Q:How do I increase my calcium absorption, particularly if I can't eat/drink dairy?


  • Sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and stress can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Phosphoric acid, contained in many processed foods and cola can interfere with the absorption of calcium.
  • Caffeine: Excess caffeine consumption can cause the body to excrete calcium. One 8 oz. cup of coffee contains about 135 mg. caffeine. Excessive is commonly defined as more than 300 mg. per day.
  • Sodium: When you eat foods that are high in salt, your body will excrete more calcium into the urine. For this reason, and many others, keep dietary sodium levels low.
  • Excess Amounts of Protein: Protein is the building block for muscle and is important for metabolic functioning. As protein is used for energy, it produces sulfate, which increases the amount of calcium that is excreted from the body. It is important to have small amounts of protein throughout the day to slow the glycemic rise, but it is not necessary to have copious amounts of it.
  • Alcohol intake: Excess alcohol consumption can interfere with calcium balance in the body.
  • Oxalate: High oxalate foods include swiss chard, chocolate, tea, spinach, berries, and sweet potatoes. Cooking these foods decreases the amount of oxalic acid in them. It is important to note that these foods offer a variety of fantastic health benefits, so it a good idea to keep them in their diet. The benefits far outweigh the “risks,” so eating a variety of different foods is the best way to maximize your benefit.