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Thread: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

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    Default How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Just read a book called Vegan Diet Shock, in which the author is vegan but has osteoporosis. This has got me wondering how common this is in vegans, or whether his case is an exception. As we don't drink milk, maybe we're not getting enough calcium. And for those that live in places without much sun, maybe not enough vitamin D either. I know one vegan woman that has osteoporosis. My mum also has it, but she's not even vegetarian. But I suppose most people wouldn't know unless they got tested.

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    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Hi DaveJones! I had a quick Google search for this book and its reviews and I found very little. All I found was that the book is available on amazon. I would like to know who the author is and what kind of vegan diet they ate. Can you tell me more about that?

    Also I am sure that there are threads on the forum about calcium and vegan bone health that might be useful for you
    Houmous atá ann!

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    Default Re: How Common is Osteoporosis in Vegans?

    Quote Blueberries View Post
    Hi DaveJones! I had a quick Google search for this book and its reviews and I found very little. All I found was that the book is available on amazon. I would like to know who the author is and what kind of vegan diet they ate. Can you tell me more about that?

    Also I am sure that there are threads on the forum about calcium and vegan bone health that might be useful for you
    I read the book, but it mostly talks about his test results and doesn't really mention too much about his diet, other than he thought he ate a healthy diet. It's an interesting read, but maybe needs more info on what he ate.

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    Default Re: How Common is Osteoporosis in Vegans?

    As well as the forum threads, this article references a few studies, which perhaps you could look up http://www.livestrong.com/article/28...n-vegetarians/

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    Default Re: How Common is Osteoporosis in Vegans?

    I think I have posted about this on here somewhere before. I have osteoporosis and I am a 40 year old female. However, I was diagnosed as an omnivore in 2006. I have only been vegan since 2011. I had many risk factors...I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day which will leach calcium from bones; I am small framed and fair; genetics; thyroid problems I have had for over 24 years; struggles with an eating disorder; and I had a total hysterectomy and both ovaries removed at 33 years of age in 2005 due to endometriosis (a disaster I wish I hadn't had done). The following year I had a baseline dxa scan because I was struggling to find a hormone replacement to feel human again. Surgical menopause was horrid for me and I could not function. I had to quit my full time job and go part time. At any rate my scores were horrible and I was shocked that my bones were so bad. I had been lactose intolerant and avoided cheese like the plague, but I did consume Greek yogurt daily (easier for me to digest becuase it is lower in lactose) and occasionally lactose free milk and it didn't stop bone loss. After my diagnosis I was more diligent about taking vitamin D and calcium supplements and started lifting weights and put on some needed weight and my scores did improve very slightly, but it was lost again due to losing weight later on. I still supplement with calcium and D, but I get my calcium and other bone nutrients from brocoli, leafy greens, sesame seeds, plant milks, soy products, etc. I did eventually find a bioidentical hormone replacement that I could tolerate and it did help stop further bone loss. I have tried natural progesterone and testosterone replacement (women make this hormone also in the ovaries and women who lose ovaries are very deficient) but I can not tolerate them. It is hard to synthetically replicate what the ovaries do for a woman, even in menopause. Hormones are often overlooked as a cause for bone loss. Dairy always seems to be the big focus, but calcium is a tiny fraction of importance in the overall needs of the bones, and dairy is only one way of many to get that need met. There are millions of women and men who have osteoporosis as omnivores, and in fact the countries with the highest dairy intake have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, but it is also not the total answer. I have had my D levels tested twice in the last two years and they have been robust and healthy each time (I ride bike six months of the year outside and supplement with D2 the other six months as I live in a northern climate).
    Also, there are a number of medications that cause bone density loss such as Depo Provera, some of the SSRI anti depressants, acid inhibitors, steroids to name a few. People take far more medications now than years ago and this problem is often overlooked as a serious side effect.

    So in effect I am a vegan with osteoporosis but I acquired it as an omnivore. It also takes years to acquire and is not an overnight disease. It is a long slow process, just as building bone is. Losing my ovaries did accelerate the process but it has already begun before then. Last year I got into running but ended up with two stress fractures and had to stop. The radiologists who interpreted the xrays for those fractures commented at the poor quality of my bone just from looking at my xrays. It is quite scary for me and is something I am trying to figure out how to treat as a vegan without going on the awful meds available for osteoporosis. I would never go back to dairy and seriously doubt it would even help, not to mention it made me quite ill.

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    Default Re: How Common is Osteoporosis in Vegans?

    Hi davejones
    There is a bit of a conversation on things meat eaters say about this.
    Dairy is not the major source of calcium, that's a bit of a myth.
    There are things you can do to strengthen the bones, bone loading exercises (yoga, pilates, walking etc), not drinking carbonated drinks, not smoking. (The link is one I've not read the full article on, sorry).
    But as for dairy and calcium, it's not the best provider, really.

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    Quote davejones View Post

    I read the book, but it mostly talks about his test results and doesn't really mention too much about his diet... maybe needs more info on what he ate.
    I think writing a book about how a vegan diet caused you health problems without outlining what you ate is a bit strange.

    Quote davejones View Post
    he thought he ate a healthy diet.
    That could mean anything! Some people eat very restrictive high raw, fat free vegan diets in the name of health while others just eat vegan junk food and assume it must be healthy because it is vegan. Vegan diets are as diverse as vegans.
    Houmous atá ann!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Blueberries View Post
    I think writing a book about how a vegan diet caused you health problems without outlining what you ate is a bit strange.



    That could mean anything! Some people eat very restrictive high raw, fat free vegan diets in the name of health while others just eat vegan junk food and assume it must be healthy because it is vegan. Vegan diets are as diverse as vegans.
    I think the point he made in the book was that he THOUGHT he ate a healthy diet, so there must be others who also THINK they eat a healthy diet that could be affected. He didn't claim that being a vegan caused his healthy problems, only that they were caused while he was a vegan. He resolved most of his problems while still being a vegan. So I think he just wanted to make people more aware of potential problems. I read the book a few weeks ago and only quickly skimmed through it. I'll read it properly to see what he says about his diet, although I'm pretty sure not much is mentioned.

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Hmm,

    but most scientific articles (e.g. take a look at the "China Study") on the subject that I have heard of seem to agree that while dairy products have some calcium, they also make your body acidic. In order to counter the acidic nature, the body uses the calcium from the bones, thus leaching it out of them.

    I remember reading about some studies (they are also mentioned in the "China Study"book) that looked at the statistic correlations between occurrence of osteoporosis and consumption of dairy that found that the countries with the highest occurrence of osteoporosis were also those with the highest dairy consumption (e.g. Netherlands, New Zealand, etc.) and those with low dairy consumption also had lower occurrence of osteoporosis.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  10. #10

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    I just wanted to update about my own osteoporosis status and it isn't good. I have been vegan since February 2011. Here is a quick history of my osteoporosis and timeline:

    2006 had first dexa scan due to having hysterectomy and ovaries removed the year prior at the age of 33. Needed a baseline to monitor due to post surgical menopausal status. Scores were quite bad already with T score -3.2 in L spine and -1.8 in hips

    2007 to combat the bone loss I started to supplement with calcium and vitamin D (was an omnivore at that time and used D3) daily, as well as started a weight bearing exercise program. I went from underweight to middle healthy weight range, and was able to find a hormone replacement my body absorbed better. For a six month period I was prescribed miacalcin (salmon hormone) but it was a nasal spray and I had sinus issues so stopped it. I had another dexa scan done exactly one year after the first and my scores were -3.0 L spine, -1.2 hips so a bit of an improvement.

    2008-2009 I had a relapse into anorexia nervosa and my weight plummeted to a very low weight. I restricted my intake severely.
    In 2010 I went through a period of recovery and gained a lot of weight but was still slightly underweight. I was still supplementing calcium and D and on my hormone replacement. Had another dexa in 2010 and scores were -3.0 spine (still stayed same) and -1.6 hips (slightly worse again).

    I went vegan in February 2011. I switched my D supplement to D2 but had issues with side effects and eventually switched to the new vegan D3 that is out. I supplemented with a vegan calcium supplement, continued with my hormone replacement, and my weight stayed in a similar range although I initially lost six lbs (and put it back on intentionally). I was still exercising and doing weight bearing exercise program. I have made an effort all along to drink plant milks daily and get at least two cups of leafy greens each day, as well as sesame seeds, molasses, and other bone building foods here and there. In 2012 I suffered several stress fractures from running. The radiologist who read my xrays said my bones were in bad shape for my young age. Still I ignored the warning signs.
    In 2013 I relapsed back into anorexia and got to a very low weight again. Over the last year I have regained most of that back very slowly.
    A week ago I had my fourth dexa scan and was shocked to learn that my L spine score dropped to -3.6, a significant decline from all the other scans. My hip score dropped to -1.8, where it was in 2006. But the L spine has me very worried, and the fact that my score dropped so much more severely since being vegan.

    These are the factors I have come up with so far as to why this has happened as a vegan. :

    I have had to have my thyroid meds lowered three times since becoming vegan. I am on the lowest dose of thyroid med I have been on in years. Something about being vegan is making my thyroid work better, even with consuming soy. This means I have been on too much thyroid med however, which can cause hypercalcemia and I had all the symptoms of that which prompted me to have my TSH checked and sure enough I was on too much med so it was lowered yet again.

    As a vegan, and with an eating disorder, I have consumed far less protein than I used to. I was never a huge meat or dairy eater as an omnivore, and restricted heavily then due to an eating disorder, but I did consume a lot of Greek yogurt (very low calorie per cup but a lot of protein and calcium for one serving) and salmon/sardines/tuna. that was how I got my protein needs met as an omnivore even though I restricted. As a vegan and struggling with restricting, I was only getting 30 to 40 grams of protein on average each day with eating a few servings of dried beans and some whole grains and vegetables. I eat a few servings of seeds here and there too. You always hear how too much protein can leach calcium from the bones, but too little can also have a detrimental effect and this tends to be ignored because it isn't hard to get enough protein as a vegan...unless you have an eating disorder. So I fully believe that this is the crucial difference between my lifestyle as a vegan and as an omnivore that has made my bones so much worse (in addition to overmedication with thyroid). All the other issues were close to the same (exercise, weight, calorie amounts, etc.) except the thyroid meds I needed as an omnivore were at a higher dosage.

    It is very discouraging to lose so much more bone density as a vegan but it has been a real wakeup call to take better care of myself. I am scheduled to see a rheumatologist in May but just don't know what to do as far as treating it because it is so severe at this point that even if I increase my protein and caloric intake (which I have) the damage is too severe and risk too great to just assume a lifestyle change is going to be enough to protect me over the short term. I have already fractured in 2012 which puts me at even greater risk. I have constant pain in my lower spine which I have assumed was related to my sciatic issues. But now I don't know. I really don't want to take the harsh bisphosphonates but what else to do? I am committed to remaining vegan and doing what I have to to improve my diet and fight my eating disorder, but I don't feel confident that this is enough right now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Robinwomb, I am sorry to read of your troubles. I don't really have any advice, the only thing that struck me was I don't see you mention tofu in the list of protein foods, do you avoid that? I would have thought calcium-set tofu might be helpful? I hope your appointment brings up some useful suggestions for improving things and that you make a good recovery.

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    Sorry to say, but your osteoporosis doesn't have anything to do with being vegan. You problem is you keep starving yourself and your body is eating itself to try and survive.
    If you continue in this way your body will continue to degrade and eventually will not be able to recover. You best bet is get professional counseling and eat a diet of vegan whole foods. Use one of the nutrition tracking web sites and start eating at least 2000 kcals a day. Be sure to include plenty of leafy greens which will help replenish your bones.


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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Did you actually read what Robinwomb posted in this thread? She's not blaming veganism. Read the post before the last one to get more context.

    If telling someone with anorexia to eat more worked it would be a miracle cure. Unfortunately it's not that easy.

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote dropscone View Post
    Robinwomb, I am sorry to read of your troubles. I don't really have any advice, the only thing that struck me was I don't see you mention tofu in the list of protein foods, do you avoid that? I would have thought calcium-set tofu might be helpful? I hope your appointment brings up some useful suggestions for improving things and that you make a good recovery.
    Hi dropscone,

    I ate tofu in the beginning, but seemed to develop an intolerance to it for some time. I would get cramps and diarrhea almost immediately after ingestion, no matter what kind I tried or how it was prepared which was frustrating because I loved tofu! So I have avoided it for a long time. But recently, in trying to find more ways to increase protein and calcium, I gave it another go with tofu and amazingly it agrees with me now (at least the super firm and organic variety). I also eat tempeh and seitan, and beans have been a huge staple for me for years. I also continue to get in my low oxylate leafy greens daily. I just really need to up my calories a lot which is a struggle but slowly coming along. I have managed to put on a few more lbs now. Every meal is a battle but making slow improvements. Thanks for your support!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote mini_mi View Post
    Sorry to say, but your osteoporosis doesn't have anything to do with being vegan. You problem is you keep starving yourself and your body is eating itself to try and survive.
    If you continue in this way your body will continue to degrade and eventually will not be able to recover. You best bet is get professional counseling and eat a diet of vegan whole foods. Use one of the nutrition tracking web sites and start eating at least 2000 kcals a day. Be sure to include plenty of leafy greens which will help replenish your bones.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Thanks mini mi for the input! I will probably stay away from the nutrition tracking websites as they seem to contribute to making my obsessive tendencies worse and I already keep a detailed account of what I eat and ratios, but I am trying to push my caloric range up over 2000 (currently at 1600 and overwhelmed but working on it). Though I do eat a very healthy whole foods vegan diet (I really hate to use the word diet but can't think of another word), I understand that I do need to eat a lot more to meet my needs as a vegan. I would be able to meet my protein and calcium needs if I ate enough I am sure. It is extremely difficult for me and I probably do need a heck of a lot more support than I am currently getting. I have been through many eating disorder treatments, some conventional and some alternative styles of therapy, and spent a fair few years paying off some serious debt due to lack of insurance coverage for long term ED treatment. Getting support for an ED as a vegan is even more of a challenge because most dietitians and eating disorder therapists are adamantly opposed to it. It's been a difficult road but I do understand that my eating disorder is killing me and I need to do something more. I was fairly stable for a while but last year things fell apart. I don't blame veganism for my demise, but I do think there is a relaxed attitude that protein is not important as a vegan. While it is true that typical Western diets get far more protein than they need, it is also true that not enough protein in the diet can contribute to bone loss. This is something I need to be diligent about and hope that someone can learn from what I shared.

    Also, my osteoporosis started long before my eating disorder, long before I had my hysterectomy, and long before I became vegan. No doctor has been able to pinpoint why I lost so much bone at such a young age (I was even tested for Celiac disease), but I suspect it is the years and years I have been on thyroid meds. I was a healthy weight and active for most of my life until my hysterectomy that I never wanted unraveled me inside and out. The anorexia didn't start til I was 34 years old. When I first went vegan I was in a much healthier place in recovery. I really hope I am not putting veganism in a bad light because it is very important to me. One of my motivations for getting better as of late, besides the worse dexa scores, is that I leaflet and do other forms of advocacy for animals and I don't want to give the impression that my sickness is because of veganism. I appreciate your concern and feedback. I will work on seeking out counseling where I can. Thanks again!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Just wanted to update and mention I have put on two lbs since my last post. I am really trying to get better and have broken some barriers and made some milestones. VERY hard but fighting. I want to be the person who down the road can say I have gained bone density as a vegan. Just one of many goals.

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Yay! Good for you, Robinwomb!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    So glad to hear things are going better, Robin

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Just wanted to update and mention I have put on two lbs since my last post. I am really trying to get better and have broken some barriers and made some milestones. VERY hard but fighting. I want to be the person who down the road can say I have gained bone density as a vegan. Just one of many goals.
    Admirable and inspirational, Robin
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Thanks for all the encouragement! I can't believe this, but I have finally reached a healthy weight range for the first time in six years. My last DXA scan really scared me and motivated me to do something. I am so sick of being sick. It has been a really tough road but I want recovery so badly I am working through it. I am going to start going to a support group next Monday that meets once a week. I have gotten some encouragement and support from some friends at work and a few family members too which helps. I started cycling again to work and this too has helped me take better care of myself.

    I have been working with a rheumatologist regarding my osteoporosis. Because of all my risk factors and the severity of my bone loss, he wants me to start on one of the osteo meds. I am scared to death of the side effects of those and the long term safety, but I am also in a position where I could fracture any time and my bones are in bad shape. It is a tough place to be in. He said that down the road I will be in a world of trouble if I don't start trying to rebuild my bones (difficult to do when in surgical menopause and on thyroid meds as it is). He was not at all against my being vegan which was refreshing, and he was encouraging about my efforts to recover from my anorexia. He was very angry that my gynecologist removed my ovaries so young and said this was a "shame", that a woman should not have her ovaries removed unless it is cancer or a life threatening infection/problem, which I fully agree with. He didn't seem confident however that weight gain/eating more etc would be enough for me at this point. He wants me to try Prolia which is an injection (I shared that I can not risk taking the oral meds which cause GI problems as I am trying to maintain the weight I have gained and this would make it more challenging). I am thinking that I might just try it for a year and see how it goes and continue to work on getting healthier and then who knows? Maybe with more body fat I will better absorb the HRT I am on and the calcium/d and other nutrients I get and stimulate my bones to grow? He tested my calcium and d levels and both were in healthy range. D was 44 (which is not bad for where I live in a northern climate). I really don't know what else to do. I have contacted a few vegans locally who seem to specialize in bone health but they have not returned my emails or calls and it is getting frustrating trying to figure this all out. I have been drinking two to three glasses of plant milk daily and at least 2 to 4 cups of low oxylate leafy greens each day, and also incorporating molasses and sesame seeds into foods. I discovered I can tolerate tofu if it is sprouted and organic as opposed to the traditionally made tofu.

    If anyone here has struggled with bone density loss and tried any of the osteo meds or found a way to increase bmd without meds, I would love to hear from you!

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Just wanted to update and mention I have put on two lbs since my last post. I am really trying to get better and have broken some barriers and made some milestones. VERY hard but fighting. I want to be the person who down the road can say I have gained bone density as a vegan. Just one of many goals.
    That is fantastic news. I don't think people who haven't had anorexia can truly grasp how difficult eating more is, I can recall many times standing in the kitchen shaking and crying trying to force myself to eat something but not being able to push through that mental barrier telling me not to eat. Even when you're getting better, every day is a monumental battle. Keep pushing through it, keep focusing on being healthy. I wasn't even able to get help for having an ED, I even ended up in hospital having to have emergency surgery because starvation caused my gallbladder to become full of sludge and stones.. Doctors wouldn't listen when I kept having attacks, eventually stones got stuck and bile from my gallbladder flowed backwards into my liver, causing a severe liver infection. I had to have 2 operations. And even after all that, still no help for my ED. I've cried to doctors, told them I binge, restrict and take loads of laxatives, they just ignored me. But anyway I've stopped taking laxatives a while ago, still struggling with binges but determined to fix myself. I know I can do it. It's a case of one day at a time.

    I hope things continue to improve for you, you can do it!!!
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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Lilystein View Post
    ... determined to fix myself. I know I can do it. It's a case of one day at a time.

    I hope things continue to improve for you, you can do it!!!
    I'm so sorry to hear doctors have not been at all helpful in your case! I wish you every success, you sound very determined so I'm sure you'll get there

  23. #23

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Thanks Lilystein for your encouragement! I am still holding out at a low normal weight range. I still struggle but i am in a much healthier place. The shot I was put on so far has not had any side effects. I wish you all the best with your recovery also!

  24. #24

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Below are comparisons of me from last year in March and this year in early June. I have put on a total of 21 lbs since March of last year. It has been very very hard but I do feel so much better at least physically. I don't know if it is the osteoporosis shot I am on or having substantially increased my calcium and protein intake but my bones hurt so much less than before. It has been a subtle change but about a week ago I noticed that I don't have that constant pain and aching in my middle spine and hips like I used to get. I still have a chronic pain in left hip/pelvic area but that is muscle/injury related. Anyway, I just wanted to "show" that I have been working very hard to remain committed as a vegan and to be healthier and fight my osteoporosis. All my weight gain has been as a vegan and on relatively healthy food.










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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Well done, Robin. Apart from anything else, it's great to have evidence that you can solve this problem while staying vegan, not that we doubted it of course

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Admittedly, I don't know much about osteoporosis. But here's a new article which suggests that there's a pathway between the gut and the liver which regulates bone mass. It emphasises the importance of B12:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0609205304.htm

    A very short summary:
    A previously unknown biological process involving vitamin B12 and taurine that regulates the production of new bone cells has been uncovered by researchers. This pathway could be a potential new target for osteoporosis treatment. Through the study, researchers found that bone mass was severely reduced at eight weeks of age in the offspring of mice with vitamin B12 deficiency. Giving the mother a single injection of vitamin B12 during pregnancy was enough to prevent stunted growth and the onset of osteoporosis in the offspring.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Hi Robin, I am new here and transitioning still so vegan wanabe, my mum had bad osteoporosis was diagnosed about 6 or 7 years ago after a fracture, her numbers were very bad, don't recall them, but she was told her skeleton was almost glass like, easily shattered. She was put on the supplements and the meds alendronic acid, after 3 years her dexa was hugely improved, and last year was good as well. She never exercises and stays home mostly, we keep encouraging her to go out for walks, but she doesn't care for it, almost has fear of being out, she only goes out like once a month, which is a shame, but the extended family visits her often almost daily.

    Anyway, about 9 months ago my and my older sister (in our forties ) decided to get a dexa, turned out she has ostoepenia, and my L-spine is just in the osteoporosis range, I am a bit worse than her, like you I read a lot on various osteoporosis forums and was scared about alendronic acid, but both me and my sister decided to take it because it was a success with my mum (even though she never exercises, or really improved her eating very much, just relied on the supplements and meds) my sister got the yearly injection, but as I live away the health authority insists on the weekly alendronic acid orally, which is a total pain, but what can I do!! Anyway, when I first had it, I had a few hickups here and there for 3 to 4 weeks, but honestly now it causes me no issues at all, and I even forget I am on meds until my alarm reminder to take them. So do try the meds, they do help a lot of people.

    Have you tried green juice (kale / greens/ parsley etc ) for the calcium? I am hoping that would help as just eating a couple of cups of cooked/raw greens a day wont be good enough I think (I can't handle smoothies, causes me a lot of digestive issues). I am too scared to eat soy, worried after reading so many scare stories about them, but think I should have some tofu here and there, I am easing my way into eating beans, my digestion can't handle it well, but can handle chickpeas.

  28. #28

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Hotmail View Post
    Hi Robin, I am new here and transitioning still so vegan wanabe, my mum had bad osteoporosis was diagnosed about 6 or 7 years ago after a fracture, her numbers were very bad, don't recall them, but she was told her skeleton was almost glass like, easily shattered. She was put on the supplements and the meds alendronic acid, after 3 years her dexa was hugely improved, and last year was good as well. She never exercises and stays home mostly, we keep encouraging her to go out for walks, but she doesn't care for it, almost has fear of being out, she only goes out like once a month, which is a shame, but the extended family visits her often almost daily.

    Anyway, about 9 months ago my and my older sister (in our forties ) decided to get a dexa, turned out she has ostoepenia, and my L-spine is just in the osteoporosis range, I am a bit worse than her, like you I read a lot on various osteoporosis forums and was scared about alendronic acid, but both me and my sister decided to take it because it was a success with my mum (even though she never exercises, or really improved her eating very much, just relied on the supplements and meds) my sister got the yearly injection, but as I live away the health authority insists on the weekly alendronic acid orally, which is a total pain, but what can I do!! Anyway, when I first had it, I had a few hickups here and there for 3 to 4 weeks, but honestly now it causes me no issues at all, and I even forget I am on meds until my alarm reminder to take them. So do try the meds, they do help a lot of people.

    Have you tried green juice (kale / greens/ parsley etc ) for the calcium? I am hoping that would help as just eating a couple of cups of cooked/raw greens a day wont be good enough I think (I can't handle smoothies, causes me a lot of digestive issues). I am too scared to eat soy, worried after reading so many scare stories about them, but think I should have some tofu here and there, I am easing my way into eating beans, my digestion can't handle it well, but can handle chickpeas.
    Hi Hotmail! Sorry to hear about your osteoporosis but glad your shot is working with no major side effects! I am actually on the Prolia shot (started it in June), which is different than alendronic acid. My shot is given once every six months. I have been fortunate not to have a single side effect. In fact I used to have chronic bone pain in my spine and hips for a long time and it is virtually gone since being on the shot! I don't know if it is because of the shot or because I finally gained weight to a healthy range from being underweight for six years and have stayed there for the last five months. I am eating much better now than I was. For food sources of calcium, I am consuming a lot of blackstrap molasses (has a ton of calcium in it) in hot cereals and stir fries and smoothies and homemade bread. I also eat tofu in small amounts here and there (have tolerance issues), but eat a lot of beans. Great Northern and a few other bean varieties have a lot of calcium in them also. I eat about three servings of beans (1.5 cups worth) per day. I also eat leafy greens daily, the low oxalate ones like bok choy, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, and broccoli. In fact this morning I had bok choy and pineapple sauteed with tofu for breakfast. I had a half of a bundle (head?) of bok choy to give you an idea of how much leafy green I eat. I might pack three or more cups of kale into a blender (I have a high speed Blendtec blender) with other fruits and veggies for a smoothie. Often I have big salads and include the high calcium leafy greens in them along with beans and other veggies. I had lentil soup for lunch today and threw in lots of chopped collard greens from my garden (I am growing a ton of collards and can't keep up with them) into the soup. Sometimes leafy greens go in my sandwiches or casseroles. Lets see...sesame seeds are another one I use quite a bit in granola, hot cereals, stir fries, salads. And of course I drink plant milks here and there fortified with calcium. I sometimes make my own flaxseed milk and add calcium citrate powder and vegan D drops to the batch. I do supplement with calcium/magnesium, and D. And I am still doing some weight lifting three or four times a week. Since putting on weight I am much stronger now but still a bit cautious with increasing weights too much. I have no idea if the Prolia shot is working as I have only been on it since June. But the fact that the chronic pain I was having is gone is a blessing. I do worry about the long term effects of the shot, but for now I hold out hope that better treatments will come along and maybe I will improve enough between eating well, the shot, and all the other things I am doing that I can take a break from it in several years. My next DXA will not be until 2016. My scores in March were -3.6 in spine and I am only 42 now (41 then) so it has been a wake up call for me. The first dxa scan I had was in 2006 and that one was -3.2 spine. Had I not gotten the shot, and my scores continued to decline at the same rate, I shudder to think what they would be in ten more years. I could still do more, such as cutting out the coffee. It is my one major vice left. I haven't had soda pop since 2008 and quit smoking in 2006. I am working on increasing protein intake but not too much. Too little protein can be as bad for the bones as too much you know?

    By the way, good for you for going vegan! Don't worry about the soy. Most soy that vegans tend to consume is non gmo and completely fine. Soy is hidden in a lot of omnivore foods, even herbal teas, seriously. It is fed to farm animals, and in breads, crackers, mayo, and many other products people take for granted. THAT soy is what is gmo and highly processed. If you have trouble with tofu, try tempeh. It is fermented and easier to digest. I have hypothyroidism and can still tolerate soy in moderation without any negative effect on my thyroid. I don't do a lot of soy milk, just here and there. Mostly I stick to tempeh and some organic sprouted types of tofu. On occasion I buy Ezekiel sprouted bread which has soy in it. The scares about soy are mostly from the dairy industry and those who support it, especially the Weston Price foundation. Soy has been around for thousands of years.

    Best wishes on your journey towards becoming a full vegan! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  29. #29

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Hi Robin, thanks for the reply, seems you are doing very well, good you are on the 6 monthly shots, and so glad you are seeing improvements, like you I had some doubts about the meds after reading so many stories, but I had a long chat with my sister, and at the end she convinced me to go for it, I so wish they give me the yearly or 6 monthly shot instead of weekly oral tablets, but here int he UK they wont do it unless you have a huge health/ mental reason for taking pills, the weekly ones are a pain, I sometimes forget and have to take it the next day, also you need to take on on an empty stomach and not eat or drink anything but water for 30 to 60 minutes, which is not a problem unless I absent mindlessly forget and have my green juice (which I am used to having on an empty stomach most mornings automatically, been doing this for about a couple of months now) so I keep thinking when I messed up I ruined the dose for this week etc!!

    I tried going vegan so many times and failed, mainly because I ended up being like a human baloon, beans and lots of greens (especially smoothies) really contains too much fiber for my digestion, and yes I do all the proper soaking preparation etc, this is why this time am going for juicing instead of smoothies, last month I tried the green smoothies again (I too have a high speed blender) I wanted to get all the calcium from lots of greens, but again I looked like I swallowed a football lol, so back to juicing, its the only way I can consume a lot of greens, and am hoping the calcium is not lost too much through the juicing.

    Wow about your ability to consume 1.5 cups of beans, not sure what great northern beans are called in the UK, maybe someone here can let me know, but at the moment I can only consume 0.5 easily, going to 1 cup means lots of bloat, nd I do make all the recommended preparations, I just need to ease into it and really hope it will be OK, I know some people never managed to digest beans, if it didn't work at all within a couple of months (ie not able to process beans at all) then I need to see what else I can do.
    Wonder if people here recommend starting with specific beans?

    As for soy, I am totally confused about it, a lot of people and sites on the net frown upon it, almost all diet plans warn against soy, what complicates things for me is that I actually gained about 20lbs the last couple of years, which makes pushed me slightly into the overweight category, so am 150lb now instead of my usual 130lbs, so I want to lose that as well, and on top I have a small batches of psoriasis on my skin, so ideally gluten free ... mind you been gluten free for years now and my skin has its good and bad times, so that makes high nutrient/ high calcium / low fat/calories/gluten free vegan to be healthy and lose the 20lb, its a bit of a challenge.


    As for tofu, (perhaps UK people can help me here) I know many years ago Cauldron used to have organic tofu in the supermarket for a reasonable price, but I looked yesterday and I can only see the non-organic variety, there were some other soy products which were organic, but they were sort of fried or something, I just wanted a block of tofu... I saw some a while back at a health shop, and also Chinese shops have lots of tofu, but it doesn't say organic, can any UKer tell me where to buy it best?

    I am thinking of doing a DXA scan in a year time, I know its early, but where my sister lives she can get one done quite cheaply privately, so I can go and visit her and arrange for one to be taken, they say its too early, but as long as I know its stable or hasn't got worse, I'd be happier.

    Best wishes to you too, hope we can still come and update this thread.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Hotmail View Post
    Hi Robin, thanks for the reply, seems you are doing very well, good you are on the 6 monthly shots, and so glad you are seeing improvements, like you I had some doubts about the meds after reading so many stories, but I had a long chat with my sister, and at the end she convinced me to go for it, I so wish they give me the yearly or 6 monthly shot instead of weekly oral tablets, but here int he UK they wont do it unless you have a huge health/ mental reason for taking pills, the weekly ones are a pain, I sometimes forget and have to take it the next day, also you need to take on on an empty stomach and not eat or drink anything but water for 30 to 60 minutes, which is not a problem unless I absent mindlessly forget and have my green juice (which I am used to having on an empty stomach most mornings automatically, been doing this for about a couple of months now) so I keep thinking when I messed up I ruined the dose for this week etc!!

    I tried going vegan so many times and failed, mainly because I ended up being like a human baloon, beans and lots of greens (especially smoothies) really contains too much fiber for my digestion, and yes I do all the proper soaking preparation etc, this is why this time am going for juicing instead of smoothies, last month I tried the green smoothies again (I too have a high speed blender) I wanted to get all the calcium from lots of greens, but again I looked like I swallowed a football lol, so back to juicing, its the only way I can consume a lot of greens, and am hoping the calcium is not lost too much through the juicing.

    Wow about your ability to consume 1.5 cups of beans, not sure what great northern beans are called in the UK, maybe someone here can let me know, but at the moment I can only consume 0.5 easily, going to 1 cup means lots of bloat, nd I do make all the recommended preparations, I just need to ease into it and really hope it will be OK, I know some people never managed to digest beans, if it didn't work at all within a couple of months (ie not able to process beans at all) then I need to see what else I can do.
    Wonder if people here recommend starting with specific beans?

    As for soy, I am totally confused about it, a lot of people and sites on the net frown upon it, almost all diet plans warn against soy, what complicates things for me is that I actually gained about 20lbs the last couple of years, which makes pushed me slightly into the overweight category, so am 150lb now instead of my usual 130lbs, so I want to lose that as well, and on top I have a small batches of psoriasis on my skin, so ideally gluten free ... mind you been gluten free for years now and my skin has its good and bad times, so that makes high nutrient/ high calcium / low fat/calories/gluten free vegan to be healthy and lose the 20lb, its a bit of a challenge.


    As for tofu, (perhaps UK people can help me here) I know many years ago Cauldron used to have organic tofu in the supermarket for a reasonable price, but I looked yesterday and I can only see the non-organic variety, there were some other soy products which were organic, but they were sort of fried or something, I just wanted a block of tofu... I saw some a while back at a health shop, and also Chinese shops have lots of tofu, but it doesn't say organic, can any UKer tell me where to buy it best?

    I am thinking of doing a DXA scan in a year time, I know its early, but where my sister lives she can get one done quite cheaply privately, so I can go and visit her and arrange for one to be taken, they say its too early, but as long as I know its stable or hasn't got worse, I'd be happier.

    Best wishes to you too, hope we can still come and update this thread.
    Hi again Hotmail! The Prolia I am on is actually not a first line treatment for osteoporosis and is hard to get insurance to pay for because you have to meet certain qualifications and try other drugs first. I was already on HRT and years ago tried Miacalcin (which consequently is derived from salmon) but neither seemed to make a huge difference. I told my rheumatologist that I was very concerned about going on one of the oral bisphosphonates due to the potential gastric side effects. I was in a period of refeeding and struggling to put on weight and the last thing I needed was to end up with any problem interfering with my ability to eat and put on weight. also, because of the severity of my scores and how much they declined over a four year period my doctor was able to push for me to get the prolia. The only other two non oral options for me would have been Fortio (can only be taken for two years for a lifetime and is a last resort) or Reclast which is a once yearly shot. He said the reclast can have harsh side effects in the first month or so and you have to take all kinds of tests first to make sure kidneys and other body systems are functioning properly. Like you I was scared to death after reading so much about the horrors of side effects from prolia on the web. People said they were downright debilitated. The thing is, often you will only hear the negative stories because people who do well don't tend to go online and write about it. I knew I was taking a risk and was scared of being on a shot that stays in your system for six months. But given my circumstances and having already fractured (foot, pelvic area) I had to do something more than what I was already doing. I'm not crazy about having to be on a drug, but there are too many circumstances in my life that have made it necessary at this point. Aside from my eating disorder, I have been on thyroid meds for many years, had my ovaries removed with a hysterectomy (which was completely unnecessary but that's another story), and used to smoke (quit 2006). My Grandma had severe osteoporosis and fractured her spine years ago, granted she was in her 80s when it happened, not 42. So it runs in my family too.

    As far as the beans, I started eating more of them years before I became vegan. I was never much of a meat eater and a lot of dairy made me sick (cramps, diarrhea). I got to a point in life where I wanted to eat healthier and beans just seemed to provide a wealth of nutrients. I started slowly with them, a half cup here and there a few times a week. So I had a long time to adjust to them. I started eating them regularly in 2007 but did not become vegan until 2011. I think I remember having a lot of gas at first too. it takes time for the body to adjust. I know raw fooders who can pack away a few lbs of lettuce in one sitting and I would be on my knees in agony if I tried that lol. More than likely they built up to that over time. I'm not sure if there are beans that are easier to digest than others. Sometimes it is what you combine them with that makes a difference. If you eat them with fruit and greens you are asking for trouble but they are more easily digestible with say brown rice. Can you handle something like hummus? As far as other sources of protein that are gluten free and not bean sourced and low fat. That can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you can't handle too many greens. Can you eat cooked greens like broccoli? Or cook your leafy greens and add them to soups? Some gluten free whole grains (not flour) like millet, brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat groats can provide a substantial amount of protein and are low fat. I love millet and use it often. I make hot cereal in my crockpot using millet, cinnamon, and chopped apple cooked in water in the crockpot overnight. I also use millet as a base for dishes like chana masala or red lentil dahl. Or I make millet vegetable balls. Buckwheat groats can be soaked and eaten raw as a cold cereal. I throw in berries and seeds with it. Or you can make a granola out of it but it wouldn't be low fat. Whole almonds would provide protein and calcium but again it is not low fat. I personally find that I need a little bit of fat from nuts and seeds in my diet for satiety and endurance etc. I exercise every day and cycle to work as well and it just gives me more energy. But there is a fine line as too much fat slows me down too. I can't stomach a whole lot of nut/peanut butters or oil. I keep those to a minimum and consume my nuts/seeds whole. My Mom has a similar problem as you. She eats gluten free and has diverticulitis and can not eat nuts/seeds, even in fruits. She tried to go vegan but seemed to struggle a lot with it and went back to meat. She is obese, and had lost a good bit of weight going vegan but gained it all back and then some when she returned to eating meat/dairy. She said she didn't feel well as a vegan but the kicker is she doesn't feel well as a meat eater either. She used to avoid soy due to all that she heard about it too. I think with all the food she was avoiding (some legitimate and some not so much) no wonder she didn't feel well. I have consumed soy for a long time and have not had issues with it. But I don't eat it every day, and I don't eat a lot of processed food. I think it is still possible to thrive as a vegan eating gluten free soy free (I did it for a while as an experiment and also when I ate all raw and was fine but psychologically it was hard) but if you are also going to be low fat and avoid nuts/seeds and can't digest a lot of fruits and vegetables then it can become more of a challenge. When I was restricting food intake quite a bit I would still be able to consume pumpkin and sunflower seeds with shell on (usually 1/3 cup servings) and not gain weight from it. In fact I got to a scary low weight still consuming those. I ate very healthy as far as sticking to unprocessed food and no sugar or junk food or eating out and no bread/flour/oil, I just ate way too little as far as caloric intake, and exercised too hard. That combination is partly why my osteoporosis got so much worse, though it was already bad even before my eating disorder started in 2006.

    I don't know if you have heard of chickpea flour (besan flour)? That is another great source of protein and maybe a little calcium and iron. It has an eggy like taste. I use it to make omelets. I cook it sort of like a pancake (all you need is the chickpea flour and water and some spices to make the batter) and add vegetables, leafy greens, salsa etc on top and fold it over while it is in a nonstick skillet. Makes a filling breakfast. 1/4 cup of chickpea flour is something like 8 grams of protein, and I use a half cup of it at a time for myself. Not sure about calcium though. Do you drink plant milks? Often those are fortified with calcium, d, etc. Do you get outside much for vitamin D? I have been fortunate even living in the north that my D levels have always been healthy when tested and I think it is partly from cycling and hiking outside a lot and partly from supplementing.

    I hope you get some answers regarding your tofu. I don't think it necessarily has to be organic to be ok. As far as the soy and weight loss, I can attest that you can lose weight fine still consuming it. I think the focus is often on the soy that is added to processed foods, especially soybean oil and so on. Tempeh, tofu, miso, edamane, those sorts of foods are not going to prevent weight loss or cause weight gain. And they will not have a negative effect on thyroid or any of that nonsense. The only exception is if you are on thyroid meds you would need to space it at least four hours from consuming soy products. It goes the same for calcium products as both slow or prevent proper absorption of thyroid meds. Soy is a phytoestrogen which I think scares people but there are MANY foods that are phytoestrogens such as flax seeds, cruciferous vegetables and so on. I imagine all the hormones and antibiotics in meats can't be all that good for the human body either and would interfere with ones hormones. In fact when I suffered from endometriosis I read so many books and studies that recommended cutting down on meat and dairy for this very reason. Yet you won't hear about cutting down on meat in a lot of diet circles.

    I wish I had more time to write but I better get ready for a certification test I have to take this morning. Eeks. I hope to come back to this thread in the future as well and report better bone density scores! Maybe we could start another thread regarding food sources of calcium?

  31. #31

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Thanks Robin, very useful. I can tolerate chickpeas in small quantities, and hummus too, but can't have too much hummus as its high in fat with the tahini added, I try to make it with little tahini myself.

    I can tolerate nuts very well, I used to eat tons of raw almonds, it didn't help with the osteo unfortunately but it does run in the family, or maybe it did, if I didn't have so much of it maybe my bone would have been worse than mostly oestopeania. However, living in the UK means vit D is lacking, in fact all the small psoriasis batches clear when I go on a sunny beach holiday, I have always had supplements of vit D as well and one year I had very high doses to see if my skin clears, but I am not sure if it really had any effect on the osteo, it certainly had no effect on the skin clearing.

    I do not have cereal for breakfast, I've been having 1litre of green juice, mostly leafy greens and a few fruit for taste, been doing this for a couple of months and want to continue for at least another two months. As I said I tried to do smoothies instead of juicing and couldn't handle it, but juicing is fine and I can tolerate it good. I can tolerate a portion of salads, roasted/steamed veggies are no problem at all, its the raw bit that gives me issues, this is one of the reasons I failed previously at vegan, I tried to do mostly raw, at the time I believed grains are evil, beans gave me indigestion, so thought raw vegan is the best, but I just couldn't handle it, I felt great for a few days then started to look so pregnant, too much fiber in my tummy really distended, but at the same time I was hungry all the time and obsessed about food, then listening to so many stupid advise that tells you to have this combo or that combo or that many calories etc etc, just messed my digestion totally, and ended up quitting vegan, I was in agony all the time. But now I just want to do some raw (juice and salads) and the rest can be cooked, and hope I can still lose weight on that, but even if I didn't and just maintained then its not the end of the world really, I just want to be healthy at the moment, I am still in my forties and don't want the osteoporosis to worsen or any other health issue to creep up !

    So because I do not have cereal in the morning, I don't need to worry about it now, I usually have my biggest meal at lunch, and am trying to do some veggies (like stir-fry) some beans or lentils, and some grains (quinoa or rice) I love quinoa and I know I can lose on it, but I don't want to over do it, its not good to eat the same thing all the time, so rice is OK some times, also some dishes really needs rice...... I must admit sometimes I have couscous, I know it has gluten, but somehow it doesn't cause me issues, even though pasta does and its made of the same durum wheat, think because I can't eat too much couscous, I find it really filling, so I stick to smaller portions, while I can eat a whole dish of pasta bake if I allowed myself... even gluten free pasta bothers me, but I will have it occasionally when I really fancy it. I usually follow lunch with fruit immediately, like melons, yes I know this is against every combo rule I read, but it really makes me satisfied and stops the hypoglycemic effect that one has after eating lunch, if I didn't do this, a couple of hours after lunch I'd be wanting to have some chocolate or something !!

    My dinners vary, but I keep it light, haven't sorted it out yet totally !! I really would like to make gluten free wraps, I can find them in the supermarkets, but they are sooo expensive, same with gluten free flat bread, really annoys me, regular sliced gluten free bread is a reasonable price, but I so prefer wraps!

    Thanks again Robin
    Last edited by Hotmail; Sep 12th, 2014 at 02:10 PM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    If you get tired of rice and couscous or quinoa, have you ever tried millet? It is a very filling grain as well. It can be hard to find though.

    Here are a few lists I came across of vegan food sources of calcium in case you are interested. Surprisingly figs have quite a bit of calcium. Just thought it might help.
    http://www.drlisawatson.com/40-vegan-calcium-sources
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-...r-calcium.html

    Also, as far as the gluten free wraps. Have you ever made homemade corn flour tortillas? Here in the United States cornflour is different than cornstarch but I think I remember someone on a thread here saying cornflour there is the same as cornstarch? At any rate sometimes I buy Masa Harina flour (a type of cornflour). To make tortillas I simply add two parts cornflour (for example 1/2 cup) to one part water, and mix until it forms a dough. It becomes very pliable and easy to work with. I roll it into a golf ball sized ball. I don't have a tortilla press, so I take two pieces of seran wrap and sandwich the dough in between. Then press a pot down over it to get a flat tortilla. then I heat it in a dry cast iron skillet for five minutes, flip, and heat the other side. It is very pliable and can be used as a flatbread or tortilla. Very low calorie and simple to make with one ingredient unless you add spices or whatever you want to it. This is so much better than the store bought corn tortillas you sometimes see. I'm not much of a bread eater but when my mom tried to go vegan we both discovered that most gluten free breads in the U.S. have egg or dairy in them. I tried making a homemade millet yeast bread loaf for my Mom once and while it was delicious, it was very dense and the dough was sticky and hard to work with. I sometimes make pure buckwheat flour pancakes or banana pancakes with rice flour which are very good but again the batter is kind of gummy at first before it cooks. I love to experiment with the many different variations of diets and I am the cook in my family (in fact I am the ONLY cook in my family lol) so I have been all over the board to accommodate others needs as long as it is within the vegan realm. My sister eats very light and my Mom of course gluten free and my omnivore husband likes more of the heavier dishes and processed foods so I make vegan stuff to satisfy him too so he eats less meat and dairy. He is nearly vegetarian at home and thankfully does not bring home meat a whole lot. We have separate areas for our foods because I don't want my stuff intermingling too closely with his and do not want to have to look at dead meat.

    BTW, I passed the certification exam! Now I am seeing double I am so exhausted lol. Time to turn in for the night. If you get a chance (or haven't already) google gluten free vegan as there are several sites dedicated to this. It seems many people with gluten allergies have other allergies too so there are nut free, bean free, soy free, and other types of dishes within the gluten free vegan sites too.

  33. #33

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Thanks again Robin, the links are very useful, saved them on my favorites.

    I can find cornflour in Asian shops here, different than corn starch as you say. But I am was always scared off using any corn, in fact there were a lot of articles against eating corn, forgot why but think the way they are genetically manipulated now... so I stopped having any corn or corn derived products a while ago. Are those also scare stories?

  34. #34

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Quote Hotmail View Post
    Thanks again Robin, the links are very useful, saved them on my favorites.

    I can find cornflour in Asian shops here, different than corn starch as you say. But I am was always scared off using any corn, in fact there were a lot of articles against eating corn, forgot why but think the way they are genetically manipulated now... so I stopped having any corn or corn derived products a while ago. Are those also scare stories?
    I have heard a lot of negative stuff about corn too, but you know what? If I cut out everything everyone said something negative about I would starve to death. I used to go crazy obsessing about all that. After all I battled anorexia for eight years. The funny thing is, a lot of people that obsess about all these good and bad foods tend to be either obese or eating disordered. The more you cut out and worry about stuff, the more you think about food and the more you do that the more you eat or go against nature. I am finally learning to stop spending my entire days obsessing about what I can eat and not eat and focus on other goals in life. I hope in time with not making food such a big deal that I can learn to have a more normal relationship with my body and with food. I am not one who is going to point out all the health risks and benefits of a particular food. I will leave that expertise to someone else lol. I just enjoy food now and tune out the scares. I am healthy. I exercise every day, work hard at work, do my thing, eat reasonably well now. If I want to enjoy a little bread or corn or soy or fat or cooked food or whatever I will. I am trying to type this out without sounding like I am being defensive or attacking you because I am not at all and this is just a general statement, not one aimed at you. I find it discouraging that so many vegans are focused so much on picking food apart and less and less on the ethics of our food choices. I think the meat eaters are having a field day with this, helping us along in our fears over soy and grains and corn and beans and so on. The low carb thing is getting downright ridiculous. I have seen people (meat and vegans) cut out so many foods and go to such extremes they either get sick or frustrated and end up going to the other extreme to compensate and then attack vegan or whatever other "diet" they tried as unhealthy. The harder we try to figure out what is "healthy" the more sick we are all getting. Personally I think the Mediterranean people everyone focuses on as the healthiest group...the reason they are so healthy isn't necessarily because they eat fish or a plant based diet or get more sun. It's because they don't obsess about food and health benefits of this or that. they actually enjoy their food lol. Maybe they have a healthier outlook on life in general? IDK.

    The allergy and intolerance thing might be very real though for a lot of people due to the loads of chemicals and strange ingredients in our products. It really does make you wonder about the long term effects. When I was a kid it was very rare for kids to have allergies and intolerances. Gluten free was virtually unheard of. Why is it such a big thing now. It all makes me very suspicious.

    One more thing before I wrap up lol. I have read that a hundred years ago carrots were entirely different than today. So even fresh "organic" fruits and vegetables have been manipulated over the years to suit us and to make them grow in different climates. There are very few foods that can really be called natural that have not been altered by humans over time. Even animals obviously have been bred and manipulated over thousands of years to suit human needs. So these low carb paleo high meat eaters who think they are eating natural meat aren't really eating any more natural or ancient food than the rest of us. Rant over lol.

  35. #35

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Hi Robin, thanks again for the links am planning my shopping, but I am seeing a lot of difference in the calcium contents of food between different links and sites, e.g. the first links says that a cooked cup of collard green is 260 mg, while the other links says its 350 mg, with Blackstrap Molasses 2 table spoons is (135x2) which is 270mg, while the other site says its 400mg, Broccoli one site says for a cooked cup its 45mg, while the other says its 95mg.

    Is there a reliable source that I can form a shopping list and play with my recipes accordingly.

    I wonder if there is a list which compares oxolate contents as well as calcium as I know oxolate interferes with calcium absorption (or so they tell us!!)


  36. #36

    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

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    Hi Robin, thanks again for the links am planning my shopping, but I am seeing a lot of difference in the calcium contents of food between different links and sites, e.g. the first links says that a cooked cup of collard green is 260 mg, while the other links says its 350 mg, with Blackstrap Molasses 2 table spoons is (135x2) which is 270mg, while the other site says its 400mg, Broccoli one site says for a cooked cup its 45mg, while the other says its 95mg.

    Is there a reliable source that I can form a shopping list and play with my recipes accordingly.

    I wonder if there is a list which compares oxolate contents as well as calcium as I know oxolate interferes with calcium absorption (or so they tell us!!)

    Here is a comprehensive list that breaks down foods into high, moderate, and low oxalates:

    http://www.ohf.org/docs/OxalateContent092003.pdf

    I read that collards, bok choy, kale, and turnip greens are low oxalate leafy greens with a lot of calcium. Ditto with molasses, but I couldn't find a few of those items on the lists. Surprisingly soy is listed as a high oxalate food, although many nutritition websites including the Mayo Clinic and some osteoporosis books encourage soy products as a nondairy source of calcium. Hmmm.

    I also found the link below from the Food and Drug Administration which lists calcium values for various foods (scroll down to the "nondairy" calcium sources table). Not sure how trustworthy a government site is lol but it can't be any worse than some of the other links out there.

    http://www.health.gov/dietaryguideli.../appendixb.htm

    I hear ya with how confusing it is that different sites list different amounts for stuff. I have a bottle of blackstrap molasses that states it has 172 MG calcium for one tablespoon and is 42 calories for one tablespoon. Maybe different brands process it differently so that could account for differences? IDK. I wouldn't stress about it too much. There is so much more to bone health than calcium anyway. My mother in law grew up on a dairy farm and eats a ton of dairy and has all her life. She has always been active and mid normal weight range. She was diagnosed with osteoporosis in her sixties (is 81 now) but never fractured. She does have a rounded back though. So I guess all the calcium in dairy did not prevent her from losing bone density. She also has very high cholesterol too and has to take meds for it. She's been asking me lately what to eat to lower it. My cholesterol is about 120 for total and last check HDL was 57 and LDL 62. I suspect I have always had a low bone density but I doubt it was from lack of calcium in my diet. Who knows.

    Remember also that some of the lower oxalate leafy greens have other bone building nutrients too such as magnesium, vitamin K and other trace minerals. So look at the big picture in that regard.

    I hope this helps. Some people go as far as calling a company and asking how they got their nutrient numbers and mentioning that another brand has a different listing of nutrient content. I think the Vegetarian Resource Group does this sort of research. You might want to check out there site too.

  37. #37

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    Default Re: How common is osteoporosis in vegans?

    Great info there, thanks again.

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