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AIBU to expect M&S nutrition to know more.

(25 Posts)
Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 16:24:51

I had oesteoporosis and cannot tolerate the various medications but by managing my calcium & vit. D intake (among other things) my DEXA scan in the summer now indicates I only have osteopenia.

Yoghurt is a good source of calcium but the Ca content is not listed on M&S varieties. Too much can be a problem as can too little and I prefer not to rely on supplements unless absolutely necessary.

So I emailed their nutrition department in November.

Today, over 2 months later I had a reply. This said:

1) it's not a legal requirement to list calcium content and
2) they don't know the calcium content hmm

AIBU to expect M&S nutrition to have this information available?

Antonia Wed 25-Jan-17 16:50:45

Perhaps it might be better to skip the yoghurt and go for foods where you know the calcium content, as you need to have control over how much calcium is in certain foods.
Or maybe you could research how much calcium is present in yoghurts generally and assume that M&S yoghurts will be much the same.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 16:54:25

I am a bit ignorant about this, but am wondering why too much is a problem? Does it not get excreted if the body can't absorb it?
Or does it end up in soft tissue?

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 16:55:42

I can pick up some brands of yoghurt and the calcium content is listed Antonia but the point I'm making is that major food retailers should have this information anyway.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 16:57:44

Jalima yes, too much can lead to calcification of soft tissue, especially arteries.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 16:58:11

ps yes, I would expect them to know and pps well done for reversing the osteoporosis without having to resort to those drugs.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 16:58:35

eek, I eat loads of yogurt and drink milk

Antonia Wed 25-Jan-17 17:05:07

If other brands of yogurt have the calcium content listed then I am surprised that M&S don't do this.

grannylyn65 Wed 25-Jan-17 17:07:34

Jalima, you're doomed !!!!grin

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 17:09:21

I'm going to check my yogurt. (not M&S)
and I was taking calcium/magnesium tablets to help mend my ankle -even more eeek

Ana Wed 25-Jan-17 17:12:49

Anya, are you taking Adcal-D3 tablets?

When I was first prescribed them for osteopenia I was told to take 2 a day, but for the past couple of years my GP practice only advises taking one a day.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 17:24:59

Yes Ana I take a calcium citrate and D3 supplement, not Adcal, but similar. Four of these provide 200% D3 and 80% of my calcium requirement. I prefer to take just two and make up the rest of my calcium through my diet.

During the summer I get enogh D3 from sunlight so have to get 100% calcium (1200mg) from diet.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 17:25:43

Exactly Antonia

Wheniwasyourage Wed 25-Jan-17 17:39:31

If restaurants have to be able to provide a full list of ingredients to customers with food allergies, I'm surprised that manufacturers don't have to do the same. (I know you don't have an allergy to calcium, Anya, but you do have an important need to know). Maybe you should contact them again, preferably on Facebook or Twitter and tell them that you are planning to buy your yoghurt from someone who will give you the information you need.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 17:49:40

Oddly enough WIWYA I've just unearthed my yogurt maker from the back of a cupboard. I can work out how much Ca will be in each serving, using the Ca content of the milk I'll be using, so that's my way forward. It should also be simple mathematical calculation for M&S.

But I take your point and I think I'll do just that using FB.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 17:49:52

I saw this online but can't seem to cut and paste (it was a children's work sheet):

Low Fat Fruit Yogurt: 140 mg per 100 g
Plain Greek Yogurt: 126 mg per 100 g

My Yeo Valley strawberry yogurt contains 126 mg per 100 g according to the tub, the Tesco Greek Yogurt doesn't state it on the tub.

It seems to be 120 mg on this BDF information sheet:

Deedaa Wed 25-Jan-17 18:49:50

Having worked in an M&S coffee shop I'm not a bit surprised that they don't know!

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 21:53:42

Thanks Jalima

absent Wed 25-Jan-17 22:44:00

Wheniwasyourage While calcium will be present in yogurt, it is not an ingredient. Milk is the ingredient that contains calcium that will be listed. More than 80% of milk is water but you would hardly expect the list of ingredients to include the quantity of hydrogen and oxygen.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 22:47:37

I found this as well

Yes, I assumed the amount of calcium in yogurt would be the same as in the same ml of milk, but wasn't sure if some added ingredients would also have calcium.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 22:53:42

I thought I would be having too much calcium but apparently am only having just over half of recommended daily amount according to the calculator.
(That was just a rough calculation).

Anya Thu 26-Jan-17 10:11:55

It is surprising isn't it Jalima?

Osteoporosis is a 'silent killer'. There are many factors that can predispose you to getting it, including genetics, age, gender and these we have no control over. But there are other lifestyle factors we can control such as taking exercise, reducing alcohol, getting sufficient calcium, and so on.

I'm fighting this condition successfully, without recourse to drugs like alendronic acid and strontium ranelate, both of which made me ill. So making sure I hit the recommended intake of 1200mg a day (on average) is really important to me.

It's worth using calculators like that Jalima to give you a rough and ready indication of how much calcium are in the foods you eat, and also to know which foods contain calcium (such as almonds) that might surprise you. Do you know that 1000mg is the normal daily recommendation, but if you are over 70 or have osteoporosis you need an extra 200mg?

Absent you are of course correct (though some foods do have added calcium, but that's a different issue) and yes, the milk in the yoghurt is that main calcium-rich ingredient. But I would still expect a company like M&S to be able to give an accurate numerical value for the amount of Ca per 100ml or per pot when such a question is relayed to their nutrition team, especially when others provide that information on their cartons. I suspect that many of M&S's tastier yoghurts are not particularly healthy and simply overloaded with ingredients to make them taste good and probably best avoided or treated as desserts.

Jalima Thu 26-Jan-17 10:42:14

Their twin pot Greek yogurt with cherries is lovely, but as a dessert or breakfast - it is very high in calories. They didn't have it last time I was in there.

I don't tend to eat cereal so perhaps don't drink much milk.

Jalima Thu 26-Jan-17 10:43:54

And the GP said not to eat cheese because of the salt content but I'm afraid that I ignore that. If I try to lose weight and cut cheese out I get cheese cravings.

SueDonim Thu 26-Jan-17 12:34:35

Thank you for the calcium calculator. I was diagnosed with osteopenia after a leg fracture three years ago and have been taking alendronic acid, fortunate with no side effects) and calcium supplements. I was offered the chance to tackle the problem with diet but I knew I wouldn't be able to do that and was so scared of another fracture that I decided to play it safe.

I wasn't aware of the downside of too much calcium before this thread and used the calculator to check my levels. It's confirmed that my diet is way too low in calcium (less than 500mg) so it seems I need the supplements as well, which put me about 300mg over the daily recommended dose. In future I'll worry less about forgettting to take the occasional calcium tablet!

Hope you can sort out your yogurt questions, Anya.