It all depends on where it comes from. Calcium carbonate from rocks and limestone is certainly vegan while that found in oyster and egg shells is not. Most ingredients and dietary supplements on the market today that contain calcium elements are said to be vegan except those with calcium caseinate and calcium stearate.
Calcium is Essential for the Body
One thing is for sure; calcium is an essential nutrient for the body. In fact, it is the 5th in the list of elements that make the most of the body. Additionally, it also takes the 118th position in the list of components that make up the most matter on earth.
It is believed that vegans don’t require a lot of calcium compared to meat lovers. This is because their diet consists of less protein. Proteins neutralize calcium in the body which isn’t good. So the more protein you take the more calcium your body will need.
Nevertheless, calcium carbonate is an essential mineral to the body even though your body may need it in small amounts. If you love the taste of bread or cake, then here’s a rich source of calcium carbonate. It is a common element in products like baking powder, yeast, and dough used for baking. Calcium carbonate plays the important leavening role in cakes when it reacts with acids to form carbon dioxide.
It is also widely used as a dietary supplement for calcium nutrient and as an antacid.
Sources of Calcium Nutrients
If not from calcium carbonate, calcium would naturally be found in milk, cheese, and most dairy products which all vegans must stay away from. However, they have their calcium nutrient options in foods such as green vegetables and beans. The only disadvantage with these sources is that their bioavailability is lower than those in dairy products. This, in turn, makes it a little difficult for the body to absorb calcium.
For instance, a vegan having half cup of pinto beans for lunch would require 8.1 servings of the same to get the calcium needed in the body. The half cup contains 45 mg calcium which is a good amount compared to 300 mg in an 8 oz cup of milk.
However, there are other foods rich in calcium that are at the same time high in bioavailability e.g. okra, fortified soy milk, almond milk, kale, cabbage family, and dandelion greens that make an excellent diet for the keen vegan.
Want to know more about how calcium supplements work and what they might do to your body? Watch this video by Dr. Eric Berg:
Do you use any calcium supplements?