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How Much Calcium Can We Absorb from Different Foods?

When removing a food group from our diet, we sometimes cannot calculate what we should include instead. For example, think that your breakfast consists of cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggs (typical Turkish breakfast). One day you realize that you are intolerant to dairy. When you only take out the cheese and continue with the rest, you are saved from a food that is harming you, but on the other hand, there is a possibility that some of the nutrients you get with that food will diminish. Therefore, when removing a food group, it is necessary to take a look at which micronutrients come with it. In this article, I will share how much calcium we can get from which alternative calcium sources, especially for those who exclude dairy products from their diet for various reasons.

Normally, you can easily find information about the calcium content of food. However, to find out how much calcium you actually get from a food, we need to take into account how much of the calcium in that food can be absorbed by the body. For example, the absorbable part of 300mg calcium contained in a glass of milk is 32%. This means that we get 96mg of calcium from 1 glass of milk (240g). The same amount of calcium-rich spinach (240g) contains 322mg of calcium, more than 1 glass of milk; However, since only 5% of it can be absorbed, we only get 16mg of it. That’s why I prepared the list below so that we can make our calculation according to this absorbable calcium. Don’t worry, spinach is a bit of an extreme example… You can see that many vegetables on the list have a lot of absorbable calcium.

Of course, before we can use the list, we need to know how much calcium we need. You can find the recommended daily intake of calcium according to age in the table below (1).

Age Male Female
0–6 months* 200 mg 200 mg
7–12 months* 260 mg 260 mg
1–3 years 700 mg 700 mg
4–8 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
9–13 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
14–18 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
19–50 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
51–70 years 1,000 mg 1,200 mg
71+ years 1,200 mg 1,200 mg

* adequate intake (this warning in the original source may mean that the ideal intake for these age groups may be higher.)

In this table, the recommended daily intake of 1000mg for an adult, actually refers to dietary calcium, not the absorbable amount. How do we understand this? It is recommended that we consume 3-4 portions of dairy products to meet our daily calcium needs. If all 1000mg were to be absorbed daily, it would be recommended to consume 10 portions of dairy products since we would get 96mg absorbable calcium from 1 serving of dairy products. Based on this, we can say that the recommended amount of calcium to be absorbed daily is 300-400mg (5).

Let’s also briefly mention that there are different opinions about whether this is the amount of calcium we really need. Different factors such as physical activity, estrogen hormone and vitamin D level can also change the amount of calcium we need. Asian and African societies with fewer bone fractures with less calcium intake, raise questions about the recommended amounts of calcium. Of course, there are so many variables in diet and lifestyle that it is difficult to explain this difference with calcium intake alone.

After this detail, we can move on to the table showing the absorbable calcium amounts in foods. Hope this helps you to regulate your diet …

 

 

FOOD PORTION SIZE CALCIUM ABSORBED
Bone (eg. softened bones in chicken bone broth) 3 g 270mg
Collard greens 1 cup cooked( 190g) 173mg
Turnip greens 1 cup cooked( 190g) 102mg
Feta Cheese 30g 96.3mg
Yoghurt 240g 96.3mg
Milk 1 bardak 96.3mg
Sardines (with bones) 106g 95mg
Canned Salmon (with bones) 106g 71mg
Chinese cabbage 1 cup cooked( 170g) 69-85mg
Broccoli 1 cup cooked( 156g) 57mg
Kale 1 cup cooked( 125g) 46mg
Mineral water

(San Pellegrino, one of the highest Ca containing)

500ml 41-45mg
Mustard Greens 1 cup cooked( 190g) 42mg
White Beans 110g 24.7mg
Rutabaga 85g 22mg
Almond 28g 17mg
Red Beans 110g 15.3mg
Spinach 1 cup cooked( 180g) 12mg
Radish 50g 10.4mg
Sesame (hulled) 28g 7.7mg
Sweet potato 164g 9.8mg

Is Tooth (Tartar) Cleaning Harmful?

“They say it is harmful to have dental tartar removed” is probably one of the most frequently heard words by dentists. It is not right to process the teeth while standing still, yes. However, once the deposits on the teeth are petrified with minerals in the saliva, it is not possible to remove them with a brush. Sometimes patients say that it breaks spontaneously, but in this case, of course, there is no clean surface left behind.

What’s inside these stones? Minerals, protein-polysaccharide complexes, epithelial cells, leukocytes and microorganisms… Pay attention to the content… Of course, an inflammatory response develops in the gingiva directly adjacent to this structure. Tissue damage occurs due to both the direct activity of microorganisms and the destructive enzymes that result from the inflammatory response (1). It is possible to see this damage directly with the eyes. Below is the image of the gingiva that comes out just below when the tartar is removed. This is the picture seen only when the stone is removed without touching the gums.

 

Gingivitis can have serious consequences, including tooth loss, but the problem may not be limited to the mouth. It is thought that gingivitis may be associated with heart diseases, diabetes, low birth weights, rheumatoid arthritis and many other systemic problems. There are different theories about this. According to someone, the patient has a predisposition to these problems and they occur independently of each other. According to another theory, signals caused by this inflammation in the gums (cytokines, etc.) spread throughout the body through circulation. A third theory says that bacteria themselves enter the circulation and cause problems, and there are studies showing that these bacteria are found in clots from heart attack survivors. In a fourth theory, antibodies produced against bacteria attack the body itself due to “molecular similarity” (2). Did all this remind you of another painting? This situation always reminds me of “leaky gut” and the events that occur as a result. Then we can talk about a kind of “leaky gum,” right?

Going back to the initial question… There may be some chance of scratching your teeth while cleaning your tartar (this is also a bit related to how the cleaning is done). However, the damage caused by not cleaning it is many times more than this. If the stone is formed, it can be brushed with paste, baking soda, etc. we cannot completely clean it with methods. As I said, even if some of the stones are gone, the problem will not be solved completely because the remaining surface will not be smooth. That’s why teeth need to be cleaned completely with special tools. You should also know that this cleaning will not guarantee that you will be stone-free for 6 months. Bacteria plaque can become petrified even in as little as 24 hours. This time can vary from person to person, depending on the structure of saliva and some factors related to the microbiome. But as a result, it is your duty to protect the cleaning.

So how can we protect it? Short method: using a toothbrush and dental floss. When you brush and floss properly, you can control the formation of tartar because you prevent the accumulation of plaque on the surface of the teeth. However, there is another method that looks at the situation more holistically and will benefit not only oral and dental health but also the whole body: Eating healthy!

According to the “Ecological Plaque Hypothesis”, which tries to explain the reason for the occurrence of caries and gum diseases, a change in environmental conditions may bring about the disease by causing disruption in the balance of dental plaque microflora (3). The usual suspect in creating this change is excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates. In a diet far from processed foods, the acid formed by natural complex carbohydrates taken is at a level that saliva can tolerate. However, if simple carbohydrates that are processed frequently are started to be consumed, the acidic environment that forms will turn into an environment where rotting bacteria can live comfortably and our protective bacteria cannot resist. The situation is similar for gum health… Both the sticky nature of processed carbohydrates and changing the profile of the gingival fluid increase plaque accumulation. The metabolic changes created by the increasing accumulation reduce the redox potential (electron uptake potential), the pH rises and a suitable environment is created for the reproduction of the disease-causing bacteria that were previously few in number. If the deficiency in the defense system of the person is added to these, consuming sugary foods will indirectly affect this place, then it will be easier for pathogenic microorganisms to gain weight. Continuous high blood sugar levels also increase oxidative stress and trigger inflammation in the gums as well as in other regions (4).

The following studies, which I have taken from an article examining the relationship between diet and oral health and systemic diseases, are a few examples to see the relationship between gum diseases and today’s diseases that develop due to excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates:

“There is a relationship between diabetes that develops as a result of abnormal blood glucose metabolism and periodontal disease indicators in both children and adults (Tsai et al., 2002; Lalla et al., 2006). reduced the risk of disease development (Merchant et al., 2003). Obesity, which is an indicator of excessive consumption of fermentable carbohydrates, has been found to be directly proportional to the increased risk of periodontal disease (Perlstein and Bissada, 1977; Saito et al., 1998, 2005; Alabdulkarim et al. ., 2005; Dalla Vecchia et al., 2005; Reeves et al., 2006). (5) “

In the same article, it is emphasized that tooth and gum problems may actually be an alarm bell for future systemic diseases. A drink containing 50 grams of sucrose per day increases the gingival pocket depth in just 4 days (Cheraskin et al., 1965), the removal of processed carbohydrates from the diet reduces gingival bleeding within a few weeks, on the other hand, the development of systemic chronic diseases takes years, in this respect it is It is said that meat problems should be seen as a harbinger of systemic chronic diseases.

In another article, let’s talk about systemic factors that facilitate the formation of tartar. For now, let’s finish this article with a brief summary: Once the tartar is formed, it is not harmful to clean gingivitis, but it is necessary. Afterwards, it is the responsibility of the person to protect the cleaned teeth. The quick method for this is an effective brushing and flossing habit. On the other hand, considering gingivitis as an indicator of chronic systemic problems that may occur in the future, immediately reviewing the diet and reducing the amount of processed, simple carbohydrates and the frequency of eating is the most important step to be taken.

Another article I liked about how important nutrition can be in oral and dental health was “Brushless, Paste Free, Mouth Healthy in the Stone Age”. You can read it here …

Resources:

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/08959374940080022001
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1469-0691.2007.01798.x
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022034517735295
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28266114
  5. Hujoel, P. (2009). Dietary Carbohydrates and Dental-Systemic Diseases. Journal of Dental Research, 88(6), 490–502. doi:10.1177/0022034509337700 

Genetic Predisposition To Mercury Toxicity

While some people observe that their health problems begin after amalgam fillings are made or removed without taking the necessary precautions, others can feel healthy even though they have had amalgam fillings for years.

Of course, everyone’s criteria for being healthy can be different. Someone whose body gives serious alarms is so accustomed to living with these symptoms that they consider themselves healthy.

However, it would not be wrong to say that not everyone exposed to mercury has the same problems. Some people seem to cope with mercury or other toxins more easily, while in others these types of toxins can cause many health problems.

Why are some people more affected by mercury than others?

There may be many reasons for this: the amount of toxins that are exposed, whether this amount accumulates over time or is exposed at once, exposure to more than one toxin at the same time and increasing the effects of each other, such as pathogenic bacterial toxins present in the body.

Another reason that is getting more and more attention is that certain aberrations (polymorphisms or SNPs) in a person’s genetic sequence make that person more susceptible to the effects of toxins.

The introductory part of the article describing a study conducted on members of the American Dental Association in 2015 included the following comment:

“One of the major challenges in performing the risk assessment of mercury is that, despite exposure to similar mercury levels, […] there are huge differences between members of communities in terms of mercury measured in hair (Canuel et al., 2005).” In other words, although people seem to be exposed to the same amount of mercury, the amount of mercury they can throw out can be different. Let’s continue… “Although the source and dose of mercury may explain to some extent the difference in mercury content between individuals, differences in the absorption, distribution and elimination processes (in other words, toxicokinetics) of mercury may also play an important role in the formation of this distinction. Mercury toxicokinetics can be affected, for example, by changes in functional enzymes and proteins that transport, oxidize or reduce mercury (Gundacker et al., 2010).” (1)

As a result of her study of 500 children in 2013, Woods said:

  • Abnormalities in genes (SNPs) that enable the body to produce metallothionein increase the susceptibility of children to mercury neurotoxicity.
  • The relationship between mercury and neurobehavioral performance was observed mostly in boys.
  • In children with 2 metallothionein SNPs, the adverse effect of mercury on performance was measured at the highest level. (2)

Now let’s look at what metallotionein does in the body:

Metallothioneins are small proteins containing sulfhydryl groups that bind to zinc, copper, iron, cadmium, mercury, and other metals (3). With these properties, they not only regulate zinc metabolism, but also act as a natural chelator in the body and play a role in removing toxic metals from the body (4).

In an experiment to better understand the role of metallothioneins, the researchers silenced the mice’s MT-I and MT-II genes. While this appeared to have no developmental effects in the mice, they became more susceptible to cadmium poisoning. On the other hand, increasing MT genes increased their resistance to cadmium (5).

In short, even a difference in a gene that produces only one protein can adversely affect the excretion of metals and therefore mercury, leading to the accumulation of too many toxins for the body to cope with.

You can find other genetic variations that come to the fore in mercury research in my previous article titled “Facts About Amalgam Fillings“.

If we’re genetically unlucky…

We now know that our genes are not destiny. Epigenetics has shown that environmental factors can play a huge role in how genes are expressed. The environment you create for your body can control your genes’ on-off switches. Many factors such as what you eat, sleep, getting sunlight, spending time in nature, having good social relationships, and breathing properly can make this environment better. You may think these are irrelevant, but each one of them makes it easier for the biochemical events in the body to run smoothly.

Of course, while trying to increase the body’s ability to cope with toxins, let’s also remember that we should reduce the toxins we are exposed to from the outside as much as we can and lighten the burden of the body…

Resources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26673400
  2.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892036213001669
  3. N.V. BHAGAVAN, in Medical Biochemistry (Fourth Edition), 2002
  4. Susan L.-A. Samson, Lashitew Gedamu, in Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology, 1997
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S007966030861034X

Is It Possible to Remove Heavy Metals by Sweating?

Sweating is known as a good way to remove toxins and is considered among the general recommendations for detox. So how effective is sweating when it comes to heavy metals? When he hears round words like me, “Do we accept it as true because it is repeated thousands of times, or is it really like that?” If you are one of those who think, this article, which I will talk about research on sweating, may be of interest to you. I recently wrote this article on greenmedinfo.com, on an article by its founder Sayer Ji. However, in his article, he emphasized that sweating does not only help to regulate body temperature, but is also important in removing toxins, while I shared the points that caught my attention from a study that I reached from the bibliography of the article and compiled many studies.

In a nutshell

The amount of heavy metals excreted by perspiration in individuals in the studies was generally higher than the amount of heavy metals detected in their urine and blood. In some individuals, while heavy metals were detected in sweat, it could not be detected in blood or urine. Exercise, sauna or sweat-stimulating drugs were used to make the participants sweat.

Meanwhile, Sayer Ji, in his article, included studies showing that bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, which are found in plastics and are associated with many health problems, are also higher in sweat than their amounts in urine and blood serum. Even here, while these substances could not be detected in the urine or blood of some participants, they were detected in the sweat. So sweat can also be a good excretion method for these substances.

Now back to heavy metals. The results of the studies that caught my attention from an analysis of more than 20 studies that measured mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic are as follows (2):

Mercury:

  • In a study conducted in Canada, in which 10 healthy individuals and 10 individuals with chronic problems were examined, we can say that the average blood, urine and sweat mercury levels were close to each other even though they were slightly higher in sweat (0.61, 0.65, 0.86 mcg/L, respectively). However, while the number of people who detected mercury in all three samples was 16, only mercury was found in sweat in the remaining 4 people. In other words, if these people had blood and urine mercury tests for diagnostic purposes, the result would be negative, and it would be thought that they did not have mercury in their bodies.
  • In a case shared in 1978, the treatment of a worker who was exposed to mercury vapor for an hour a day while working at a place that produced thermometers for 13 years. The patient, who became incapacitated in the last 6 months, was first given various chelation agents for two months. Then, sweating and physiotherapy sessions were applied every day for a few months. During the treatment, it was observed that mercury was removed from the sweat by measurements. At the end of the treatment, the amount of mercury measured in the blood, urine and sweat decreased to normal levels without any side effects in the patient (3).

Lead:

  • In the Canadian study I mentioned above, the average amounts of lead in sweat, blood and urine were found to be 31, 0.12, 1.8 mcg/L. Here, we see that the amount of sweat excreted is quite high. Lead was detected in all three samples in all participants. Lead is everywhere!
  • In 1991, a very interesting study was conducted in England. Two volunteers drank lead chloride once or twice, for a total of 20mg! What kind of science is this? Or were they two researchers willing to even drink poison to complete their doctorate? We do not know these… But as a result, this lead compound, which was measured in the acute period, was not excreted much in sweat this time. It reached its highest level in the blood 4 hours after ingesting lead. It maintained this high level in the first 24 hours and gradually decreased over the next few weeks. Similar amounts were also detected in the urine. I was so intrigued by this work that I opened it and read it and realized that this was not actually the first time! There are many other works. In one of these, a researcher had 16 -initially- healthy subjects drink nickel! And after that, he could not see a significant breakthrough in sweat. Although there is an increase in nickel in the blood and urine… Our researchers who drink lead have drawn the following conclusion, taking into account other previous studies: These types of heavy metals are more common in blood and urine, since they have not yet penetrated into the tissues in the acute stage. When it is exposed chronically, accumulation in the tissues increases, and therefore it’s excretion with sweat also increases (4).
  • In a study conducted in Germany in 1986, the amount of lead thrown by aerobic endurance training (rowing) was found to be higher than the amount of lead thrown by shorter but more intense training (cycling) (values ​​measured in blood). So, according to this study, sweating for a longer period of time may be more advantageous than sweating at the same (or more?) rate over a shorter period of time.

Cadmium:

  • In Canada, in the study I mentioned above, cadmium could be detected in all samples, including blood, urine and sweat, in only three of the participants, while cadmium was detected in the sweat of 17. So sweat can be a good method for detecting cadmium. Considering the average amounts detected, it is seen that cadmium is excreted better with sweat than other ways. Average amounts in blood, urine and sweat, respectively: 0.03, 0.28, 5.7 mcg/L.
  • In the study in which 28 lecturers volunteered in the USA, the amount of cadmium detected in sweat ranged from 11-200mcg/L, while it was between 0-67mcg/L in urine. There is no such thing as too much cadmium in the urine of those who have too much cadmium in their sweat. From this, we can conclude that a urine test performed alone does not always reflect the situation in the body.

Arsenic:

  • They compared a group in Bangladesh who had arsenic poisoning and showed skin symptoms, another group exposed to arsenic in drinking water, and a third group who had never been exposed to arsenic. As expected, the sweat arsenic content of those exposed to arsenic was several times higher than those that were not exposed. There was no difference between the arsenic poisoning group and those who received arsenic from drinking water. I wondered if there is a maximum amount of arsenic that can be excreted in sweat, or if the arsenic taken with drinking water is too high, perhaps because it spreads for a long time, although it does not cause skin symptoms… seen to be thrown. This shows that, as with other heavy metals, our need for these vitamins and minerals increases with arsenic toxicity.
  • Again, in the Canadian study, arsenic was detected in 17 of the 20 participants. This time, the most arsenic was measured in the urine. (Average amounts are 37mcg/L, 3.1mcg/L, 2.5mcg/L in urine, sweat and blood, respectively)

I think we can draw two important conclusions from these findings:

First; Routinely practicing sweating through exercise, sauna or other means can reduce the body’s heavy metal load more than we think over time. As I said at the beginning of the article, we say “Sweating removes toxins,” but when we suspect heavy metals, the first detox method that comes to mind is usually taking chelation agents or supplements. I can’t compare the amount of metal excreted with these agents with the amount excreted through sweat, but even the mildest and the most herbal ones can have side effects. Therefore, sweating seems like a safer method to me compared to trying to get rid of the heavy metal accumulated in the tissue into the blood. As I said, I can’t compare their effectiveness, but I think that at least applying it in addition to other methods can speed things up.

The second conclusion we can draw is that sweat tests may be a new alternative to blood and urine tests, which generally do not work very well in measuring body accumulation. There are other tests such as hair, erythrocyte, intracellular spectrophotometer analyzes (oligoscan, zell-check) used to measure this load. Although hair tests are found to be more reliable than urine and blood, sometimes they may not reflect the situation directly and it may be necessary to interpret the mineral ratios. Zell-check, on the other hand, although it is a very practical test, is criticized by some researchers as inaccurate (5) (6). In short, a method that everyone considers valid has not yet been found to fully understand the heavy metal load in the body. Therefore, measuring the amount in sweat can be another method we can apply.

If you can’t sweat…

Unless you have an inherited or acquired disorder that damages the sweat glands, skin or nerves, the inability to sweat may improve over time. It has been stated that sweating may become more difficult, especially in people who are exposed to toxins, since the autonomic nervous system’s ability to balance body temperature may decrease(2). In order to regulate this, correction of biochemical processes with the help of nutrition and food supplements, as well as methods to stimulate lymph drainage and exercise before sauna were recommended (2) . Examples of methods that stimulate lymph drainage are massage, dry brushing, trombone jumping, and all sorts of other exercises. Unless you’ve been a regular exerciser, don’t expect great results on your first workout. It has been observed that those who exercise regularly for a longer period of time sweat better. Therefore, it is necessary to give the body some time to adapt… And of course, drinking plenty of water is another trick for sweating. When you drink plenty of water and insist on exercising, you will gradually find that you can sweat more easily. Let me write as a small reminder that you should also pay attention to your diet in order to compensate for the increased mineral excretion when you sweat.

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