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How Supplements Can Help Guard Against Osteoporosis
by Peter Bua
The National Institutes of Health states that children between the ages of nine and 18 require 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily. However, adults' needs may differ depending on their age and gender. As adults get older, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. If you're concerned about osteoporosis, you might want to order calcium supplements online to help give you the best chance at a strong and healthy retirement. To learn more about calcium supplements for osteoporosis, keep reading.
What is calcium?Calcium is a mineral that the body requires for optimal health. It's found naturally in some foods and it is often included as an additive in others. It can also be taken as a supplement. Calcium is responsible for making bones and teeth strong, which is why calcium supplements for osteoporosis can be so important. In fact, approximately 99% of all calcium in the body is stored within the bones and teeth alone. The one percent of calcium not in the bones or teeth is essential for many bodily functions we usually take for granted. It helps blood vessels and muscles contract and expand. It's also responsible, in part, for sending messages through the nervous system.
How does calcium affect bone health?A person's bones are constantly being "remodeled." This process occurs when calcium constantly moves in and out of the bones as they are broken down and built again. For children and adolescents, this process is optimized so that their bones form faster than they disintegrate. However, this only lasts until around age 30. Around the age of 30, the formation of new bone decreases to match the rate of bone breakdown. In older adults, especially postmenopausal women, bone breaks down at a rate faster than it can be built back up. If calcium intake is too low, osteoporosis is a common result. This is why calcium supplements for osteoporosis may be advisable for older and middle-aged adults.
How much calcium is needed every day?As mentioned previous, the amount of calcium a person needs will vary based in part on their age. The following are the recommended calcium intake for adults by age, according to the National Institutes of Health:
- All adults, age 19 to 50: 1,000 milligrams
- Adult men, age 51 to 70: 1,000 milligrams
- Adult women, age 51 to 70: 1,200 milligrams
- All adults, age 71 and up: 1,200 milligrams
- Pregnant and breastfeeding teens: 1,300 milligrams
- Pregnant and breastfeeding adults: 1,000 milligrams
How do I get enough calcium every day?While calcium supplements are useful and should be used by people in danger of a calcium deficiency, the single best way to get plenty of calcium every day is to eat foods that already have calcium in them. This includes a wide variety of foods from all the different food groups. As a side note, it's very important to get plenty of vitamin D from sunlight and vitamin-rich foods. Vitamin D helps your body break down and utilize the calcium in your diet and supplements. The following are some foods rich in calcium:
- Dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. These have the highest calcium content of any food group.
- Dark green leafy vegetables also contain high levels of calcium. Broccoli, collard greens, and kale all have high amounts of calcium, especially when lightly steamed.
- Fish, such as salmon and sardines. Just one serving may contain around 200 milligrams of calcium. By the way, the calcium content is found in the soft bones of the fish.
- Cereal, bread, pasta, and other foods made from grains. Cereals that are fortified with minerals are especially beneficial.
- Calcium is also included as an additive in fruit juices, soy and rice beverages, and tofu. Check out the product labels on foods before you buy them to find out.