate foods that were high in milk, pork, meat or dairy products, had significantly lower levels of bone and calcium in their bones than those whose diet consisted mainly of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Dr Sarah Clements, one of the authors of the study, said that it is not yet known why people who are lactose intolerant tend to be deficient in calcium, but the researchers were concerned about the lack of information about calcium intake and calcium deficiencies.
“We were interested in how calcium balance affects health and well-being, particularly among individuals with a calcium deficiency,” she said.
“The idea is that this could be linked to other factors, such as nutritional factors, or in addition to what’s in your milk, but we also wanted to understand what calcium is and how it’s delivered to your body.”
The study found that for those with calcium deficiency, milk, fish, poultry and eggs were associated with higher levels in their bone.
“They also had significantly more calcium in the bones of their children,” Dr Clements said.
Dr Clements and her colleagues say the results highlight the importance of eating a varied diet that provides calcium in foods that are rich in calcium.
“People who are dairy or meat-sensitive and have low calcium intake may have higher levels for calcium absorption,” she added.
“For people with calcium deficiencies, we have a range of foods that may be providing them with more calcium.”‘
Milk can be a good source of calcium’Dr Cules said the findings suggest that a variety of foods can be low in calcium to balance out the impact of a calcium-deficiency.
“One of the things that we found was that it’s very likely that people eating a variety and low in dairy and meat and eggs, but also other things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy can provide more calcium than people eating these foods all at the same time,” she explained.
“What we found is that people are getting more calcium from foods that aren’t dairy, because it’s a good dairy and a good meat and a whole-grain product.”
She said that the researchers looked at the effects of various types of foods, including dairy, meat (including beef and veal), poultry and egg.
“A lot of it has to do with what kind of food is being consumed, the amount of protein it contains and the amount that’s added to the foods,” she noted.
“If we’re getting more milk in a dish, then we’re adding more calcium to the bone.”
Dr Culsons research was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.