Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth – we were all taught that or told that by our parents at some stage in our life!
Drink plenty of milk and eat lots of cheese! That still stands today.
Calcium is crucial in growing new bone and maintaining bone strength. Calcium supplements are standard for treating and preventing osteoporosis - weak and easily broken bones. This is the most frequently occurring bone disease in the US, affecting 55% of those over the age of 50.
Calcium is used for many other conditions. It's an ingredient in many antacids. Doctors also use calcium to control high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium in the blood. There's good evidence that calcium can help prevent or control high blood pressure. It also may reduce PMS symptoms as well as play a role in preventing certain cancers. Calcium with vitamin D, for instance, may help protect against breast cancer in premenopausal women. The data, though, are still inconclusive as to whether it might do the same for postmenopausal women. Calcium also has been looked at for other uses, for example, aiding weight loss. But so far, these studies have been inconclusive. The people at highest risk of a calcium deficiency are postmenopausal women. Since dairy products are one of the most common sources of calcium, people who are lactose intolerant or vegan are also at increased risk of calcium deficiency.
I have added some further references on the subjects of Colon cancer, type2 diabetes and a healthy mouth for you to look through and decide on at the end of this article.
Risks of too little calcium
If you don't get enough calcium, you could face health problems related to weak bones:
- Children may not reach their full potential adult height.
- Adults may have low bone mass, which is a risk factor for osteoporosis.
How much Calcium should we take?
Although diet is the best way to get calcium, calcium supplements may be an option if your diet falls short. The general agreement from all studies or written info is the following:-
51 years and up
1,200 mg/day (women) 1,000 mg/day (men)
71 years and up
1,200 mg/day (men)
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of calcium for men and women older than 18 years of age is 2,500 mg per day.
Types of calcium supplements
Several different kinds of calcium compounds are used in calcium supplements. Each compound contains varying amounts of the mineral calcium — referred to as elemental calcium.
Common calcium supplements may be labelled as:
- Calcium carbonate (40% elemental calcium)
- Calcium citrate (21% elemental calcium)
- Calcium gluconate (9% elemental calcium)
- Calcium lactate (13% elemental calcium)
The two main forms of calcium supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is cheapest and therefore often a good first choice. Other forms of calcium in supplements include gluconate and lactate.
We have Calcium carbonate available a Vitamin NZ.
Why should we add Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps to absorb Calcium into the body so having Vitamin D3 added into a supplement is very beneficial.
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you might expect. People who don’t always get enough sun, especially people living in Canada and the northern half of the US, are especially at risk. Vitamin D deficiency also occurs even in sunny climates, possibly because people are staying indoors more, covering up when outside, or using sunscreens consistently these days to reduce skin cancer risk.
Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that supplements are safe and claims are truthful. The Calcium supplements provided here in NZ by Vitamin NZ have already been independently tested by U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP).
Further reading on the benefits of Calcium and vitamin D:
It fights colon cancer
Calcium and vitamin D are good at protecting against cancer. A study called the Polyp Prevention Trial found that supplementing with both lowered the risk of polyp recurrence by 18%. For calcium, aim for 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams daily from food and supplements.
Read more at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/lactose-intolerance/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-calcium/?slide=2#zQhiz7gQc8yHw5Vt.99
It decreases your risk for type II diabetes
A 20-year study by Boston researchers of almost 84,000 nurses, none of whom had diabetes at the study's start, found that women who took 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D per day had a 33% lower risk of developing type2 diabetes than women who consumed much lower amounts.
Not all calcium supplements are equally well absorbed. The body absorbs the calcium from chewable supplements better than from pills. Boston researchers found that 1,200 milligrams daily lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes. To improve absorption, take it in two doses, one in the morning and one at night.
Read more at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/lactose-intolerance/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-calcium/?slide=3#fRWAjDJ8Pp31u2ki.99
It keeps your mouth healthy
That milk on your cereal is rich in calcium, which protects your gums. In a long-term study of 13,000 people, those who ate only half the recommended servings of calcium-rich foods doubled their risk of gum disease.
Read more at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/lactose-intolerance/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-calcium/?slide=6#wuwkOSBWYVWjqjVS.99
As we all know, you can research many sites for info on products, their benefits and any pitfalls or side effects. We have been told that coffee is bad for us and then told coffee is good for us – I know where I stand on that one!
But the same applies to researching any subject. We recently had a news note on the fact that calcium supplements may not be of any benefit to you at all.
However, if you read the points from various articles out there and the ones that I have included in this blog, it is obvious that there are some big benefits from making sure you are getting your daily dosage of Calcium and also Vitamin D.
If you are entirely satisfied that you are achieving that through a well-balanced diet then supplements are probably not required.
If you are not so sure that you are achieving that, then using a Calcium supplement to give you the top-up is probably a wise way to move forward.
Having a top-up of Vitamin D is probably well worth it – especially if you are concerned about skin cancer and therefore exposure to sunlight with NZ.
It could be that instead of 2 tablets a day you are able to achieve everything in the way of a supplement top-up by taking 1 tablet a day.
The Team @ www.VitaminNZ.co.nz