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This draft article has been assigned to User:Tessa.Altman, and will be moved to the main namespace when completed.

<-- see Help:Writing Fact Sheets and the articles in Fact Sheets Listing

Note that we want only enough information to convincingly support the assertion and counter inaccurate information. When making a point, it is important to find those sources that will result in the most convincing arguments, and to summarize findings in the most convincing manner, all without misrepresenting or exaggerating those sources.

Places to start for research:

Is there research showing that vegans are generally not deficient in calcium, or that non-vegans are?


Fact Sheet


  • Heavy advertising and public relation campaigns by the dairy industry have perpetuated the myth that cow's milk is essential for bone health and is a superior source of calcium.[1] <-- rewritten, old: Because milk and other dairy products contain calcium, Americans have been encouraged for decades to consume dairy as a way to strengthen their bones and fight against ???issues??? like osteoporosis. -->
  • While it is true that calcium is essential for bone health and other physiological functions.[2], it does not follow that dairy is the healthiest source for calcium. Instead, getting calcium from dairy comes with risks not associated with plant sources (shown below


  • <-- rewritten. now this is a strong statement -->Harvard’s School of Public Health, the number one medical research school in the United States[3] says that milk is not the best source of calcium, and encourages people to look beyond the dairy aisle.[4]
  • <-- relate this to calcium, not succinct -->The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has noted several health concerns regarding dairy. As one of the top sources of saturated fat, milk and dairy can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even Alzheimer's diseases. Studies have also linked dairy to an increased risk of ovarian, breast, and prostate cancer. Saturated fat is known to clog arteries, and dairy products are also high in cholesterol. The Physicians Committee also notes that cheese, a dairy product, is especially dangerous, typically being made up of 70 percent fat.[5]
  • <-- how is this relevant?--> According to the British Medicine Journal, an analysis showed that most studies cannot link the consumption of dairy to broken bones or fractures. The study concluded that there is no clinical trial evidence to show that increasing calcium from dietary sources prevents fractures and that any evidence supporting calcium supplements helping to prevent fractures is generally weak and inconsistent.[6]
  • <-- confusing, how could people be led to believe that consuming too much of anything is good -->Consuming too much dairy doesn’t lead to the strong bones most people have been led to believe. In fact, studies have shown that too much milk (more than three glasses a day) <-- weak point: are we endorsing 2 glasses of milk a day ?--> was not associated with healthy bones: instead, it was linked to not only an increased mortality but a higher chance of fractures and hip fractures.
  • <-- wordy, not top down, what's the main point?-->In a 2003 study, researchers sought “to determine the calcium balance of individuals on a vegan diet in comparison with a lactovegetarian diet in a short-term investigation.” The results showed “that calcium balance and a marker of bone turnover are not affected significantly when calcium is provided either solely by plant foods or by a diet including dairy products, despite the significantly different calcium intake levels in the diets.” That same study concluded “that a well-selected vegan diet maintains calcium status, at least for a short-term period.<-- weak, implies let's not be vegan because it MAY not maintain calcium status in the long term-->”[7]
  • <-- combine with second point under evidence? -->To reach the daily recommended amount of calcium, which ranges between 1,000 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams per day depending on one's age and gender[8], a person would have to consume large amounts of dairy, calcium-fortified foods, or supplements. However, due to dairy’s links to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions, animal-derived calcium sources like dairy can cause plenty of health problems that non-animal sources do not.
  • According to a study from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, a plant-based diet may actually be associated with a lower calcium requirement for bone health.[9]

Conflicting Claims

  • <--wordy, doesn't appear to be a major source of influence, was this study funder by the dairy industry, or does author have ties-->In a 2009 study by Robert P. Heaney, MD, Heaney concluded that “it is difficult to devise a diet that is ‘bone healthy’ without including three servings of dairy per day, not just because of dairy calcium, but dairy protein and potassium as well.”[10] However, there are plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium, protein, and potassium making the consumption of dairy unnecessary.[11] This study also predates studies that show either little to no link between consuming dairy and having stronger bones.[12]
  • <--wordy, does not appear to be a major source of influence, funding suspecious? -->In 2018, researched published<-- does not make sense--> a study on dietary calcium intake and food sources among Chinese adults. They claimed that calcium deficiency is a particularly common nutritional problem in China. In studying Chinese adults from ages 18-64 in 15 different provinces, the researchers found that vegetables, legumes, and cereals were the main sources of dietary calcium in its participants. They concluded that Chinese adults are "severely insufficient" in calcium and claimed it is "urgent that China improve the population's poor dietary choices and promote consumption of milk and dairy products."[13]. This study is contradicted by other studies done in China and those on a plant-based diet, which excludes milk and other dairy products, that suggest higher intakes of calcium help in preventing bone fractures, thus making higher intakes healthier.[14] In fact, vegan sources of calcium have other health benefits[15] that its dairy sources don't.

Sources of Calcium

  •  ??? According to the NHS, there are many good sources of calcium that are not animal derived. Instead, vegan calcium sources largely come from plants, such as green, leafy vegetables and dried fruits, in addition to fortified non-dairy milks.[16]<-- lacks clarity: instead? | vegan sources ALL come come plants -->
  • <-- perhaps name a few good plant sources and compare them with dairy (this is my bad, a problem in the initial structure)-->

Dietary Guidelines

<-- briefly state guidelines (this is my bad, a problem in the initial structure -->

Temp: To Be Deleted

These items will be deleted. I will explain why in a zoom session. ~~~~

  • <-- not a strong point, also wordy, rambling, not concise, -->Consuming too much calcium can also lead to Milk-Alkali Syndrome. In the beginning of the 20th century, people began treating peptic ulcer disease with a combination of milk and alkali. While issues of MAS initially decreased, there was a resurgence due to an increased use of calcium carbonate, which was used to fight off osteoporosis. Milk-Alkali Syndrome can cause hypercalcemia, renal failure, and metabolic alkalosis and is the third most common cause of hypercalcemia, which is the result of too much calcium in a person’s system.[17]
  • <-- relevance? succinct warning on supplements is could be put in "sources," but not needed--> Though it is not common, it is possible to consume too much calcium. Naim Maalouf, MD, an endocrinologist specializing in mineral metabolism, claims that, while 50% of his female patients don’t get enough calcium, about 5% consume too much. These women generally take calcium supplements on top of getting the amount of calcium they need just from food. This can possibly result in the calcium making its into fatty plaques in the arteries, which can then reduce blood supply to the heart.[18]
  • (the first sentence edited was kept under Sources of Calcium)Harvard’s School of Public Health has guidelines for choosing the best sources of calcium and encourages people to look beyond the dairy aisle. Though Harvard recommends one to two servings of dairy-derived calcium per day, the school acknowledges that more servings will not improve your bone health, nor will less harm you, providing you find calcium from other sources, such as leafy greens, broccoli, and tofu. Other tips for healthy bones do not include dairy, instead focusing on getting enough Vitamin D and getting active on a regular basis.[4]

See Also

Plain Text


  1. needs citation
  2. National Osteoporosis Foundation. “Calcium/Vitamin D Requirements, Recommended Foods & Supplements.” Accessed January 28, 2020.
  3. “Best Medical Schools (Research) Ranked in 2017 | US News Rankings.” US News Education. Accessed August 1, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Boston, 677 Huntington Avenue, and Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. “Calcium and Milk.” The Nutrition Source. Accessed 28 January 2020.
  5. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “Health Concerns About Dairy.” Accessed January 28, 2020.
  6. Bolland, Mark J, William Leung, Vicky Tai, Sonja Bastin, Greg D Gamble, Andrew Grey, and Ian R Reid. “Calcium Intake and Risk of Fracture: Systematic Review.” The BMJ 351 (September 29, 2015).
  7. Kohlenberg-Mueller, Kathrin, and Ladislav Raschka. “Calcium Balance in Young Adults on a Vegan and Lactovegetarian Diet.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 21, no. 1 (2003): 28–33.
  8. National Osteoporosis Foundation. “Calcium/Vitamin D Requirements, Recommended Foods & Supplements.” Accessed January 28, 2020.
  9. Fang, Aiping, Keji Li, Meihan Guo, Jingjing He, He Li, Xin Shen, and Jie Song. “Long-Term Low Intake of Dietary Calcium and Fracture Risk in Older Adults With Plant-Based Diet: A Longitudinal Study From the China Health and Nutrition Survey.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 31, no. 11 (2016): 2016–23.
  13. Huang, Feifei, Zhihong Wang, Jiguo Zhang, Wenwen Du, Chang Su, Hongru Jiang, Xiaofang Jia, et al. “Dietary Calcium Intake and Food Sources among Chinese Adults in CNTCS.” PLoS ONE 13, no. 10 (October 1, 2018).
  14. Fang, Aiping, Keji Li, Meihan Guo, Jingjing He, He Li, Xin Shen, and Jie Song. “Long-Term Low Intake of Dietary Calcium and Fracture Risk in Older Adults With Plant-Based Diet: A Longitudinal Study From the China Health and Nutrition Survey.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 31, no. 11 (2016): 2016–23.
  15. Healthline. “Top 10 Vegan Sources of Calcium.” Accessed January 28, 2020.
  16. “The Vegan Diet.” Nhs.Uk, 3 Sept. 2018,
  17. Medarov, Boris I. “Milk-Alkali Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 84, no. 3 (March 2009): 261–67.
  18. “How Much Calcium Is Too Much? | Nutrition | UT Southwestern Medical Center.” Accessed January 28, 2020.


This article was originally authored by Tessa Altman with contributions by Greg Fuller. The contents may have been edited since that time by others.