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Question About Calcium Supplements
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I was wondering if anyone knows if Citracal Plus with Magnesium is gluten free. I know that Caltrate is, but it is not casein free. I have been feeling like I should take a calcium/magnesium supplement since I am not eating any dairy, and have not liked the feeling that my stomach gets when I take the Citracal, but maybe it's the B vitamins in it, or the minerals. I don't know. I've never been big on supplements.

Also if anyone knows of specific veggies that are high in calcium and/or magnesium, please list them here. Someone said that greens are higher in calcium than milk, but which greens. Most don't taste good to me. I can't tolerate broccoli right now. Anyhow, any help would be appreciated.

God bless,

Mariann

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Mariann,

I don't know about the Citracal, but I did a bit of research and discovered that whole grains and grain products like rice bran (the absolute best), amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are rich sources of magnesium, and I believe that greens (kale, collards, turnip, mustard, etc.) and dried apricots (and maybe other dried fruits) are good as well. For calcium, choose greens, sesame seeds or tahini, almonds, okra, bok choy, and dried figs and apricots. I'm sure there are other foods that I'm not remembering, as well. Soy products like tofu are good as well, but I know you are sensitive to them. I hope this helps!

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Thanks Sarah. I guess I need to get used to eating the greens you mentioned. I just have never liked them. Do you have any good recipes for them that would make them taste better. And do you think I would have to eat the whole leaf, or could I juice them in my juicer and still get the nutritional benefits? Sorry to load you up on questions.

Why only dried apricots and not fresh? Dried always give me gas and I think it is the sulfites added to them. I have not found any sulfite free dried apricots. Maybe I'll check the healthfood store next time I get over there...

I like quinoa, but I don't care for buckwheat, and haven't figured out a good recipe for amaranth yet. I usually eat a lot of brown rice, more so than white, so that's good about the magnesium. I eat more almonds than the other foods on the calcium list. I have some organic tahini in the cupboard, but what do I do with it?? I bought it because it was good on the blood type diet, but have never found a use for it. Any suggestions?

Thanks again.

God bless,

Mariann :)

Oh, and I ordered some liquid calcium/magnesium supplement from the Gluten-free Casein-free Diet Support Group, since it is Gluten and Casein Free and more easily absorbed. I think I'll skip the Citracal, since I can't seem to find out if it is gluten-free. It probably is though, all the other Citracal Calcium supplements are gluten-free, but the one with magnesium isn't listed anywhere.

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Hi Mariann-

I use store brand calcium supplements from walgreens and magnesium from CVS. (Do you have those pharmacies where you are?) I found Citrical to give me stomach upset too, but I do better with calcium carbonate type of calcium (read the labels carefully). I take 1200 mg of calcium per day (600 in the morning, 600 at night) - I probably should get about 1500mg per day...so I try to get some extra from other sources. My recent bone density scan shows me as osteopenic (which is one step before osteoporosis) this despite taking calcium supplements for about 20 years...I was just diagnosed with celiac disease in 9/03 and I just turned 40 years old last month. Now I know why the calcium supplements weren't working - I have celiac disease!

Anyway , I am a pediatrician and I constantly tell my patients - especially the teenage girls about calcium supplements... it is really difficult to get enough calcium per day without eating dairy products. All the fruits and veggies noted in the message above are OK for calcium, but you'd have to have ALOT of them to get up to 1200-1500 mg per day. ( ex. 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes or broccoli only has about 40 mg of calcium, 1/2 cup of white beans has about 100 mg calcium)

It 's really important to get enough calcium - consider the supplements!

Hope this helps....Sara

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Oh, and I forgot...Tahini mixed with mashed chickpeas and a little lemon and garlic makes Hummus - a wonderful dip for raw veggies or falafel. ( you can get gluten-free falafel mix from authentic foods). I can get you the recipes if you want...Sara

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GFdoc,

Thank you for the information. Yes, I would like the recipe for hummus. If you put it in the recipes section I'll find it! That way others can benefit from it as well. Thanks again.

I will be taking supplements, but I don't have a Walgreens or CVS. I ordered some from online that are guaranteed gluten free and dairy free.

I will have to skip the Citracal, due to the stomach upset. I have not been able to get a bone scan, since my doctor doesn't really believe that I am gluten intolerant. She just thinks I have IBS, since I tested negative on the blood test and biopsy. I tested positive with Enterolab, and the best test is how I feel being gluten-free. I just figure that if I am no longer having any dairy, there is no way I can get enough calcium/magnesium in my diet to keep my bones healthy.

I think I'll give my kids some too, since two of them have very brittle nails, that crack and break and the layers peel right off. And the doctors don't think they are gluten intolerant either! They all three show symptoms of nutritional deficiencies, as well as the frequent diarrhea and slow growth. Oh well, I may have to get them tested through Enterolab as well. They just keep showing positive on the IgG Gliadin Antibodies and negative on all the IgA tests. But only one has been tested for IgA deficiency and he is the sickest of them all (and not deficient).

God bless,

Mariann

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FYI-

Calcium needs for kids are different than for adults:

1 - 3 year olds need 500mg calcium per day

4 - 8 year olds need 800 mg per day

9 - 18 year old need 1300 mg per day

My kids also had positive anti-gliadin antibodies, but were negative on the EMA test... I was told by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program people that this means my kids do not have celiac disease. The EMA or TTG tests are the best (assuming no IgA deficiency). Anti Gliadin tests are really only used as follow up tests on known celiacs - to see if they are following the diet correctly. I will recheck my kids every two years to see if they convert to positive (I may do the genetic testing on them...I haven't decided)

I'll post the hummus recipe in the recipe section soon!

Stay well....Sara

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Thanks Sara,

Thanks for posting the levels of calcium needed for kids. Mine are 4, 7 & 9 years old, so I figured they would all need different amounts. You saved me the trouble of looking it up. See they are still on dairy as well as gluten and drink 1-2 cups of 2% milk a day, and usually have a Yoplait yogurt also. Plus they have calcium fortefied cereal with milk for breakfast. No cheese though, they don't like it. So they should be getting enough, yet still show signs of deficiency. My middle child broke a toe at 3 years old, just walking across the kitchen floor and he caught his foot on a plastic toy and slipped. He didn't even fall very hard, yet his toe was broken! You just never know.

I don't technically have celiac disease either, but I am gluten intolerant. I don't know if I want to wait for my kids to progress to the level of damage required for a diagnosis of celiac disease.

Thanks for all the advice. I sure appreciate it. :D

God bless,

Mariann

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Why only dried apricots and not fresh? Dried always give me gas and I think it is the sulfites added to them. I have not found any sulfite free dried apricots. Maybe I'll check the healthfood store next time I get over there...

Mariann,

Check out the organic dried apricots at Whole Foods, if there is one near you. They pack them in their own clear plastic containers and at a reasonable price. When soaked over night (I use distilled water) they plump right up to almost real size. I eat them as a snack with either yogurt or kefir. Delicious. Their org. dried figs (I prefer the calimyrna variety) are also very good but need the soaking even more than the apricots. --Aldo

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Thanks Aldo for the information. Next time I'm at Whole Foods I'll check them out.

I was just wondering though, why not fresh apricots? Or is it just that they are hard to find, and sometimes expensive? I certainly prefer fresh.

Mariann

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This article is in the archives on this site, it is the reason I speak so much about magnesium and this and some other research material I will post below it shows how you could take calcium supplements all your life and still have low bone density, not to mention the havoc it causes to your health to have too much calcium in your system. Here is the article:

Five years ago I became concerned about weakness in my bones after a couple of surprising fractures. At one point, I broke a rib while shingling a storage-shed roof. I leaned across the peak of the roof
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Mariann,

My guess is that fresh apricots are a good source of calcium, too, but you would have to eat the same *number* of them as you would dried to get the same amount of calcium, and I don't know how that might affect your digestion.

As far as greens go, I believe juicing them is entirely acceptable. My favorite green to eat by itself is a variety of kale known as lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, or black kale, which I find at my local health food store and at Whole Foods. Its leaves don't wilt like spinach and turnip greens do. I saute it with some sliced onions (slightly caramelized without sugar in olive oil) and salt it (lightly!--greens are actually easy to over-salt). I also enjoy sauteed escarole, although it is typically very sandy and difficult to get totally grit-free. I am not sure of its relative mineral content, but I know it is a healthy option. I also add leafy greens to some of my various stew recipes. I can post a recipe for a nutritionally well-rounded poultry-based African/Caribbean-inspired stew, if you are interested. (And I like hyphens; can you tell? :rolleyes::P )

I didn't care for buckwheat either when I first tried it, but then I read that roasting it changes its flavor quite a bit. I like roasted buckwheat (kasha) better and think it makes a nice addition to cornbread (substituted for part of the cornmeal) if you put it through a coffee grinder first. Whole-grain amaranth I find thoroughly repulsive, but I have three recipes for sweet treats that call for amaranth flour. One of them is a bar cookie that calls for amaranth flour, rice bran, and dried apricots! Hmm, it looks like I really need to MAKE the time to post that recipe, like I promised someone I would a while ago (oops)! Since it is so nutritious, I am planning to try to concoct an all-purpose flour mixture based on amaranth.

Tahini is delicious in hummus, and I think I snagged the recipes I posted on the old board and re-posted them here if you are interested. Garbanzo beans are an avoid for us Type A's on the blood type diet, but any bean will work and I find that pinto beans make an especially rich-tasting hummus. Tahini is also delicious substituted for all or part of the peanut butter called for in Asian-style peanut noodle recipes (and 100% buckwheat noodles are good here, too, although I haven't called the manufacturer of mine to inquire about cross-contamination concerns yet).

I hope this helps, and take care!

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Lisa B,

Because of recent research, I'm convinced as you are, of the importance of having adequate magnesium to balance calcium intake. One of the first things I noticed as I was feeling better was how I needed to cut my fingernails more often and how less fragile they were, and I have not increased my dairy that much but have always liked foods, as it turns out, that are rich in magnesium, but apparently have not been absorbing it very well until recently because of the celiac disease. I have read that "between 30 and 40% of the average daily intake of magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine." (From The Nutrition Almanac, 4th Ed., which then goes on to affirm much of the same information you provided.) If this is so, then it's not surprising that the magnesium was being underabsorped before I went gluten-free.

Good sources (Info from a number of sources and probably as reliable and accurate as predicting the weather in our part of the country--meaning not at all, if you're not from New England and wondering what I'm talking about.) But at least it may add some more items to the list, and possibly confirm others that have been mentioned. Especially good sources are Buckwheat, millet, corn flour, brown rice and rice bran, among the grains. All nuts--especially almonds--and seeds, especially pumpkin. Green leafy veggies, especially spinach; yellow beans, french beans, and broccoli. And especially the following fruits: avocado, prickly pear, Kiwi, banana, papaya, and pineapple juice. Dried fruits are also good sources, especially apricots and figs. And molasses, 1TB, has about 50mgs (RDA 400mgs). One source cautioned that the magnesium content of foods varies quite a bit depending on the soil, the amount of processing, and the manner of cooking. Boiling is said to leach the mineral out into the cooking water.

Mariann,

I think the reason most sources mention more often the dried form of apricots (and of figs) is that they are always available while the fresh apricots have only a very short season, are very expensive, and usually taste like carboard, at least the ones I've tasted (and will no longer)--and are probably as nutrient dense as cardboard. (I do look for fesh figs, when they're in season, but I buy them only if I hit the lottery that day.

Aldo

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Thanks Aldo. That was quite a list of foods. I agree that magnesium is very important. Magnesium deficiency is actually quite a big problem in America and has gone widely unrecognized. Most people get adequate calcium, but without the magnesium it doesn't matter. Since I have been dairy free for more than 4 months now, I really feel like I need to supplement both. I take a magnesium supplement and am waiting for my7 shipment of calcium/magnesium liquid supplement. I hope it gets here soon.

The following foods are the ones from the list that I eat most often, so I am glad to know they are good sources of natural magnesium:

corn flour (in my corn bread)

brown rice (my prefered rice)

almonds (whole and in my daily almond milk)

Green leafy veggies( I like the baby greens salad mix and it has spinach)

french beans (is this green beans or something else? I like green beans)

avocado (this is my "cheese" substitute, since it gives me that creamy texture)

papaya (I get them as often as I can find a good one)

pineapple juice (I prefer pineapple over most fruits)

apricots (I love fresh, and since I live in the middle of the San Joaquin Vally in California, I am actually able to find them quite often, and they aren't too expensive, and they usually taste wonderful. I didn't realise how lucky I am. I love dried, but they usually make me very gassy. I am looking for some sulfite free ones.)

Again, thank you. I am so gald to be able to digest my foods again! :)

God bless,

Mariann

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I put one hummus recipe in the recipe section (with the rest of my superbowl party recipes) - though that one's pretty heavy on garlic.

I take a calcium/magnesium supplement from Rainbow Light called "Food-Based Calcium". It has 500mg Ca (50%), 250mg Mg (63%), and 100IU Vit D (25%). It has no gluten, no lactose, and doesn't list caesin on the other ingredients (which are: cellulose, stearic acid (vegetable), modified cellulose gum, silica, magnesium stearate and a coating of vegetable food glaze.)

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