vegan calcium supplement, please: Can anybody... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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vegan calcium supplement, please

thyr01d profile image

Can anybody please tell me how to find a vegan calcium supplement that my GP will be willing to prescribe for osteopoenia? It has to be one approved by the NHS. It will be fine if it also contains all or any of: vitamin D3, magnesium and/or K2.

29 Replies

You could just skip the supplement part and eat a lot of calcium rich plants. Unlike iron, which is more easily absorbed from animals, apparently plant sources of calcium are excellent for us.

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to HeronNS

Thanks, but I've been doing that for many years, though I will give the fortified orange juice a try.

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to thyr01d

I guess you'll have to check what they fortify with, though - it probably isn't "vegan".

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to HeronNS

That's a good point, I wouldn't have thought of checking.

Oh, and if you want a supplement which will really help, Vitamin K2 (derived from fermented soy).

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to HeronNS

Yes, thanks, I take this already, it's vegan calcium I can't find.

I think I may have found this one I have also been looking. I believe it is by a brand called naturelo or I think biovea they are expensive but will try when I have finished my current brand. Also am changing to Himalayan salt. Have heard it is good for bones but I may be wrong.

Hi Twist and Shout, thank-you. It's nice to chat with someone doing the same.

You might also like to try what someone on another site suggested, vegan calcium from Cytoplan. They have three different ones, one has added boron, D, magnesium etc. Here's a link:

I used to use Himalayan salt so will go back to it now you've told me it may be good for bones.

Years ago a Professor declared that sugar is good for bones, I don't eat it though.


Walkingdogs profile image
Walkingdogs in reply to thyr01d

Have you looked at Lamberts CalAsorb. It’s calcium citrate it’s vegetarian not sure about vegan. My doc would only prescribe Adcal. I just had to buy my own

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to Walkingdogs

Thanks Walkingdogs, and your name is great!

I resist being expected to buy my own necessary supplements when they would be prescribed to non-vegans. Someone from the other site I go to recommended Cytoplan and made me laugh because she explained that it can't be vegan (nor vegetarian) because it comes from chalk which, apparently, is actually bones that are millions of years old!

Walkingdogs profile image
Walkingdogs in reply to thyr01d

😂 a bit odd that. The awful thing about prescription supplements is, they’re always the cheapest, and not always the best. Good luck with getting your calcium from your GP. I hope you’ve a better one than I have. The docs in the practice I go to ( which is as little as possible) couldn’t care less. 🤞

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to Walkingdogs

I find my GP the same and that's what makes me out-persist them - I feel so sorry for other people, like the elderly or fearful, who, unlike us, don't have the wherewithall to obtain what they need. I think that if I insist then the GPs will be more likely to be helpful to the next person who comes along needing the same. You are probably much more popular with your GP than I am! :)

Walkingdogs profile image
Walkingdogs in reply to thyr01d

Not popular, they just don’t know me that well. Up until last year I rarely bothered them. Then I hurt my back and was in agony. I could neither get a scan or a physiotherapist. I found a physio myself and he thought I’d fractured my spine. I paid for a scan and he was right I’d had 2 fractures. I understand that the nhs is under pressure. I’m sorry for anyone who have to rely on it.

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to Walkingdogs

Walkingdogs you must have had an awful time! I hope you are fully recovered and that your bones are stronger now.

Walkingdogs profile image
Walkingdogs in reply to thyr01d

Ty thyr01d, I’m getting there. Would love to know if you get what you want from your GP. 🙂

thyr01d profile image
thyr01d in reply to Walkingdogs

Hi Walking dogs, I will only be able to get the calcium on prescription from my GP if I can find out what is on the approved prescribing list and so far I've just drawn blanks. I had hoped there would be some vegans on here who were prescribed something. I will keep your message though and let you know if I do.

Keep together!

Hi thyr01d. Welcome to the Forum.

I was eating a near vegan diet for 40 plus years until I started breaking bones. I personally found it impossible to to get enough Ca and Vit D from my diet.

Many of the foods I was eating like whole grain, some green veg, nuts and seeds, contain phytic or oxalic acid which chelate ie bind, both Ca and Fe, making them harder to absorb.

You are probably already buying Ca fortified drinks, like artificial milk, which states it’s vegan.

I would think that many stand alone Ca carbonate supplements aren’t made from animal bones and are usually cheap to buy, so you wouldn’t need a prescription.

I buy Holland & Barrett’s Magnesium bisglycinate which doesn’t cause diarrhoea like Mg oxide and is vegan. Holland and Barrett are probably also a good source of vegan Ca.

I’m not aware of any vegan D3. D3 is made by animals and fish. Sun exposed Mushrooms would be D2.

The Doctors Best D3 I take is made from lanolin, therefore is not vegan. I do also take cod liver oil for essential vit A retinol, which also contains D3.

You may have to resort to D2, if you want vegan.

Best wishes and Good luck

Hi Lynne, thanks for your lovely reply, your thoughtful replies have brightened my day.

I have the same problem as you with diet, especially the phytic/oxalic acid, my ferritin level scrapes along the bottom.

My consultant advised against buying from eg Holland & Barrett, fortunately someone on another site recommended Cytoplan.

Thanks for the advice on the other vitamins, I am okay for those and just meant it didn't matter if the calcium came with or without them.

Best wishes to you and thanks again

I forgot to ask you in my last comment, did you have a PTH test done to check for para thyroid disease, as this is associated with OP? The parathyroid gland greatly influences the movement of Ca, too and from the bones.

I note you have thyroid problems, but this is a different gland to the parathyroid.

Best wishes

Hello again Lynne, I don't know about a specific PTH test but I know that my parathyroid was tested some time ago and the result was raised but at the time I had a suspected fractured bone which we assumed accounted for that. I think, and hope, the problem is simply that my diet is inadequate.

Yes, hopefully it is just dietary. You should certainly consider getting a PTH test in the future, just to make sure it’s returned to normal,

Best wishes

Thanks for the suggestion LynneH-19

Just a small point, a few months ago the NHS announced it would no longer prescribe non essential prescriptions that could be bought cheaply across the counter. I guess this might cover vitamin supplements.

Hi Jessie1234, calcium is essential for me as I have osteopoenia and it is routinely prescribed for non-vegans.

you could make stinging nettle and/or oatstraw infusions. 2 cups a day will give you about 1000 mg of calcium; more easily digested and absorbed than rock based calcium supplements because it is plant based. It also includes all of the other necessary minerals and vitamins for proper calcium absorption. It also has a good amount of iron. Really amazing herbs. You make an infusion by using 1 cup of the dried herbs in a quart jar, and pour boiling water over it to the top. Let steepovernight. That’s what I’m doing. You can buy bulk bags of the herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs , or from Botanic Universe, online. The herb is viable for 2-3 years, but of course it gets used up quicker than that. In the end, the herbs work out to be cheaper than supplements. Also, check out AlgaeCal online. A plant based supplement that has clinically proven results for improving bone density.

Google the herbs, and that AlgaeCal; you’ll be very impressed with them both Ithink.

Thank-you MiaLee, this is a really helpful reply as I also have low ferritin. I had read about nettles as these seem to be good for osteoarthritis too and today read about AlgaeCal and thought about looking into it, your reply is just what I needed to actually do it! It's great to have a recommendation. Do you happen to know how to make it from garden grown nettles? I have masses of them.

Yes indeed. Lucky you to have masses of nettles!

Pick the nettles before they bloom ; this will be spring, ( all Ariel parts: stems and leaves). Wear gloves of course! Then tie bunches of stems together, and dry in a protected airy place ( like a shed) until completely dry. They should not be dried in the sun, and not in an oven or anything like that. You can place a tarp, or newspapers under them on the floor if you are worried about losing some as they dry and fall off, though they will mostly stay on the stems just fine. After drying, you just break them up for storage. At that point there will be no sting left. Then bag them and store them. Then use one cup of dried nettle to one quart boiling water and steep. Strain through a finer mesh kitchen strainer, pressing out all that great juice) and drink. A pound of nettles online is about $22.00. I buy enough to last me a year. ( I measure how many cups in a bag, and a quart of Nettle juice at 2 cups a day lasts for 2 days ).

Wish I had lots of nettles! I actually just bought seeds and plan to grow them. :)

Oh that's funny - I spend hours pulling and digging up nettles and you think I'm lucky! It would be good if we could swap for a few months. Nettles like sewage you know, so not having them is definitely a good thing.

Thanks for the recipe, I will store that on the computer, must dash now, just been reminded by a friend that we are going out to dinner, which I'd completely forgotten! I didn't mention I had a sandwich when I came in and am not actually hungry at all, oops!

GP's in the UK cannot prescribe the supplements which are ideal for bone health. Only calcium and D3. They can only prescribe magnesium if a blood test shows as deficient. We have to buy our own. I use Solgar Ultimate Bone Support which is a good all rounder with all the known nutrients balanced and absorbable. Although I only take them on days I have not eaten wisely. It really is not that difficult to get enough calcium and necessary vitamins and minerals from food, plus it's safer. Google and make a list of foods highest in each nutrient and the optimum amount. Sesame seeds for instance are very high in calcium. In North Korea they seem to sprinkle them on everything. I was surprised how easy it was to do this and keep the lists of my favourite foods. Any foods I don't like I throw into a blender and disguise as a smoothie. The best advice I had from a nutritionist was that too much Calcium is harmful. I'm in awe of people whose diet is vegan, it's something I'm working towards and am not finding it easy. Very time consuming and much to learn but am enjoying every step. Wish you the best. Dido xx

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