Foods that Stop Calcium Absorption

What Stops  Calcium Absorption What Boosts Calcium Loss
Phytates (phytic acid – a form of phosphorus) – in outer bran of whole wheat, oats, rye, and barley, beans, rice, sesame seeds, wheat germ, corn chips, bran and wheat cereal, soybean meal bind to calcium and make it unavailable. High dietary protein from animal meat and poultry increases calcium urinary excretion (due to sulfur content of some proteins). However, a poor recovery from osteoporotic fractures and serum albumin values are related  to the lower than normal protein intakes.
Purine excessive intake (uric acid in steak, poultry and roast beef) inhibits calcium absorption, and it is a major factor producing calcium-oxalate renal stones. Phosphorus-rich foods -  meats, corn, poultry, buckwheat, potatoes, beer. Soft drinks increase calcium loss in urine and the feces.  A small can of cola robs 100mg of calcium from the body.

  • Spinach, rhubarb, swiss chard, beets, celery, eggplant, greens, okra, squash, purslane, amaranth, leeks, cassava, sweat potatoes
  • Currants, strawberries, black- and blueberries, gooseberries, citrus peel
  • Concord grapes
  • Nuts (pecans, peanuts, almonds)
  • Tea, cocoa, cola, beer, berry juices
  • Other food
High sodium intake results in calcium loss in urine because of competition between sodium and calcium for reabsorption in the kidney or by sodium’s affect on PTH secretion.
Each 6 grams of NaCl salt excreted by the kidney, draws 24-40 g. of calcium into urine.
Tannins in tea bind with calcium in intestines and decrease its absorption. Caffeine in large amounts increases urinary calcium content for a short time; 1 cup draws 2-3 mg. of calcium into urine.
Magnesium or zinc (which compete with each other for intestinal absorption and for vit. D) Low calcium intake will lead to a loss of calcium from the bone.
Soft drinks, sugar.
What Helps Calcium Absorption
Calcium-to-Phosphorus ratio that is lower than 2:1.  Human milk has 2.3:1, but cow milk has 1.3:1 – a high phosphorus ratio. Vit. D (not more than 2,000 IU or 50mg a day). Vit. K2 is essential in calcium absorption and retention in bones.
Unabsorbed dietary fatty acids (due to steatorrhea) forming insoluble calcium “soaps” Taking calcium in a few small separate 250mg. portions with food throughout a day and/or with lactose (for infants, who tolerate it) increases its absorption. Taking calcium in more bioavailable forms: citrate in colloidal form and calcium citrate malate form, and from the Algas Calcareas marine plant – AlgaeCal.
Alcohol Sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach
Disorders, e.g., pancreatic insufficiency, celiac disease, chronic intestinal infections, and infestations Small amounts of fat.  Hormones, including parathyroid and estrogen promote calcium absorption.
Some fiber: grain’s bran, or supplemental from cereal bran Magnesium (keep it at about 350mg /day)
Medications (antacids, anticoagulants, diuretics, laxatives, anti-convulsants, cholesterol-lowering, thyroid hormone, antibiotics, etc.) U.S.Pharmacopeia standard sign (USP) on the supplemental calcium label indicates how well calcium dissolves (or bioavailable).
Lack or physical activity and weight-bearing exercise contribute to bone loss as much or more than the lack of calcium. Vegetables and fruit with the phosphorus content that is lower than in the animal products improves calcium absorption.
Stress and fear lowers calcium absorption; so the calcium is excreted, without your body using the ingested calcium. Vitamin C improves calcium absorption. Vitamin C is required for normal bone growth and optimal bone structure and development.

See more on calcium at:

Marta Tereshchenko


1. Thomas M. Devlin – editor  “Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations”, 6th edition, 2006, Wiley Liss

2. Sareen S. Gropper and Jack L. Smith “Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism”, 5th edition, 2008, Wadsworth Publishing

6 thoughts on “Foods that Stop Calcium Absorption

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  2. Pingback: How Much Calcium is Healthy and from Which Sources? | Food and Health Secrets

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