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Old 12-09-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
Nick Wilson
Departed Nick Wilson is offline
 
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Newcastle  Tyne and Wear
Posts: 66
Re: calcium intake, milk unfavored?

Funnily enough, Robb Wolf's latest podcast touched on this point - well worth a listen. Head over to http://************* (WFS apart from very occasional language) or subscribe on iTunes (search for "Robb Wolf" and you'll find it).

Short answer is in 2 parts:

1. Milk isn't paleo because... well, because it's not paleo! It's a neolithic food, it wasn't available in the paleolithic period so by definition it's not paleo.

2. Yes, calcium is necessary. However, the important thing is how much calcium your body can use, not just how much you take in (or magnesium, or vitamin A, or whatever other substance you want to think of).

All foods ultimately produce either an acid or an alkaline load to the kidneys; and overall the body needs to maintain a neutral balance. If the foods you eat create a net acid renal load, then your body uses substances from your body to balance it back out to neutral; and it's preferred source for this is calcium from the bones. Or to put it another way, if you eat a net acid renal load, your body will use calcium from your bones to protect the kidneys. Dairy creates an acid renal load, so although it contains calcium it also contributes to your body leeching calcium out of the bones. This is why the countries with the highest rates of osteoperosis are pretty high on the list of dairy comsumers.

Typically, a diet high in non-starchy veggies (particularly dark green leafy veg) and good quality meat will give you plenty of calcium. If you eat a good quantity of veggies you'll also help the acid/alkaline balance, because fruit and veg produce an alkaline renal load whereas pretty much all other foods produce an acid renal load. Bone broths, marrow, and fish eaten with the small bones also give a good hit of calcium.

This is all covered in the Paleo Diet book, well worth a read if you're going to try to go Paleo... alternatively, have a good read through robb's blog and http://thepaleodiet.com (WFS).

As I say, Robb's latest podcast is well worth a listen as it discusses milk from various angles, including the insulin response it generates and its benefits in terms of growth promotion.
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